The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer
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Introductions to the Readings for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost,November 20, 2016

On the occasion of Stewardship Sunday, we listen with care for God’s Word for our lives as we hear two stories about the ministry of hospitality. 

We begin with a story from the eighteenth chapter of Genesis, verses 1-10a

“God promises Abraham and Sarah longevity”

“The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of the 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 where 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.”

Here ends our first reading from the Hebrew texts.

 

Our responsive hymn this morning is found at

VU260 “God who gives to life its goodness”

 

The good news this morning comes to us once again from the gospel according to Luke.  Listen for care to what happens when two sisters choose to be hospitable to Jesus, each in their own ways. 

A reading from the gospel according to Luke 10: verses 38-42 Jesus visits Mary and Martha”

“Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 

She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 

But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked:

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?  Tell her then to help me.” 

But the Lord answered her:

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. 

Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Check out the video story by Linnea Good of Marth and Mary here MARTHA and MARY

 

Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the church. 

Thanks be to God.