Proper 16 Year B

The meal of the Eucharist is full communion with all God’s creation, by Dennis Ormseth

Excerpt: Food that perishes,” and “food that endures for eternal life,” two kinds of eating, different in nature, but the interaction of which can work for the restoration of the creation: this is the hope to which our reading of the Scriptures for these last several Sundays has led us. The key issue, as Norman Wirzba frames it, is to what extent “what we eat and how we eat it reflect whether or not we think we need to abide with others at all.” Our reading of the Scriptures for the past two Sundays, we have found, shows that the question of “abiding” matters greatly, or ought to, for congregations gathered to hear the teaching of Jesus. In both details and thematic development of the narrative, the feeding story from the Gospel of John, along with the lessons that accompany it, enfolds the eating of “food that perishes” within an eating of “food that endures for eternal life,” in such a way that that it provides a basis for addressing the growing crisis of our relationship to the earth that sustains us (see our comments on the readings for the Ninth and Tenth Sundays after Pentecost).

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Reflection on Ephesians 6: 10-20, by the Rev Dcn Helen B. Hanten

Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. (vs 19)

Paul is in prison as he writes that he needs the prayers of others that he may have voice to speak boldly. What is our reason for needing more courage to tell in a bold voice what we believe to be true? Many of us believe in our hearts that the earth is the Lord’s, that the creator is still active in the creation and that our stewardship of the creation is a spiritual and theological issue, not just a good idea for future generations. How can we speak more boldly? What chains are holding us back?  Who will pray that ambassadors for good stewardship will speak more boldly?