There's a lot of traveling, delivering, and visiting going on in our readings today. In Genesis Abraham cares for the needs of three mysterious travelers. The psalm responds, celebrating the kind of righteousness that Abraham practices. Then, in his letter to the Colossians, Saint Paul describes his own ministry as almost like a delivery service: he, God's steward, brings the word of God to their community. Finally, Luke's Gospel shares the well-known story of Mary and Martha, and the different ways they welcome Jesus into their home. Amid all this coming and going, we are invited to pay attention to the ways we tend to the needs of others. Each of us can ask, How am I present to God and others in my life?
There's a different pace to a summer Sunday, especially on those days when we dream of air conditioning and wave any available paper to stir the air. Yet we persist in gathering, even with so many breaks from the usual routines. We distance ourselves not only from routines, but from schedules and familiar well-worn paths. These are playful days and contemplative days. We see long-lost friends and visit almost-forgotten places.READ MORE
The Old Testament reading from Deuteronomy praises God for inscribing the commandments in our very bodies. God’s law is not distant or foreign, but a natural part of us. In his letter to the Colossians, Saint Paul echoes Moses, praising God for becoming one of us. The truly human, flesh-and-blood Jesus reminds us that God always wants to be recognizable and familiar to us. Jesus, who is also truly God, wants to be on intimate terms with each of us.
God’s passionate desire to be known by us is almost too wonderful to take in. Luke’s Gospel helps us understand how to respond. The Good Samaritan parable provides practical advice for those who believe in God’s intimate love for them and want to share that love with others.
Today’s readings celebrate God’s providence. No matter how wonderful (or heartbreaking) our relationships are, God always provides for us. No one cares for us the way God does.
Isaiah delights us with a deeply intimate image of God caring for us “as a mother comforts her child.” The prophet describes us not as the usual “children of God,” but as “babies.” We should not resist this image, but rejoice in it. Trusting in God’s care, we can all let down our guard and rest like infants in the lap of our mother.READ MORE