St. John’s EBCs, Everyday Bible Conversations!
For the week leading to worship, Sunday, July 5th.
This week’s Theme: Sing and Clap! Readings: Job 41:1-8; 42:1-17
Isaiah 55; Luke 21:29-31
Summary of the Readings
This week’s Narrative Lectionary focuses on Job 41 and 42. St. John’s sermon is looking at Isaiah 55 and Luke 21. We have reached the end of Job, where Job, through all of his suffering, has remained faithful and continues to declare God’s power. God restores Job’s fortunes and provides for a new family. The theme of God renewing his covenant is amplified in Isaiah 55. There God invites his people to God’s gifts, emphasizing that they are free. Then God expressly extends his covenant to love us forever. We are assured that God will work through us, and even the trees “shall clap their hands.” In Luke, Jesus provides still further assurance of God’s promise. He uses the image of a leafing fig tree to assure the disciples that just as we know it is summer when the trees are sprouting leaves, we will know when the kingdom of God is near.
A Creation Question:
The passage from Isaiah personifies the mountains, hills and trees, describing them as “singing” and “clapping.” When is the last time you sang for the beauty of creation or the gifts of God? Have you clapped? In these pandemic times, your singing may be more alone, but God still hears it!
An Everyday Question:
In the end of Luke 21, Jesus seems to be speaking of the end times (the Coming of the Son of Man), but his imagery is a very seasonal and life-affirming event – trees sprouting leaves. Does Jesus use the image of spring growth simply to convey certainty (like the rising of the sun, or the turning of the seasons) that Jesus will return? Or is this springtime analogy meant perhaps to convey other layers of meaning about “the kingdom of God [being] near?” What do you think some other layers of meaning might be?
An Action Step:
Stay safe, but don’t be afraid to sing and clap your hands! The Lord is listening!
Don’t like these questions? Do these verses say something different to you? Great! What it is?
Find a friend (or two or many) and take an EBC coffee break! Find 15-25 minutes somewhere in the week and come to share or just listen and enjoy (virtual) company. Have fun finding God this week in your Everyday Life!