Friday, October 29, 2010

Reformation Sunday: Proper 26, Ordinary Time, Year C

You have to watch this on Martin Luther to get you ready for Reformation Sunday:

Here is another one on Gutenberg:


"What a strange mixture of passions must Zaccheus have now felt, hearing one speak, as knowing both his name and his heart!"
John Wesley


“How far are you willing to go to protect a flawed idea? Or to overlook a mistaken assumption? Or to keep intact a broken theory? When it comes to some of our cherished theological formulas, apparently many of us are willing to go pretty far.”  David Loose, Marbury E. Anderson Biblical Preaching Chair, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN


Luke 19:1-10
19He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” 9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

A Little Bit for Everyone


Textweek resources for Luke’s Gospel this Sunday: http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/lk19a.htm

Some interesting articles on this passage:
William Loader’s thoughts:

Commentary by Chris Haslam


Martin Bondi’s “The Short One” from Christianity today:

Great treasures website: http://greattreasures.org/gnt/main.do

Interesting new site by Rev. Jeremy Smith, Musings from a United Methodist Pastor:

• It can be a story of the power of gossip. The crowd had claimed Zacchaeus as a terrible person due to his status. But Zac shows the reputation does not hold water. The crowd is the sinner and Zac is still a sinner but shows how he makes up for his shortcomings. What is the crowd doing other than spreading falsehoods in this passage?
• It can be a story of the power of naming and standing up for one’s self. The crowd named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus spoke the truth. Jesus affirmed the truth. By claiming his name a son of Abraham, Zac named who he was against who they thought he was. Perhaps then the lost Jesus refers to is the crowd not Zac…well, Zac too.
• It can be a different understanding of Salvation being not an event but a person, as Jesus says “salvation has come to this house” could be a reference to Jesus and not the changed heart that dictated an event of salvation. 


Prayer
In our delight we welcome Jesus Christ as guest at our house and in the home of our hearts. Count us among the children of the covenant, among those sinners who were found when Jesus came to seek out and save those sheep that were lost. Adapted rom Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.

Some Thoughts
As you probably know the story of Zacchaeus is only found in Luke’s Gospel. Zacchaeus was a chief tax-agent. He was wealthy, not unlike the wealthy man in the Lazarus parable and the wealthy young man from 18.18. So we are see that Luke has crafted a story which is linked through geography and theme.

Zacchaeus climbs up into the tree trying to see Jesus. He wants to see and know who Jesus is. Previously the blind man (18.38), who could not see, indeed recognizes and knows who Jesus is – the Son of David. The blind see the Messiah; they are healed and follow Jesus. So you and I are meant to pause here, only sentences away, and wonder if Zacchaeus, who can see but is blind to who Jesus is, will gain his sight as well. Will his faith make him well?

Jesus, who is seeking the blind and lost, stops under the sycamore tree and tells Zacchaeus that he is coming to his home. Jesus has come and wishes to “remain,” to dwell with Zacchaeus. This is his opportunity to see who Jesus is. This is the moment when Zacchaeus will have the opportunity to welcome the living word of God into his house, and the home of his heart.

The crowd grumbles. They are upset because Zacchaeus is clearly a sinner and a tax collector. Tax collectors are of course beloved by the minority for whom they work and generally despised by the majority from whom they take the tax. In those days the tax collector collected some seven layers of taxes from the day laborer. They also collected from the overall total some money for themselves upon which to live.

But Zacchaeus is not an ordinary tax collector. He has climbed up into this tree because he has already seen and known that amendment of life is essential in the reign of God. He tells Jesus that he has already been giving away half of his possessions to the poor. And if he has cheated someone he is already making restitution. He is fulfilling the law from Exodus 22.1. Zacchaeus has faith. He is being made well before he ever meets Jesus.

Salvation happens because Zacchaeus is living the life foretold in the Lazarus parable. He is a wealthy person but is making a difference in the lives of others.

This is not simply a moral tale though. It is a story of the reign of God coming and making inroads throughout the community. We are clear in the teachings over the past weeks that piety alone does not mean that individuals will: a) welcome the Lord b) change their lives c) live out through action the will of God. Many will be saved, many will glorify God and many will welcome the Gospel of Jesus, the Living Word into the home of their hearts.

We end our parable today knowing the answer to the question from 18.26: Who then can be saved? A blind beggar and a rich tax collector can be saved.

For you and I, we must ask ourselves the perennial Lukan question: Are we faithful but not acting? Jesus seeks us out hoping to find us living out our faith in the world with him through the changing of people’s lives as in the story of Zacchaeus; or proclaiming and glorifying God as in the story of the blind man, which precedes today’s pericope.

There is that wonderful story of the man who stood up just before the offertory at Christ Church and proclaimed: I am Jesus. The Dean turned to the clergy on his right and said, “What should we do?” The answer: “Look busy.”

Jesus challenges us in Luke’s Gospel to see the Living Word of God, the Son of Man, in the person of Jesus, and to not only look busy but be busy in the kingdom work to which we have been invited.

The Lambeth Bible Study Method
This Bible study method was introduced by the African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. It is known by both names: "Lambeth" and "African." This method is derived from the practice of Lectio Divina. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.

Question #5: "Briefly identify where this passage touches their life today," can change based upon the lesson. Find lesson oriented questions at this website: http://www.dcdiocese.org/word-working-second-question

Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. One person reads passage. This person then invites a member of the group to begin the process.

2. Each person briefly identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention then invites another person to share.

3. Each shares the word or phrase until all have shared or passed using the same invitation method.

4. The passage is read a second time, preferably from a different translation. The reader then invites a person in the group to begin the process.

5. Each person briefly identifies where this passage touches their life today, and then invites someone who has not shared yet.

6. The passage is read a third time, also from another translation, and the reader invites a person to start the process.

7. Each person responds to the questions, "What does God want me to do, to be or to change?"

8. The group stands up in a circle and holds hands. One person initiates the prayer “I thank God today for …” and “I ask God today for…” The prayer goes around the circle by squeezing the hand to your right.

9. When the circle is fulfilled, the person who initiated the prayer starts the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father…”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Proper 25, Ordinary Time, Year C


"The hook in this story

may be our own temptation to identify

with the tax collector and not the Pharisee,

even though the Pharisee may resemble many more of us

in many more ways than we would like to think,

in the life of the church and in our society."

http://www.ucc.org/worship/samuel/october-24-2010-thirtieth.html


Kate Huey, SAMUEL ucc.org:

Sermon Seeds, lectionary citations, weekly theme,

lectionary texts, bulletin back page, 2010.


Couldn’t resist this one either:

"Julien Green’s incisive lines come to mind: 'I want to get rid of the sin from my life,' says the Christian. 'And I will help you,' says Pride, 'That way, we’ll both have a peaceful time of it.'"

Mary Luti’s thoughts from Christianity today:

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=628


Luke 18:9-14

9He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

A Little Bit for Everyone

Oremus online text: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Luke+18:9-14&vnum=yes&version=nrsv

Textweek general resources: http://www.textweek.com/yearc/properc25.htm

Textweek resources for Luke’s Gospel this Sunday: http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/lk18b.htm

Some interesting articles on this passage:

William Loader’s thoughts:

http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/LkPentecost22.htm

Commentary by Chris Haslam

http://montreal.anglican.org/comments/archive/cpr30l.shtml

Russel Rathburn has an interesting take:

http://thehardestquestion.org/yearc/ordinary30gospe/

Mary Luti’s thoughts from Christianity today:

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=628

Great treasures website: http://greattreasures.org/gnt/main.do


Prayer

Silence our prayer when our words praise ourselves. Turn your ears from our cry when our hearts judge our neighbor. Place always on our lips the prayer of the publican: “O God, be merciful to us who are sinners.”

From Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.



Some Thoughts

So this week’s lesson is the second parable of the set, the first one being about the woman and the unjust judge.

After comparing the religion of the day to an unjust judge, he now speaks about and to those same religious leaders who think very highly of themselves. They consider themselves to be the “righteous” ones. So, now we know Jesus is talking to…us.

Yes, we like the “righteous” ones are very eager to point out how all the others just don’t have it quite right. This in fact is one of the church’s greatest sins. We know that whoever the other is doesn’t have it right. We scorn them, we hold them in contempt, we do actually reject them. Sometimes we do this outright by saying, “our way or the highway.” Sometimes we do this by showing out the “other” is wrong in their theological ideas – after all we are all so very certain. Sometimes we reject them by pretending “they” don’t want to be apart of our group. We do this all the time.

And, quite frankly we are sure glad we aren’t’ like them. In fact we will even engage in some small piece of humility, then go right back to our old ways. We are all for confession and forgiveness and then we are right back at the “righteous” acting again.

So, Jesus has our number. He had our number in the story about the rich man and Lazarus. He had our number with the lepers who did not return to give thanks. Jesus has our number with these “righteous” ones. I hate that!

Jesus tells us that our spiritual discipline is to be modeled on the sinner. Hmmmmm. Whenever Jesus goes down this road I believe we all get a little nervous. He tells us that the sinner stood far away. He kept his eyes lowered. He made a sign of repentance. And, he cried out for mercy. This is our work. Over and over and over again.

I don’t know why this has come into my memory but I remembered as I studied and prayed over this passage the prayer from the movie the Hunch Back of Notre Dame by Disney. (That’s right I am about to quote Disney!) Esmeralda is in the Cathedral and here is her prayer:



God Help the Outcasts
Vocals: Esmeralda (Heidi Mollenhauer) and Chorus
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz

Esmeralda
I don't know if You can hear me
Or if You're even there
I don't know if You would listen
To a gypsy's prayer
Yes, I know I'm just an outcast
I shouldn't speak to you
Still I see Your face and wonder
Were You once an outcast too?
God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don't find on earth
God help my people
We look to You still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will

Parishioners
I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me

Esmeralda

I ask for nothing
I can get by
But I know so many
Less lucky than I
Please help my people
The poor and downtrod
I thought we all were
The children of God
God help the outcasts
Children of God


This song and prayer from Esmeralda and the Parishioners shows a similar contrast. The reality is that how we pray reveals who we are. Interesting perhaps to make the observation that perhaps the writers of the song perceive the church to be this way and what does that mean as we sit in our parishes on Sunday morning. Are our prayers and lives as Chrsitians as private as we think. How many people see us day in and day, know us as Christians and wonder about our relationship with God?

I also like the words from Luke Timothy Johnson on this passage:

The parable itself is one that invites internalization by every reader because it speaks to something deep within the heart of every human. The love of God can so easily turn into an idolatrous self-love; the gift can so quickly be seized as a possession; what comes from another can so blithely be turned into self-accomplishment. Prayer can be transformed into boasting. Piety is not an unambiguous posture…The parables together do more than remind us that prayer is a theme in Luke-Acts; they show us why prayers is a theme. For Luke, prayer is faith in action. Prayer is not an optional exercise in piety, carried out to demonstrate one’s relationship with God. It is that relationship with god. The way one prays therefore reveals that relationship. (LTJ, Luke, 274)


We are challenged last week and this week to take our temperature and ask how is our relationship with God? What kind of relationship with God is revealed by our prayer? What kind of faith do I exhibit to God and to the world through my prayer?

The Lambeth Bible Study Method

This Bible study method was introduced by the African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. It is known by both names: "Lambeth" and "African." This method is derived from the practice of Lectio Divina. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.

Question #5: "Briefly identify where this passage touches their life today," can change based upon the lesson. Find lesson oriented questions at this website: http://www.dcdiocese.org/word-working-second-question

Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. One person reads passage. This person then invites a member of the group to begin the process.

2. Each person briefly identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention then invites another person to share.

3. Each shares the word or phrase until all have shared or passed using the same invitation method.

4. The passage is read a second time, preferably from a different translation. The reader then invites a person in the group to begin the process.

5. Each person briefly identifies where this passage touches their life today, and then invites someone who has not shared yet.

6. The passage is read a third time, also from another translation, and the reader invites a person to start the process.

7. Each person responds to the questions, "What does God want me to do, to be or to change?"

8. The group stands up in a circle and holds hands. One person initiates the prayer “I thank God today for …” and “I ask God today for…” The prayer goes around the circle by squeezing the hand to your right.

9. When the circle is fulfilled, the person who initiated the prayer starts the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father…”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Proper 24, Ordinary Time, Year C

"This and the following parable warn us against two fatal extremes, with regard to prayer: the former against faintness and weariness, the latter against self confidence."

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/notes.i.iv.xix.html

from John Wesley’s Notes

Luke 18:1-8

18Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

A Little Bit for Everyone

Oremus online text: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Luke+18:1-8&vnum=yes&version=nrsv

Textweek general resources: http://www.textweek.com/yearc/properc24.htm

Textweek resources for Luke’s Gospel this Sunday: http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/lk18a.htm

Some interesting articles on this passage:

William Loader’s thoughts:

http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/LkPentecost21.htm

Commentary by Chris Haslam: http://montreal.anglican.org/comments/archive/cpr29l.shtml

Interesting new site from bible.org: http://bible.org/seriespage/piety-persistence-penitence-and-prayer-luke-181-14

Another good site from Working Preacher:

http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?lect_date=10/17/2010

Great treasures website: http://greattreasures.org/gnt/main.do

Prayer

Look upon the church gathered in prayer, and grant that we, like your people Israel, may grow in the service of goodness and prevail over the evil that holds the world bound, as we await the coming of that hour when you will grant justice to you chosen ones, who cry to you day and night.

From Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.
Some Thoughts

We know of course that this section of Luke is pure Lukan material. Jesus is teaching about the persistence of prayer, the consistency and perseverance of praying regularly. (Luke Timothy Johnson, Luke, 269)

So our parable is given to us as a story of an unjust judge. He is afraid of no one and everyone is afraid of him. He is not moral and he has no ties to external rules. He is a lone ranger and a maverick on the bench. He doesn’t even fear the Lord.

Then we have the widow. She is one of my favorite biblical characters. She is a boxer and not afraid of the judge, and perfectly willing to go a round or two with him.

She has him so frightened that he thinks she is actually going to hit him. She is going to give the man a black eye. She is coming for him. So he rules in her favor.

We see immediately that the Jesus is saying: be persistent but know that God is going to care for you far more than the unjust judge.

Are you really wrestling with God? Are we engaging in prayer with God which is like fisticuffs? I mean we are encouraged by Jesus to have a relationship with God that is like this woman’s with the judge. We must like Jacob wrestle in the desert.

The bell sounds…round one… round two… round three.

God does not give up on us. But the question remains, are we willing to go all the rounds with God?

It is easy to walk away from this parable and focus on justice. I am not saying that is not important. However, we should remember that Jesus began a number of verses ago dealing with the disciples who said they needed more faith. There is a theme within Luke that shows how difficult it is to follow Jesus to Jerusalem. It will take prayer to build up the foundations of our life so that we may make the spiritual journey ahead of us.

“Prayer is not an optional exercise in piety.” (LTJ, Luke, 276) We as Episcopalians understand the nature of prayer the bedrock of action. Our liturgy is itself a form of prayer engaged with Jesus Christ that moves from living word, to table fellowship, to action in the world.

How we box with God, how many rounds we are willing to go, how engaged we are will often limit or expand our ability to change the world around us.


The Lambeth Bible Study Method

This Bible study method was introduced by the African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. It is known by both names: "Lambeth" and "African." This method is derived from the practice of Lectio Divina. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.

Question #5: "Briefly identify where this passage touches their life today," can change based upon the lesson. Find lesson oriented questions at this website: http://www.dcdiocese.org/word-working-second-question

Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. One person reads passage. This person then invites a member of the group to begin the process.

2. Each person briefly identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention then invites another person to share.

3. Each shares the word or phrase until all have shared or passed using the same invitation method.

4. The passage is read a second time, preferably from a different translation. The reader then invites a person in the group to begin the process.

5. Each person briefly identifies where this passage touches their life today, and then invites someone who has not shared yet.

6. The passage is read a third time, also from another translation, and the reader invites a person to start the process.

7. Each person responds to the questions, "What does God want me to do, to be or to change?"

8. The group stands up in a circle and holds hands. One person initiates the prayer “I thank God today for …” and “I ask God today for…” The prayer goes around the circle by squeezing the hand to your right.

9. When the circle is fulfilled, the person who initiated the prayer starts the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father…”

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Proper 24, Ordinary Time, Year C


"This and the following parable warn us against two fatal extremes, with regard to prayer: the former against faintness and weariness, the latter against self confidence."

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/notes.i.iv.xix.html from John Wesley’s Notes

Luke 18:1-8
18Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

A Little Bit for Everyone
Oremus online text: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Luke+18:1-8&vnum=yes&version=nrsv
Textweek general resources: http://www.textweek.com/yearc/properc24.htm
Textweek resources for Luke’s Gospel this Sunday: http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/lk18a.htm

Some interesting articles on this passage:
William Loader’s thoughts: http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/LkPentecost21.htm
Commentary by Chris Haslam http://montreal.anglican.org/comments/archive/cpr29l.shtml
Interesting new site from bible.org: http://bible.org/seriespage/piety-persistence-penitence-and-prayer-luke-181-14
Another good site from Working Preacher: http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?lect_date=10/17/2010
Great treasures website: http://greattreasures.org/gnt/main.do

Prayer
Look upon the church gathered in prayer, and grant that we, like your people Israel, may grow in the service of goodness and prevail over the evil that holds the world bound, as we await the coming of that hour when you will grant justice to you chosen ones, who cry to you day and night.

From Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.

Some Thoughts
We know of course that this section of Luke is pure Lukan material. Jesus is teaching about the persistence of prayer, the consistency and perseverance of praying regularly. (Luke Timothy Johnson, Luke, 269)


So our parable is given to us as a story of an unjust judge. He is afraid of no one and everyone is afraid of him. He is not moral and he has no ties to external rules. He is a lone ranger and a maverick on the bench. He doesn’t even fear the Lord.

Then we have the widow. She is one of my favorite biblical characters. She is a boxer and not afraid of the judge, and perfectly willing to go a round or two with him.

She has him so frightened that he thinks she is actually going to hit him. She is going to give the man a black eye. She is coming for him. So he rules in her favor.

We see immediately that the Jesus is saying: be persistent but know that God is going to care for you far more than the unjust judge.

Are you really wrestling with God? Are we engaging in prayer with God which is like fisticuffs? I mean we are encouraged by Jesus to have a relationship with God that is like this woman’s relationship with the judge. We must like Jacob wrestle in the desert.

The bell sounds…round one… round two… round three.

God does not give up on us. But the question remains, are we willing to go all the rounds with God?

It is easy to walk away from this parable and focus on justice. I am not saying that is not important. However, we should remember that Jesus began a number of verses ago dealing with the disciples who said they needed more faith. There is a theme within Luke that shows how difficult it is to follow Jesus to Jerusalem. It will take prayer to build up the foundations of our life so that we may make the spiritual journey ahead of us.

“Prayer is not an optional exercise in piety.” (LTJ, Luke, 276) We as Episcopalians understand the nature of prayer is the bedrock of action. Our liturgy is itself a form of prayer engaged with Jesus Christ that moves from living word, to table fellowship, to action in the world.

How we box with God, how many rounds we are willing to go, how engaged we are will often limit or expand our ability to change the world around us.

The Lambeth Bible Study Method
This Bible study method was introduced by the African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. It is known by both names: "Lambeth" and "African." This method is derived from the practice of Lectio Divina. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.

Question #5: "Briefly identify where this passage touches their life today," can change based upon the lesson. Find lesson oriented questions at this website: http://www.dcdiocese.org/word-working-second-question

Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. One person reads passage. This person then invites a member of the group to begin the process.
2. Each person briefly identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention then invites another person to share.
3. Each shares the word or phrase until all have shared or passed using the same invitation method.
4. The passage is read a second time, preferably from a different translation. The reader then invites a person in the group to begin the process.
5. Each person briefly identifies where this passage touches their life today, and then invites someone who has not shared yet.
6. The passage is read a third time, also from another translation, and the reader invites a person to start the process.
7. Each person responds to the questions, "What does God want me to do, to be or to change?"
8. The group stands up in a circle and holds hands. One person initiates the prayer “I thank God today for …” and “I ask God today for…” The prayer goes around the circle by squeezing the hand to your right.
9. When the circle is fulfilled, the person who initiated the prayer starts the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father…”

Friday, October 8, 2010

Proper 23, Ordinary Time, Year C

Reflections from coworker Amanda Petersen, a beautiful and searing reflection on her visit to a leper colony in India. To me it captures the essence of Jesus' injunction, "when you've done it to the least of these, you've done it unto me." God spare us from an antiseptic religion." Seth Barnes http://bit.ly/aVB07w

She writes: I was in a leper colony.

Sitting in a big wood box. Kind of like a bird house. Next to a man with no hands, no tongue, no toes.

Sitting in his own excrement. His face looks like it's melting off. A few of us sit next to him. We put our hands on his shoulder, his knee. We sing to him and pray over him.

He doesn't know English. Tears come. He continuously looks up to the roof. His face is one of desperation.

More tears.

His head drops into what would be his hands.

Tears.

More looking up to the roof. He doesn't know what we are saying. The look that I saw in that man's eyes was a reflection of my heart. It gave face to how my inner being cried out, and still cries out, to Christ.

I can't shake this memory because I don't want to.

I have so many questions about that man's heart - his heart as in the heart that we name as the core of us that is in relationship with God.

I left there with a seed growing with the understanding that relationship and worship and salvation and spirituality and religion and truth and beauty oftentimes look a whole lot different than I would ever expect them to.

Who was he looking to when his eyes went to the roof? What came over him that brought those tears? Did that man not know Christ? Did he not have a relationship with him that blows our American perspective of relationship out of the box?

Sermon Notes

“The thanks and praise of the Samaritan was a natural response to the free and undeserved mercy of God which was his in Christ, just for the asking. He didn't earn the kindness of God. He just asked for it and it was freely given. He knew he couldn't earn it, he was an outcast, a Samaritan.”

http://www.lectionarystudies.com/studyg/sunday28cg.html

Pumpkin Cottage Ministry Resources

Lectionary Bible Studies and Sermons


Luke 17:11-19

11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

A Little Bit for Everyone

Oremus online text: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Luke+17:11-19&vnum=yes&version=nrsv

Textweek general resources: http://www.textweek.com/yearc/properc23.htm

Textweek resources for Luke’s Gospel this Sunday: http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/lk16b.htm

Some interesting articles on this passage:

William Loader’s thoughts:
http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/LkPentecost20.htm

Commentary by Chris Haslam
http://montreal.anglican.org/comments/archive/cpr28l.shtml

Lamin Sanneh teaches missions and world Christianity and history at Yale Divinity School: http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=902

Great treasures website: http://greattreasures.org/gnt/main.do


Prayer

To us sinners, cleansed and forgiven, give a spirit of constant praise and thanksgiving. Let faith be our salvation and service of others our gift of thanks, as we follow your Son toward the cross and new life.
From Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.
Some Thoughts

Last week I concluded with these words:

Christians are called to live between the reign of God and the world of today. We are called to work on God’s behalf. I pray, “Heavenly father give us faith, add to our faith…for the work God give us to do is demanding. Give us some comfort Lord that we may repent when we need amendment of life and forgive when we are bound to tightly to the sin of others.” Like the pilgrims in the dessert waiting outside the caves hoping for a word from the dessert monks, we shout, “Abba, Father, give us a Word.”

This week we receive from Jesus hope for the mission. We are given a Word for the path of demanding work that lies before us.

In the narrative we see our prophet is heading to Jerusalem and his death. We have been listening to his instruction. We have begged for added faith that we may follow. So we find ourselves in Samaria and Galilee.

The ten men follow the prescription in Numbers 5:2ff to call out and warn others away from them. However, this time they call out for help. They call out for mercy.

Not unlike the apostles following Jesus, these men are forgiven, soon to be cleansed and healed. We as followers are like the lepers. We are brought into the family of God, remade sons and daughters of Abraham.

In this moment we see the expectations of the kingdom. We are not to receive thanks but we are to act out of our thanksgiving. We are to offer thanks to God for our healing, for our deliverance. As followers of Jesus gifted with the waters of Baptism and the Holy Spirit you and I are to be thankful for our adoption as full members of Christ’s reign.

We know what it is like to be an outcast, in the words of Jesus, none more so than the foreigner in our midst. Their faith has saved them.

Perhaps when we have faith, even as a mustard seed, we are not only cleansed but supported in our work of redemption and thanksgiving.

You and I are on the one hand like the disciples hungry for faith, because like the other nine we quickly forget what we have received by the grace and mercy of Jesus and long for more. Unlike the leper, with faith like a mustard seed, we struggle to remember daily, even hourly, the gifts given and to glorify God in praise and in action.

Faith therefore is not simply as it says in Hebrews 11:1 "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," it is substantiation of things realized. When we divide faith from works and works from faith we set up both a false dichotomy of competing truths and philosophically protect the human ability to sin without accountability. Faith is the action of thanksgiving; it is the action of living life for God and for others. It is why I am a liturgical Christian where faith is enacted ritually.  It is also why I am focused on the unique proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ - sharing what I have received.  And, it is why I believe in  virtuous work that enacts the Good News as it transforms the world. We as Episcopalians are in the business of enacting Eucharist at table and in the world.

Let us always be on our knees pleading for more faith and giving thanks to God by works which change lives of people, just as Jesus changed the life of the lepers.

The Lambeth Bible Study Method

This Bible study method was introduced by the African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. It is known by both names: "Lambeth" and "African." This method is derived from the practice of Lectio Divina. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.

Question #5: "Briefly identify where this passage touches their life today," can change based upon the lesson. Find lesson oriented questions at this website: http://www.dcdiocese.org/word-working-second-question

Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. One person reads passage. This person then invites a member of the group to begin the process.

2. Each person briefly identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention then invites another person to share.

3. Each shares the word or phrase until all have shared or passed using the same invitation method.

4. The passage is read a second time, preferably from a different translation. The reader then invites a person in the group to begin the process.

5. Each person briefly identifies where this passage touches their life today, and then invites someone who has not shared yet.

6. The passage is read a third time, also from another translation, and the reader invites a person to start the process.

7. Each person responds to the questions, "What does God want me to do, to be or to change?"

8. The group stands up in a circle and holds hands. One person initiates the prayer “I thank God today for …” and “I ask God today for…” The prayer goes around the circle by squeezing the hand to your right.

9. When the circle is fulfilled, the person who initiated the prayer starts the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father…”

Mapping Contents and Themes of Luke's Gospel

Introduction
What follows is a brief introduction to the contents and themes of the Gosopel of Luke. You can download a PDF of this teaching here.

One volume or two?
Like many scholars it is my belief that the Gospel of Luke is the first volume of a two volume work. Luke's Gospel and Acts take up more than 1/3 of the New Testament, so this particular Gospel plays a large part of our understanding of who Jesus is and how the earliest gentile followers understood his mission.

The prologue to Acts is a summary of Luke’s Gospel, and a great place to begin if you are interested in the cliff notes.

Luke Timothy Johnson writes, “The volumes are joined by an intricate skein of stylistic, structural and thematic elements which demonstrate convincingly that the same literary imagination was at work in both.” (LTJ, Luke, I)

Who wrote this Gospel?
Luke, follower of Jesus and partner with Paul, is the person identified in the work of patristic writers, (earliest Christian theologians) and in the letters of Philemon (24), Colossians (4.14) and 2 Timothy (4.11).

Early collections of Christian writings, like the Muratorian Canon, also mention that Luke traveled with Paul. For instance:

“The third gospel according to Luke. After the ascention of Christ, Luke, whom Paul had taken with him as an expert in the way (teaching), wrote under his own name and according to his own understanding. He had not, of course, seen the Lord in the flesh, and therefore he begins to tell the story from the birth of John on, insofar as it was accessible to him” (Muratorian Canon lines 3-9)

The “we” passages in Acts, are written from a first person perspective. This leads many to believe they are written from the vantage point of an eye witness, leading credence to the idea that the author traveled with Paul. These passages are: Acts 16:10-17, 20:5-15, 21:1-18, 27:1-28:16. (LTJ, Luke, 2)

Some say that would make the author too old. There is nothing to preclude a person from having traveled with Paul at age 20 in the year 50, to writing the Gospel in the year 80. Most mainstream scholars place the date of the Gospel of Luke around 70-80.

Some scholars question why Luke doesn’t include the letters of Paul or mention their existence in Acts. Still others aren’t so sure that there are not remnants of the Gospel of Luke in the Pauline letters.

Where do we get the tradition that Luke was a doctor? Eusebius thought he was a doctor from Antioch. And, Col 4, 14, Phlm 24, II Tim 4:11 testify that he was the beloved physician.

To Whom is Luke writing?
Both Luke and Acts are written for the same reader, Theophilus. Scholars believe that Theophilus might have been a new Gentile Christian or the benefactor of the two literary masterpieces. In my mind what is clear is Luke's intent on instructing those who follow Jesus. I have always believed that this reason is why Luke makes a wonderful first Gospel to read as it can help anyone come into contact with Jesus and provide direction and instruction on living a life that follows Jesus.

Luke is well educated, as his arguments and structure within the text demonstrate. He is most certainly a Greek – speaking author, and writing for a Greek – speaking reader. Leading us to believe his community was most likely very similar.

His first readers were Christians. As it says in 1.4, Luke is writing to confirm teachings already held by his readers.

Most of all Luke was a story teller. His intent is story telling, to tell the story of Jesus. He weaves a wonderful tapestry of conversations, events, and miracles along the way to Jerusalem. Luke is certainly an apologetic writer on behalf of the Gentiles. His view of the Empire is also without malice. This gives the tale quite a different reading than Mark’s Gospel for instance for instance.

Some recent scholarship invites speculation that perhaps Luke was writing not only an apology for Christians in general but an apology for Paul’s ministry specifically.


Prophetic Theme
Luke has a prophetic message for the Christian church today. Luke’s Gospel shows a Jesus lifting up the eyes of the people (mostly Gentiles) to see the coming kingdom and to prepare and work for its coming. In the midst of our own worries and church struggles we too need to have our eyes lifted up to the work of God in the restoration of creation.

The prologue leads into the first major section of the Gospel 1:5-4:13. This section moves through the historical antecedents: announcements of the birth of John to the baptism of Jesus, Jesus’ ancestry and his temptation. This section sets the stage that Jesus is himself the one prophesied, the Son of Man, to come and bring the Kingdom of God.

The second section of the Gospel is from 4:14-9:50, it is Jesus' ministry and mission to Galilee. These healings and this action move the reader from the first recognition of the disciples to the confession of Peter the second passion prediction. It also holds major teaching moments on topics such as the Sabbath, the sermon on the plain, and the parable of the sower. This is a very rich section.

The third section is from 9:51-13:30, and it is marked by Jesus beginning his journey to Jerusalem. We have the sharing of mission with the disciples in this section and sending out of the 70. This section holds a number of teachings on the nature of discipleship. Guidance on preparation for the judgment are given by Jesus to both disciples and people alike.

The fourth main section is 13:31-19:27, begins after the teaching to disciples and people and we see a marked and steady march to Jerusalem. This section has the most Lukan material. And, it is in this section that we see Luke’s particular vision of Jesus and how he lays the stage for the story of Acts. It is a major teaching section on discipleship with material dealing with: Jesus need to go to Jerusalem, sitting at table, parables of tower-builder and warrior, parables of lost sheep and lost coin, and the two sons, instructions on attitudes towards earthly goods, the parable of the unjust householder, how to deal with offense, reconciliation, faith, obligation and the blessing children. This section concludes with Zacchaeus almost as an exclamation point to the whole section on discipleship.

The fifth section is 19:28-24:53 where we arrive at Jerusalem and we see the actions unfold as prophesied. We have the last supper and arrest on the Mount of Olives, to the account of the crucifixion and the Easter message of the empty tomb. This last section sets the foundation for Acts. (1.1-1.14)

The Prophets
The Gospel of Luke is a book about the Holy Spirit. It is about the prophetic voice of Jerusalem foretelling through the power of the Holy Spirit the coming of the Messiah, the Son of Man. It is the story of how the Holy Spirit brings about the history of Jesus, who himself will be a great prophet of the Kingdom of God, and who will provide the Holy Spirit that those who follow him may work for the realization of the Kingdom of God in this world.

The apostles are seen as prophetic, these first followers of Jesus are men of the Holy Spirit, filled and empowered to be bold in their proclamation of the Good news and the Word of God. They are witnesses. They work signs and wonders themselves. They preach and perform these wonders among the people.

Jesus is a prophet like Moses. Luke makes major changes in the Joel quote from Peter in Acts (Acts 2:17-21). The changes he makes to Joel 2:28-32 in Peter’s speech. These changes are: after these things in Joel to in these last days. This appears to define the Pentecost moment as an eschatological event in and of itself. He adds the words, “and they shall prophesy” in verse 18, accentuating the prophetic character of the Spirit. And, he adds the words “sings on the earth below” in verse 19, tapping in to the signs and wonder imagery of Luke and in keeping with the idea that with Jesus’ birth a major event occurs that begins the revelation and realization of the kingdom of God in this world.

Luke hangs a great deal of this idea that Jesus himself was a great prophet upon the a passage from Deut 34:10-12. For Luke he believes that this particular passage reveals to the faithful that the the Holy Spirit is speaking specifically of Jesus. There has not arisen a prophet since, or in Israel, like Moses, whom the lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt…and for all the mighty power and all the great and terrible deeds which Moses wrought in the sight of all the people.

The people of Luke's time were people in expectation. They believed that God was going to “raise up a great prophet.” Luke recognizes Jesus as the great prophet and his resurrection takes on even greater meaning in this light. We see Peter in Acts 2:22-24 referring to Jesus in just this way:

“Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst….this Jesus you crucified…but God raised him up.” (LTJ, Luke, 18)

If we hold on to this idea that Jesus is like Moses in the eyes of Luke and we turn again to Acts 7:35-37 we see perhaps a view of the parallel of lives lived.

“This Moses, whom they refused, saying “who made you ruler and judge?” God sent as both ruler and deliverer by the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the bush. He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea an in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, “God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up.” (LTJ, Luke, 18ff)

We cannot know if Luke’s idea of who Jesus was informed his idea of Moses, or the other way around. What is clear is the powerful imagery being used in the telling of this Gospel story for the purpose and empowerment by the Holy Spirit of God’s church.

What is important is the reality that in the Gospel of Luke we have a pattern of authority rooted in the Holy Spirit that follows the succession pattern of Moses. Jesus is a prophet like Moses. Jesus was not simply raised up because he was chosen; Jesus for Luke is the Lord of the Resurrection. Moses received and gave the living words to the people, but Jesus receives the Holy Spirit from God and pours it out on his followers. (LTJ, Luke, 20).

Other Themes
The Prophetic theme is not the only theme in the Gospel. Luke has a positive understanding of the world and history, the lost, the word of God, and conversion.

Affirmation of the World
To affirm the world and culture is not to mean that everything goes. The prophetic imagery leads to very clear religious expectation on social values. We see this especially in the section on discipleship and teaching about how to live life as a prophet of Jesus. (Third and fourth section described above.) Luke pays attention to women, outsiders of all kinds, the poor, and those in need.

The Lost
The prophetic work of the kingdom and its partners in ministry, their lives, and discipleship living in Luke is not given for the destruction of the wicked – but for the saving of the lost. Luke amplifies more than any other gospel the sense that this is Good News. Jesus is philosopher and king, he is savior too, bringing salvation, through signs and saving acts. This theme of salvation, the saving of the lost, is the theme of parables after the teachings on discipleship and daily living. Why do we do these things? To find the lost, comes the answer.

Word of God leads to Conversion
The Word of God is powerful in Luke’s Gospel. It is alive in the people and in their prophetic actions, and in the prophetic actions of Jesus.

Conversion and the disciples’ response are the last two major themes. “God’s restored people answer the challenge of his visitation with fruits worthy of repentance (Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20. People who hear the word are converted, by their turning around, their metanoia, literally their facing a different direction (away from worldly values to kingdom values). The followers of Jesus respond with faith, which for Luke is defined by hearing the word and patient endurance. It is not a momentary decision but a journey, it is a response daily. This is nurtured by faith in Luke’s Gospel. And, this work changes the way we live our lives. Following Jesus means that we change our social behavior to imitate God. Luke Timothy Johnson writes, “The opening of home and heart to the stranger is explicitly connected to the theme of accepting or rejecting the prophet. Luke provides concrete examples of the proper response of hospitality in Luke 10:38 and Acts 16. In the same way, as the Messiah showed leadership as a kind o table-service, so is leadership in the messianic community to be on of service spelled out in the simple gestures of practical aid.

The Road Map to the Gospel of Luke

When preparing to read through a Gospel it is good to see the landscape of the text. Here is a great road map to see the journey of Jesus and his followers through the Gospel of Luke.

The sections are according to Luke Timothy Johnson (Luke, Sacra Pagina, 1991.)
Descriptions by Werner George K├╝mmel (Introduction to New Testament, trans. Kee, 1973.)

The prologue
1:5-4:13
Chs. 1-2: names and places of origin of Jesus; genealogy of Jesus (1:1¬17); birth and naming of Jesus (1:18-25); homage of the Magi in Bethlehem (2: 1-12); flight to Egypt (2: 13-15); slaughter of the children in Bethlehem (2: 16-18 ); return from Egypt and residence in Nazareth (2: 19-23). 3: 1-4: 16: preparation for the activity of Jesus: John the Baptist (3 :1-12); baptism of Jesus (3:13-17); temptation of Jesus and residence in Capernaurn (4:1¬3) .

The second section
4:14-9:50
4:17-16:20. After the account of the call of Jesus' first disciples (4: 18-22) and his first teaching and healing activity (4:23-25), portrayal of his action through word (5-7: sermon on the mount) and act (8-9): ten miracles, interrupted by conversations (8: 18¬22; 9:9-17): healing of the leper (8:1-4); healing of the servant of the official from Capernaum (8: 5-13), of Peter's mother-in-law and of many sick (8: 14-17); dismissal of unsuitable followers; stilling the storm (8 :23-27); healing the Gadarene demoniac (8:28-34), of a lame man (9:9-13); question of fasting (9:14-17); healing of Jairus' daughter and of the hemorrhaging woman (9:18-26), of two blind men (9:27-31), and of a mute demoniac (9:32-34).


The third section
9:51-13:30
Conversations follow in Chs. 11 and 12, framed by the discourses of Chs. 10 and 13 and introduced by a new description of the teaching and healing work of Jesus (9:35-38). Sending out of the twelve and address to the disciples: instructions for the mission; words concerning the fate of the disciples; warning about fearless confession and suffering (10: 1-11:1); Jesus and the Baptist (11: 2-19); pronouncement of woe on the cities of Galilee (11:20-24); shout of joy and summons of the Savior (11:25-30); conflict conversations with the Pharisees (Sabbath conflict; defama¬tion of Jesus as being in league with Beelzebub, demand for signs) 12:1-45; the true relatives of Jesus 12:46-50; seven parables of the kingdom of God (Sower, with explanation; mustard seed, leaven; treasure; pearl; fishnet) 13 :1-30.

The fourth section
13:31-19:27
Jesus’ rejection in Nazareth is found in (13:31-58). Then follows a series of reports which show Jesus as itinerant, beginning and ending with the question who Jesus is (14: 1-16 :20) : Herod's opinion about Jesus (14: 1-2); arrest of the Baptist (14:3-12); feeding of the five thousand (14:13-21); Jesus' walking on the lake and Peter's sinking (14:22-23); healings in Gennesaret (14: 34-36); discourse on clean and unclean (15: 1¬20) ; Jesus and the Canaanite woman (1 5:21-28); healings of the sick (15:29-31); feeding of the four thousand (15:32-39); de¬mand for signs (16:1-4); warning about the leaven of the Phari¬sees (16: 5-12); Peter's confession at Caesarea Philippi (16: 13 -20) . 16:21-25:46. First prediction of the passion (16:21-23) ; sayings about the sufferings of the disciples and the coming of the Son of man (16:24-28); transfiguration and conversation about the return of Elijah (17:1-13); healing of the epileptic boy (17:14-21); second passion prediction (17:22-23); question about the temple tax (17:24-27); discourse on discipleship (sayings about behavior toward the "little ones," about offenses, about behavior within the community, parable of the roguish servant, 18:1-35); conversations about marriage and divorce (19: 1-12); blessing of children (19:13-15); the rich young man (19:16-26);

The fifth section
19:28-24
We begin this last section with a teaching on the reward for following Jesus (19:27-30); parable of the workers in the vineyard (20:1-16); third passion prediction (20:17-19); Jesus and the sons of Zebedee (20:20-28); healing of the two blind men near Jericho (20:29-34); procession toward Jerusalem (21:1¬11); cleansing the temple (21:12 f); homage of the children in the temple (21:14-17); cursing of the fig tree (21:18-22); ques¬tion of authority (21:23-27); parable of the dissimilar sons (21:28¬32), of the evil vineyard-workers (21:33-46), and of the royal marriage (22:1-14); question of the Pharisees about the tribute money (22:15-22) ; question of the Sadducees concerning the resurrection (22:23-33); question of the Pharisees about David's son as Messiah (22 :41-46); discourse against the Pharisees and scribes, including seven woes (23:1-36); lament over Jerusalem
(23:37-39). Eschatological chapters: 24-25; destruction of the temple (24:1f); warning signs of the End (24:3-14); the great tribulation (24:15-28); the parousia of the Son of man (24:29¬31); determining the End (24:32-36); parables of the flood, of the watchful master of the household, of the faithful and slothful servants, of the ten maidens, of the entrusted talents (24:37-25: 30); prediction of the judgment of the world by the Son of man (25:31-46).

Conclusion: Passion Narrative and Resurrection Report 26:1¬
28:20. Passion narrative (26:1-27:56): decree of death (26:1-5); anointing in Bethany (26:6-13); Judas' betrayal (26:14-16); preparation of the Passover (26:17-19); identification of the be¬trayer and institution of the Lord's Supper (26:20-30); prediction of the denial, Gethsemane, capture of Jesus, hearing before the high council, denial of Peter (26: 31-75); handing over Jesus to Pilate, death of Judas, proceedings before Pilate, condemnation, mocking, way to Golgotha, crucifixion and death of Jesus (27:1¬56); burial (27:57-61); guard at the tomb (27:62-66). Resur¬rection report (28: 1-20): message of the resurrection at the empty tomb (28:1-8); appearance of the risen Lord to the women (28:9 f); the Jewish lie about the theft of the body of Jesus (28 :11-1 5); final word of the risen Lord to his disciples on a mountain in Galilee: command to evangelize and to baptize (28: 16¬-20).