Jeanyne Slettom

Proper 7

June 24, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Job 38:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 107: 1-3, 23-32
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Reading 4: 
Mark 4:35-41
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Job 38:1-11

Proper 6

June 17, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
I Samuel 15:34-13
Reading 2: 
Psalm 20
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13), 14-17
Reading 4: 
Mark 4:26-34
Alt Reading 1: 
Ezekiel 17:22-24
By Jeanyne B Slettom

I Samuel 15:34-13

All these readings make a point of lifting up the smallest and the ones typically overlooked. It is both a subtle way of challenging our societal values of biggest and most impressive as best, and, at the same time, a way to demonstrate the intrinsic value of all life to God.

Proper 5

June 10, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
I Samuel 8:4-11, 16-20, 11:14-15
Reading 2: 
Psalm 138
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Reading 4: 
Mark 3:20-35
By Jeanyne B Slettom

The two-track option offered in Ordinary Time by the lectionary committee presents preachers with a choice: commit to one track or jump back and forth between the historical (characters and stories) and complementary (linked to gospel theme) tracks. This commentary, for the rest of June, will jump around.

I Samuel 8:4-11, 16-20, 11:14-15

Proper 4

June 3, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 6:1-8
Reading 2: 
Psalm 29
Reading 3: 
Romans 8:12-17
Reading 4: 
John 3:1-17
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Isaiah 6:1-8

Pentecost

May 27, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 2:1-21
Reading 2: 
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Reading 3: 
Romans 8:22-27
Reading 4: 
John 15: 26-27; 16:4b-15
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Acts 2:1-21

Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 20, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Reading 2: 
Psalm 1
Reading 3: 
I John 5:9-13
Reading 4: 
John 17:6-19
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

This text follows the general theme of legitimating the early Jesus movement via appeals to the Hebrew bible and the work of the Spirit. It also emphasizes continuity with Jewish history by reinforcing the number 12—12 disciples/apostles, 12 patriarchs, 12 tribes of Israel. A quick Internet search results in literally millions of sites that discuss the significance of “12” in numerology, mathematics, and the Bible.

Sixth Week of Easter

May 13, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 10:44-48
Reading 2: 
Psalm 98
Reading 3: 
I John 5:1-6
Reading 4: 
John 15:9-17
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Acts 10:44-48

Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 6, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 8:26-40
Reading 2: 
Psalm 22:25-31
Reading 3: 
I John 4:7-21
Reading 4: 
John15:1-8
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31

Exegetically speaking, the text from Acts is preoccupied with the prophecy-fulfillment task of Luke—to show Jesus as the fulfillment of Hebrew Bible prophecies, and to link Jesus specifically with the “suffering servant” verses in Isaiah. By specifying a black, African Gentile, the text also illustrates another strong theme of Luke’s; namely, universalism. That the encounter is precipitated by an “Angel,” and the “Spirit” of the Lord reinforces the legitimacy of the nascent church and its outreach.

Proper 26A

October 30, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Joshua 3:7-17
Reading 2: 
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
Reading 3: 
I Thessalonians 2:9-13
Reading 4: 
Matthew 23:1-12
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Joshua 3:7-17

Proper 25A

October 23, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Reading 2: 
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Reading 4: 
Matthew 22:34-46
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Proper 13A

July 31, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 55:1-5
Reading 2: 
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21
Reading 3: 
Romans 9:1-5
Reading 4: 
Matthew 14:13-21
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Isaiah 55:1-5

These verses are like a GPS guiding us toward what is of real value—bread that fills, labor that satisfies. They come at the end of what is now regarded as the Second Isaiah portion of this book, written sometime during the Babylonian exile, but the language of comfort, hope—and direction— speaks to alienated and forlorn people of any time or place.

Proper 12A

July 24, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
I Kings 3:5-12
Reading 2: 
Psalm 119:129-136
Reading 3: 
Romans 8:26-39
Reading 4: 
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
By Jeanyne B Slettom

I Kings 3:5-12

Psalm119:129-136

Proper 11A

July 17, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 4:4:6-8
Reading 2: 
Psalm 86:11-17
Reading 3: 
Romans 8:12-25
Reading 4: 
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Isaiah 44:6-8

Proper 10A

July 10, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 55:10-13
Reading 2: 
Psalm 65:(1-8), 9-13
Reading 3: 
Romans 8:1-11
Reading 4: 
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Isaiah 55: 10-13

Psalm 65: (1-8), 9-13

Proper 9A

July 3, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Song of Songs 2:8-13
Reading 2: 
Psalm 145:8-14
Reading 3: 
Romans 7:15-25a
Reading 4: 
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Song of Songs 2:8-13

Song of Songs is probably not at the top of a preacher’s list for biblical books from which to preach—especially now that so many exegetes have dropped the pretense of this being an allegory for the love between God and Israel. But because of its context, it is not, by reverse logic, merely a secular love poem. By virtue of its being in the canon, we are required to give it theological consideration.

3rd Sunday of Easter

May 8, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Reading 2: 
Psalm 116:1-4:12-19
Reading 3: 
I Peter 1:17-23
Reading 4: 
Luke 24: 13-35
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
If we read the entire book of Acts as a narrative arc that brings the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome, then these early chapters are essential for establishing the kernel out of which the Christian church will grow. Therefore it is interesting that the key message in this passage is the call to repent—which parallels the start of Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15).

2nd Sunday of Easter

May 1, 2011
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Reading 2: 
Psalm 16
Reading 3: 
1 Peter 1:3-9
Reading 4: 
John 20.19-31
By Jeanyne Slettom

Overview

4th Sunday of Advent

December 19, 2010
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 7:10-16
Reading 2: 
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Reading 3: 
Romans 1:1-7
Reading 4: 
Matthew 1:18-25
By Jeanyne Slettom

These Advent texts have focused a lot on what I’ve been calling—borrowing from Isaiah—the Holy Way of God. This is the way of economic and social justice, where goods are distributed in such a way that everyone has enough to sustain life, where power is not used to oppress, where compassion and respect guide all interpersonal (and interspecies) relationships. It is the message that Jesus will preach in parables and the beatitudes and such powerful examples as Matthew 25:40, where he asks us to evaluate ourselves by the criterion of how well we treat the “least of these” among us.

3rd Sunday of Advent

December 12, 2010
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 35:1-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 146:5-10, Luke 1:47-55
Reading 3: 
James 5:7-10
Reading 4: 
Matthew 11:2-11
By Jeanyne Slettom

Isaiah 35:1-10

2nd Sunday of Advent

December 5, 2010
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 11:1-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Reading 3: 
Romans 15:4-13
Reading 4: 
Matthew 3:1-12
By Jeanyne Slettom

This Sunday’s texts again invite criticism of the status quo—what Crossan and Borg call the “domination system”—by describing an alternate vision of creation. They raise the question of true authority, and how to recognize it, and return to the theme of repentance, interpreted as turning away from one path—the path of kings and nations, Caesar and empire—and taking another—the path of God, Christ, and Creation.

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