Thursday, June 13, 2013

God Feed Us -- Alternative Lectionary for Proper 7 (David Ackerman)

We welcome back David Ackerman and his lectionary materials for Proper 7 of the Alternative fourth year lectionary. These materials are designed to be used on Sunday June 23.

Proper 7

June 23, 2013
“God Feeds Us”
Call to Worship:  Psalm 37:23-28a NRSV
One:  Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when he delights in our way; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand.
Many:  I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.  They are ever giving liberally and lending, and their children become a blessing.
One:  Depart from evil, and do good; so you shall abide forever.
Many:  For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones.
Gathering Prayer:  As we come together this day, we thank you, God, for the life-giving gift of food.  We pray that you would nourish us physically, emotionally and spiritually so that we may live as your faithful children in this world.  Amen.
Confession:  God, we confess that we turn away from the nourishment you give us.  You provide us with bread for our journeys and you feed us with the spiritual bread that we discover in Jesus.  Still, we turn our noses up at you and refuse to be fed.  Forgive us and change us, God, so that we might truly be sustained by your gracious hand.  Amen.
Assurance:  Though we may turn away from God, the good news that we hear and receive this day is that God does not turn away from us.  God nurtures us with the bread of heaven so that we might hunger and thirst no more.  Thanks be to God for the gift of grace in abundance!  Amen.
Scriptures:  Genesis 41:9-40 – “Joseph’s Dream”
Acts 6:1-7 – “Deacons Waiting on Tables”
Mark 8:14-21 – “The Yeast of the Pharisees”
Commentaries and sermon ideas are available in Beyond the Lectionary
Reflection questions:
Do you think God can reveal things to us in dreams?  Why or why not?  How was Joseph’s interpretation of Pharoah’s dream in Genesis 41 filled with life-saving insight?
When Jesus tells his disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees in Mark 8, what is he talking about?  In what ways is teaching like food?
In your experience, are the righteous ever forsaken or do their children ever beg for bread?
The story of deacons waiting on tables in Acts 6 reflects the early church’s concern with social justice and feeding people.  What justice/ethical issues involving food are important today in our communities?  In a world where many food workers face unjust conditions and many individuals wrestle with eating disorders, how do today’s scriptures speak to the many problems of feeding people today?
How often does your church celebrate Holy Communion?  Does a day like today, with readings like these, remind us of the importance of frequently coming to Jesus’ table?
Prayer of Thanksgiving:  We thank you, God, for feeding us with the life-giving bread that Jesus offers us.  We pray that we might work for a world where all your children are nourished and where issues of injustice around food may come to an end.  Amen.
Benediction:  Assured that Jesus satisfies us with his life-sustaining bread, let us now go out to feed the world with the gift of God’s love.  Amen.

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