Weekly Introduction to the Readings of the Revised Common Lectionary (Proper 11C / Ordinary 16C)

Amos 8:1-12

Amos is an 8th century prophet from a humble background (he calls himself a “dresser of sycamore trees”).  He prophesies to the northern kingdom about a coming day of the Lord.  Amos continually reminds us of God’s concern for economic justice.  Amos prophesies against merchants who were using unfair scales and balances to rob people in the market place. The end result was that the merchants were “buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals.”  The prophet warns those who do not practice economic justice that God will “never forget any of their deeds.”

Psalm 52

In Psalm 52 the psalmists takes to task the boasting of a powerful enemy.  This enemy takes refuge in riches and wealth.  The Psalmist however takes refuge in the steadfast love of the LORD.  The psalmist declares that God will snatch the bragger from his tent and uproot him from the land of the living.

Luke 10:38-42

Our gospel lection is the story of Mary and Martha entertaining Jesus.  As you likely remember Mary spends the time Jesus is at her home at his feet listening to his teachings.  Martha busies herself with the normal duties of hosting.  Martha becomes indignant with Mary because she does not get up to help.  Jesus, however, commends Mary for choosing the “better part.”  Martha is chastised for being “worried and distracted by many things.”  The story illustrates how easily we set aside the Word of God because of the pace of our frenetic lives.

Celebration of Worship

As you prepare your hearts, minds, prayers, and hymns for Sunday consider the danger of relying on our industry, on our wealth to provide us place in the kingdom of God.  Such scramble for approval puts the temptation of the mistreatment of others before us.  Our call is to trust in God’s steadfast love, and to seek after God’s word above all.

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