Lectionary Reading Introduction

This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading - so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different - often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways. This is an experimental venture and I will see how useful it appears.

Genesis 21:8-21

Within the story, Ishmael was born when Abraham was 86. He is now a hundred - so Ishmael is a teenager. His descendants will also be a nation. In our current context, Jews and Christans look back to Isaac, Muslims look back to Ishmael. Ishmael is present when Abraham is buried (Genesis 25:9).

Jeremiah 20:7-13

This text forms part of the "Confessions of Jeremiah" originating between the fall of Jerusalem (597BC) and his death in Egypt (c.587BC). Jeremiah's friends have become his enemies. The "poor" mentioned here refers to those who cling to God.

Romans 6:1b-11

Baptism is seen in the context of rituals wherein one leaves one sphere and cross the boundary and enter into another. This pictures the death, tomb, and resurrection of Christ.

Matthew 10:24-39

The context of today's text is the Mediteranean village in which there is no privacy. Children discovered the secrets of other families. Secrecy and deception will be overturned in God's reign.
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