Tag Archives: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

God’s Outrageous Promise

Genesis 18: 1–15

A Son Promised to Abraham and Sarah

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.’ So they said, ‘Do as you have said.’ And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ Then one said, ‘I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?’ The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.’ But Sarah denied, saying, ‘I did not laugh’; for she was afraid. He said, ‘Oh yes, you did laugh.’

 

You turn up in the strangest of ways Lord.

As I sit
doing nothing really,
resting from the heat,
taking the air.

As strangers passing by
who I can’t help but invite in,
to offer respite from their journey,
shade from the heat,
an opportunity to wash,
refresh and feed.

And in them,
in that action
you speak to me.

God of presence
how will you appear to me?

Who are you bringing before me today?

Who are the strangers
who have so much to teach me,
to show me,
to point me to you,
to truth,
to hope?

Who are you asking me to entertain,
to feed,
to give rest?

Who are you calling me to tend,
to care for,
to refresh?

To listen to?

To receive from?

Who is bringing your word to me
that I might have missed
if I hadn’t invited them in?

How are you going to speak to me?

Please don’t play with me God
you know the pain I carry
deep within,
the feeling of failure,
of emptiness,
of letting this precious man down.

Don’t toy with my emotions
and allow me to hope.

My hope is gone,
my time is over,
what I believed was my purpose
has slipped by.

And yet
you turn up
and make an outrageous promise.

God of promise
who made such an outrageous promise to Sarah,
what promises are you making to me today?

What are you calling me to
that I can’t believe?

What are you asking me to trust you about?

What faith, trust, promise can I carry for you today?

I offer you what I have,
however I feel about it
and leave you
to do the rest.

Bless me
in the unexpected,
the outrageous,
in giving
and in receiving.

May I see you,
invite you in,
hear you
and join with you
on an outrageous journey of faith.

 

Let It Grow

IMAG0715

Tiny,
hard,
unbroken

yet packed
with life,
potential,
growth.

Just waiting
for the right conditions,
care,
nourishment.

From such small beginnings
will come life,
hope,
a future,
something
so much more
than what we see today.

Who will plant,
nurture,
wait
and see?

What will grow
in me,
in you,
if we allow it,
give it time
and care?

Plant your seeds in me Lord
and may I allow them to grow.

Plant your seeds,
scattered
in the whole world,
and may I be part of the nurturing.

May the world
be verdant
with your life
and abundance,
in the rich variety
of crops.

 IMAG0749SAM_0279

Mark 4:26-34 (CEV)

Another Story about Seeds

26 Again Jesus said:

God’s kingdom is like what happens when a farmer scatters seed in a field.27 The farmer sleeps at night and is up and around during the day. Yet the seeds keep sprouting and growing, and he doesn’t understand how. 28 It is the ground that makes the seeds sprout and grow into plants that produce grain. 29 Then when harvest season comes and the grain is ripe, the farmer cuts it with a sickle.

A Mustard Seed

30 Finally, Jesus said:

What is God’s kingdom like? What story can I use to explain it? 31 It is like what happens when a mustard seed is planted in the ground. It is the smallest seed in all the world. 32 But once it is planted, it grows larger than any garden plant. It even puts out branches that are big enough for birds to nest in its shade.

The Reason for Teaching with Stories

33 Jesus used many other stories when he spoke to the people, and he taught them as much as they could understand. 34 He did not tell them anything without using stories. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

God’s Ways

God’s ways
are not our ways;
his criteria
are not the ones we use.
He doesn’t look at
age,
status,
looks,
what other people think;
he judges only
by what is in someone’s heart.

Forgive me Lord,
the times I have listened
to the wrong people,
been swayed
by the way someone looks
or the status others give them;
when I have missed
the gifts of others,
because I looked too hard at the outer wrapper
and not what was within.

May I allow myself to be surprised by you
and how you work
and work with you.

1 Samuel 15:34-16:13 (CEV)

34 Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his home in Gibeah.35 Even though Samuel felt sad about Saul, Samuel never saw him again.

The Lord Chooses David To Be King

The Lord was sorry he had made Saul the king of Israel. 16 One day he said, “Samuel, I’ve rejected Saul, and I refuse to let him be king any longer. Stop feeling sad about him. Put some olive oil in a small container and go visit a man named Jesse, who lives in Bethlehem. I’ve chosen one of his sons to be my king.”

Samuel answered, “If I do that, Saul will find out and have me killed.”

“Take a calf with you,” the Lord replied. “Tell everyone that you’ve come to offer it as a sacrifice to me, then invite Jesse to the sacrifice. When I show you which one of his sons I have chosen, pour the olive oil on his head.”

Samuel did what the Lord told him and went to Bethlehem. The town leaders went to meet him, but they were terribly afraid and asked, “Is this a friendly visit?”

“Yes, it is!” Samuel answered. “I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Get yourselves ready to take part in the sacrifice and come with me.” Samuel also invited Jesse and his sons to come to the sacrifice, and he got them ready to take part.

When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel noticed Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab. “He has to be the one the Lord has chosen,” Samuel said to himself.

But the Lord told him, “Samuel, don’t think Eliab is the one just because he’s tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I’ve chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.”

Jesse told his son Abinadab to go over to Samuel, but Samuel said, “No, theLord hasn’t chosen him.”

Next, Jesse sent his son Shammah to him, and Samuel said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen him either.”

10 Jesse had all seven of his sons go over to Samuel. Finally, Samuel said, “Jesse, the Lord hasn’t chosen any of these young men. 11 Do you have any more sons?”

“Yes,” Jesse answered. “My youngest son David is out taking care of the sheep.”

“Send for him!” Samuel said. “We won’t start the ceremony until he gets here.”

12 Jesse sent for David. He was a healthy, good-looking boy with a sparkle in his eyes. As soon as David came, the Lord told Samuel, “He’s the one! Get up and pour the olive oil on his head.”

13 Samuel poured the oil on David’s head while his brothers watched. At that moment, the Spirit of the Lord took control of David and stayed with him from then on.

Samuel returned home to Ramah.