Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7. Jeremiah encourages the exiles in Babylon to settle into their new country, to build homes and lives there among the Babylonian people and to work for the prosperity of their new land.
Psalm 66:1-11. A call for all the earth to praise the God who rules over all, and for all nations to bless God.
2 Timothy 2:8-15. Although Paul is imprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Christ’s resurrection, the Gospel itself is not imprisoned. God offers life to those who die with Christ, and God remains always faithful, which is why Paul encourages Timothy to remind people of these things and to continue to serve and teach faithfully.
Luke 17:11-19. Jesus sends ten men with a skin disease to show themselves to the priests and they are healed as they go, but only one, a Samaritan, returns to give thanks.
Rev Tania writes:
It’s not the first time the Lectionary has brought us face to face with the scandalous inclusivity of the Gospel, but that’s the thread running through all of this week’s readings.
As tempting as it may be to find ways to draw lines and keep some people out for whatever reason, the Scriptures do not allow us that luxury – and, in truth, our world desperately needs us to be people who, like Christ, embrace, include and welcome all people indiscriminately.
The thread running through all of the readings is about “outsiders” being included in God’s grace and among God’s people – or of God’s people making themselves at home with those with whom they would normally not have associated. Jeremiah encourages the exiles to settle in Babylon. The Psalm calls all the earth and all people to join in the praise of God. Jesus heals a group of men with skin diseases, including a despised Samaritan, and only the ‘outsider’ Samaritan returns to give thanks.
And Paul celebrates the Gospel that is not imprisoned, but, through God’s faithfulness is available to all.
It’s a week to celebrate the indiscriminate, all-encompassing love, grace and life of God, and to hear the call to live this radical inclusivity in our times and circumstances. May our worship this week lead us into the scandalous inclusivity of Christ again – and there find a welcome not just for ourselves, but for all.
Blessings as we seek to live a Gospel-centered life! Rev. Tania.