October 20, 2019
19th Sunday after Pentecost
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
Gospel Reading: Luke 18:1-8
Something to Do
Proclaim the Message
Our baptismal vows include the promise to proclaim, in word and deed, the Good News of God in Christ? Fulfilling this promise requires us to know what that Good News is – and each of us will have a slightly different answer.
Whatever our answer, though, we are called to proclaim the message – not whisper or suggest or allude to the message. Proclaim it. Your challenge this week is to find a way to do that.
Bonus points if you tell someone from your church community about what you tried and how it felt!
More proclaiming…but less daunting
Choose a Bible passage you really love and proclaim it. This is more than just reading it out loud – it’s about reading it out loud because it’s important and exciting and good news. Read it in such a way that any one who hears you will be drawn to actually listen.
And again with the bonus points: commit it to memory! Something very interesting happens when you memorize even a short passage (more than a verse – it needs to have some sweep) and proclaim it from heart.
Something to Wonder
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful…
How do you react to this claim? Are there parts of scripture that make this hard to believe? If so, which ones and why? How do you explain their inclusion in the Bible?
If you happily embrace this claim, how would you explain your feelings and ideas to a fellow Christian who did not?
Who are the persistent evangelists who have shaped you, patiently teaching and guiding you to deeper understanding and greater faith?
Who are the persistent evangelists of our age and what is their message? Are they teaching truth or just telling stories people want to hear?
What is the message God has entrusted to you? Have you been persistent in sharing it?
Something to Learn
The Network of Biblical Storytellers provides resources and training in this particular art form. See some of their storytellers at work. Learn about what they do and why they do it.
3 Reasons Why the Bible is Worth it
Pete Enns is a biblical studies professor, author, and speaker. His blog is full of witty and thoughtful reflections on the nature and content of the Bible, its lack of inerrancy, and the joys that brings. This entry is particularly lovely: 3 Reasons Why the Bible is Worth It.
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.