A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary - October 12

October 12 Sermon - "Living Generously: Ladles & Spoons"

II Corinthians 8:8-15
The Apostle Paul is encouraging the Corinthian Church to fulfill a financial commitment they had made to help out the church in Jerusalem as they were experiencing a severe famine.

The church was to set aside money each Sunday so that a fund would be gradually built up to offer this church. Since the Corinthian Church and Paul had past disagreements, the Corinthian Church had not been continuing to collect this offering. Paul is encouraging them to complete what they had started.

Verse 9 - Paul refers to incarnational theology (God becoming a person in Jesus Christ) to remind the Corinthians that our faith is meant to be lived out in the practical everyday needs of life like offering gifts to help out another congregation in desperate need. This verse also reminds us of Philippians 2:6-11 which is another incarnational passage. Paul wants the church to be like Jesus and give generously to be a blessing to others.

Paul is reminding us that as we die to ourselves and offer our gifts to others, we are living out the gospel and unleashing God's grace to the world just as Jesus has done through his death and resurrection.

Luke 8:40-48

As we read this passage, it might be helpful to note that Luke who wrote it was a physician (Colossians 4:14) Notice verse 43 where he goes into detail about a person's medical situation. Luke most likely treated people like this.

Notice the creative combines this story of the woman with a medical problem for 12 years with the story of the 12 year old girl.  This is a literary device that connects the two stories.

In the first century, you were not to touch certain people at the risk of getting their disease. In this scripture, Jesus breaks this expected ritual twice by touching both of them!  Notice that in Luke's gospel, he emphasizes the importance of how God is breaking down barriers between men and women.

Jesus was willing to take a risk and offer generosity toward these "unclean" people. Are we willing to be like Jesus, get our hands dirty, and participate in the in-breaking kingdom of God?

[Note: The resources used for these scripture reading commentaries are based on the Everyone series by NT Wright, Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, The Wesley Study Bible, and the “Montreal-Anglican”lectionary commentaries.]

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