Church Notes from the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday closest to July 13

Proper 10. Track 2.

It turned out that I was the assigned reader for the first lesson and my wife Mia the reader for the second, but nobody had informed us of this. So we had to wing it. We did OK.

Amos 7:7-15. Amos and I go way back. I was in a Bible study on this book at Stanford back in 1973 or 1974 and it has permanently colored my view of religion and society. The King here must be Jeroboam II. One thing I have only recently come to understand is that at this time Israel was much more powerful and prosperous than Judah. So Amaziah says “Go back to the land of Judah” he is saying that Amos is just a hick and should not be bothering the people of Israel.

Ephesians 1:3-14. Quite a contrast from Amos! The two lessons have a bad cop/good cop contrast. These fancy Pauline sentences were a lot harder to read than the straightforward words of Amos. Well done, Mia!

Mark 6:14-29. The Death of John the Baptist. The last time I heard a sermon on this story the preacher pointed out the really implausible part: You would think that a teenage girl, offered anything she could ask for, would not need to talk to her mother about what to ask for! Our preacher this Sunday said we can imagine this as a party gone bad, with too much booze and people saying crazy things.

Which Herod was which? Sorting out the five Herods may be helpful.

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