Today is the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost. We move today from the prophet Amos to the prophet Hosea, who likes to use symbolic actions and names to illustrate the Word of God to the people. Check out "have a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom." We also continue reading from Colossians. In the Revised Common Lectionary, which we use at Trinity and is mandatory beginning this Advent, the interesting portion was optional today. We are exhorted to not let anyone condemn us in matters of food or drink or religious festivals because of Christ's victory over the powers and principalities of the universe, and not, as we might expect from someone from the Pauline school, because of our freedom in Christ, although that's at work here too. It's worth a read, especially when you consider that the Book of Common Prayer calls for a slew of just such festivals, both Principal as well as Major and Lesser. And following up on what service means in the Parable of the Good Samaritan two Sundays ago, and putting into proper context service grounded in the Word in the vignette of Martha, Mary, and Jesus last week, we now learn one way to concretely ground our service in the Word in the very words of the Lord's Prayer.
(Above: Gillis van Coninxloo: Mountain Landscape with River Valley and the Prophet Hosea)
And of course, as we always do, we thank God for all God has done in Christ we when celebrate God's very presence among us in the Holy Communion. It was poignant to pray the Lord's Prayer today, and then to go out to live that prayer in our daily lives. Thanks be to God!
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.