Epiphany C – 5, ‘19
Isaiah 6:1-13; Luke 5:1-11
Trinity Lutheran Congregation
Every Sunday we sing the song of the seraphim. Did you hear it? In the first reading we heard their song, “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” In just a few minutes we’ll be singing a slightly different translation of it, “Holy, Holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.”
Those angels, those seraphim knew something about God’s desires for the world and about people and about life and the world. And it seems they did not hesitate to Sing about it or to get someone to change things.
These words from Isaiah are his telling of his call story, when he heard God’s call in person. Isaiah had actually seen the Lord, which is pretty amazing. God had told Moses that no one would see God and live. No wonder Isaiah wanted out. His vision was unusual and dangerous. These seraphim are not those chubby, winged, cupid-like creatures that you often see floating harmlessly in the corners of baroque paintings. These seraphim are fiery creatures filling the house with smoke as they sang. And they would have nothing of Isaiah’s attempt to get out of the job God called him to do. One of the seraphs flew down to Isaiah and touched his lips with a live coal to remove his guilt and blot out his sin. When God calls him again, Isaiah answers, “Here am I, send me.”
Texts: Luke 4: 21-30, 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
“The more we curve in on ourselves, the more we stick to our own notions of what is good, the more we desperately need God to break in from the outside. The more cracked open we are, the more room for God to flood our lives with an expansive, unfathomable Love that we could never concoct for ourselves.
That’s good news, I promise, although it might not seem like it at the time—when reality as we conceived of it slips through our fingers and we are left only with our breath and open hands. It’s good news that was so hard to hear that Jesus’ friends and neighbors drove him out of town, intending to shove him off the cliffs.”
Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Texts: 1 Kings 17:8-16, Mark 12: 38-44
Today we find ourselves in a time of moral failure; of people suffering the consequences of their leaders' corrupt and idolatrous ways… I speak, of course, of the time of the Kings, 850 years before the birth of Christ, the setting of our first reading.
A theme in the history of Israel as recorded in Joshua, Judges, the books of Samuel, the books of Kings, is the failure of Israel’s leaders to follow the law of Deuteronomy. Introduced just a handful of verses before our reading for today, King Ahab was the worst of them all.
He did, according to the book of Kings, “more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than had all the kings of Israel who were before him” by introducing the worship of the Canaanite God Baal. Baal was believed to control the seasons, the cycles of plenty and of scarcity. But you don’t need to know anything about Baal to know that Israelites weren’t supposed to be worshiping him.
Think back to the first commandment carved deeply into Moses’ tablet: You Shall Have No Other Gods. That commandment has a very important subscript. It goes like this. “Or else.”
Gospel: Mark 10:17-31
As many of you have heard, when I first moved to Minneapolis I worked at a business that doubles as a service helping people empty their homes, and as a thrift store. As customers flooded the store every Saturday morning our job was to restock the shelves as quickly as possible. Plush chairs, dining room tables, wooden chests, ice skates, and boxes upon boxes of knick knacks. The supply was endless.
While it was at times overwhelming, it was also a ministry to find second homes for things that once held or made meaning in another person’s life. If you have been to a baby shower or a wedding, if you have moved homes or emptied the home of a loved one, you have experienced how we make meaning with our belongings.
We are ritual beings.
We use outward signs to mark inward experience.
For two weeks in Adult Forum, Trinity discussed the ELCA's draft of a "Social Statement on Women and Justice." Intern Liesl has submitted feedback on behalf of Trinity, based on the notes from our discussion which you are welcome to read here.
Click here find the social statement and more information. If you'd like to submit feedback independently, you can do so at bit.ly/womenandjusticedraft. Feedback is due September 30!
Texts: Jeremiah 11:18-20, James 3:13 - 4:3, 7-8a, Mark 9:30-37
A friend of mine is a music teacher, who leads middle school kids in writing and conducting their own compositions, with titles like “Juice and Potatoes” or “Anti-Chicken Nugget.” When a student conducts their piece, they get to put on the coat—an extra extra large men’s suit jacket that goes to their knees or the floor, the sleeves dangling well past their hands. They stand at the front of the class, waving their arms to conduct their peers. I’ve heard the recordings. They are cacophonous, and beautiful.
I love the image of the child conductor, because it’s how I feel every time I put on this robe. And if we’re being honest, it’s how we should feel looking around at each other. Just kids in grown up’s clothes, waving our arms to the liturgy, waving our arms at our lives, as if we had any influence over what comes next.
“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name,” says Jesus, “welcomes me.”
Texts: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9, James 1:17-27, Mark 7:1-8, 14-23
"At Trinity we have the deep desire and the deep need to call all creation good, our neighbors and ourselves, especially if we have been called unholy too many times, or even once. If we have been called anything less than God’s child, by the church and by the world. We need to remember and remind each other that we are always beloved in God’s eyes.
And still, there remains Jesus’ warning that, 'It is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come.' We are asked to hold a paradox: we are each of us created good, and we are each of us capable of evil. Paul Tillich has written that 'Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.' In this case, the answer hurts."
Trinity Lutheran Congregation is a multicultural community of faith located in Minneapolis’s vibrant, diverse Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. We are looking for a music director to share worship planning and leadership with our pastors. This individual should also be an experienced accompanist who can bring high energy direction to our small but dedicated choir. Our goal is to find an individual who is passionate about music and committed to working in a Christian community. How that individual expresses their passion could be through voice or instrument, classical or folk, traditional or emergent.
This is a 1/4-time position. Pay will be commensurate with skills and AGO Twin Cities guidelines. Send inquiries and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline is August 31, 2018. See attachment below for job description.
Pentecost B-6, Lectionary 13, ‘18
Trinity Lutheran Congregation
I always like a two-for-one deal. BOGO as it is known in some places – buy one get one. But you can’t go into the store and ask for the second one – for free – without getting the first one first. You have to get them both.
That is what we have in today’s gospel reading from Mark. A two-for-one-deal. Mark does that a lot. And when he does he is always trying to make a point.
In today’s reading Mark describes Jesus healing two daughter of Israel. In the verses just before these Jesus had performed an exorcism on a non-Jewish person. Here Jesus returns to the other side, the Jewish side of things and heals two daughters of Israel.
Not only is it a two-for-one deal, it’s like a sandwich. Mark begins with Jairus coming to Jesus and asking him to heal his daughter. The lesson then moves into the healing of the woman with the flow of blood for twelve years. It all comes to a close with Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter, whom many agree just happens to be around twelve years old. Like any good sandwich you can’t have one without the other. Peanut butter and jelly. Ham and cheese. Or an Oreo sandwich cookie – crunchy chocolate cookie with creamy filling inside.
In response to the children at our border being separated from their parents, on Sunday, June 24, 2018 several Twin Cities worshipping communities, including Trinity, prayed this prayer in solidarity with the children and families.