On this Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, we begin a series of readings from the prophet Jeremiah, and today we read about the prophet's call and commission from God. The book of Jeremiah records in prose and poetry the last years of Jerusalem as an independent city and capital of the Southern Kingdom of Judah before it was conquered finally in 586 BC. If the dating of the prologue is accurate, Jeremiah records events from about 627 BC to 586 BC. We continue to read from the Letter to the Hebrews, and the excerpt today compares the vision of God that Moses and the Israelites saw on the mountain during the Exodus to the new Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, and the "innumerable angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven." And I today's Gospel from Luke, we hear the story of how Jesus healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath while at a synagogue. The official who kept saying "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day." brought a bit of a grin as I was proclaiming the Gospel today. How protective we can be about our worship and customs, and how blind we can be to change and growth!
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.