Year B, Proper 12
The first set of lectionary texts continues the theme of leadership, but it is leadership gone awry.
The second set gives us imagery of being fed and feeding, spiritually and literally.
- 2 Samuel 11 – the story of David and his seduction of Bathsheba; the death of her husband, Uriah, through David’s orders
- Psalm 14 – In echo of David’s straying from the ways of God, the psalm speaks of those who have strayed from God and their terror. It ends with hope for deliverance from evil.
- 2 Kings – First fruits are brought to Elijah as offering to God and Elijah uses them to feed the people.
- Psalm 145 – A song of praise to God and God’s abundance, “The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.”
- Ephesians 3 – The writer prays for the congregation that they will be “strengthened in their inner being.” A metaphor for this could be fed spiritually. So you will have “power through [Christ’s] Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.”
- John 6 – Jesus’ through the power of God miraculously feeds the 5000 with five barley loaves and two fish.
- For the first set of lectionary texts, 2 Samuel and Psalm 14, I would consider at story often told by our Jewish brothers and sisters at Yom Kippur about “the scapegoat.” On the Storyfest Journey website you can find is under the title, “The Floppy-eared Goat.” http://www.storyfestjourneys.com/listen-to-stories-here/tales-from-the-peoples-of/middle-eastern-tales/jewish-tales-the-middle/the-floppy-eared-goat-israe.html .
- In the second set of texts with the imagery of feeding two stories come to my mind.
- The story of “Stone Soup” is a folktale in many different cultures. The classis motif is that a beggar or a group of soldiers come to a town or to a particular house in a town and ask for something to eat. The people in the town or often, the widow opening the door are stingy and afraid of strangers. So they say they have nothing to eat themselves. The beggar (or group of soldiers) proceeds to offer making “stone soup”. They pull out their stone and proceed to ask for a big pot to boil water. As the evening progresses the soup makers wish for bits of vegetables, or a beef bone or a bit of butter for the broth. The stingy folks out of curiosity begin to share their food until a wonderful soup is made. You can find several versions of this popular folk tale at http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type1548.html#stonesoup .
- Another wonderful “feeding” story is a St. Peter’s story from Sicily. It is called “Bread and Stones.” You can find it at http://www.storyfestjourneys.com/listen-to-stories-here/tales-from-the-peoples-of/european-tales/italy/folktales-of-italy/bread-and-stones-sicily.html .
©Jane Anne Ferguson, 2015 and beyond. Text and photos to be used with permission only.