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1/28/24 Sermon

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Isaiah 16

New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

16 Send lambs    

to the ruler of the land,from Sela, by way of the desert,    

to the mount of daughter Zion.

Like fluttering birds,    

like scattered nestlings,

so are the daughters of Moab    

at the fords of the Arnon.

“Give counsel;    

grant justice;make your shade like night    

at the height of noon;

hide the outcasts;    

do not betray the fugitive;

let the outcasts of Moab    

settle among you;

be a refuge to them    

from the destroyer.”

When the oppressor is no more,    

and destruction has ceased,

and marauders have vanished from the land,

then a throne shall be established in steadfast love    

in the tent of David,    

and on it shall sit in faithfulness

a ruler who seeks justice    

and is swift to do what is right.

Ephesians 3:1-6

New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

Paul’s Ministry to the Gentiles

This is the reason that I, Paul, am a prisoner for[a] Christ Jesus[b] for the sake of you gentiles, for surely[c] you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words,[d] a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery[e] was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

What do we believe in? What do we believe in enough to go to jail? Enough to suffer to make change? 

Overview of Saul before his conversion to Paul / Christ follower. 

Change / new revelation shared between God / Saul 🡪 Paul

Gentiles – co-inheritors of the promises of God

Jews and Gentiles all one in the eyes of God

God spoke to Saul / Paul and to other believers. Listen for God’s voice to speak to you

TJ – note to self, and others… Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. 

Decide for oneself what of Paul is of value. Context…

Can we agree on some points while disagreeing with others? 

What would that look like in today’s world? Especially in our political arenas?


  1. 3.1 Or of

  2. 3.1 Other ancient authorities lack Jesus

  3. 3.2 Or if indeed

  4. 3.3 Or wrote before in brief

  5. 3.5 Gk it

Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.

Living Psalm 33

Remember, you who say you do good.

Remember what it means to be good

and feel that rhythm pulse through your entire being

so that you can only dance with joy.

Remember what it is like when everything

feels so new, when it feels like

anything and everything could happen.

Remember how it was before you

grew so tired and old.

Remember that kind of wonder

and delight that stands on the shoreline

and twinkles in the night skies

with the promise of justice and love.

Try to remember through

all that scares you. Feel that

grace breathe upon you

so that your mouth is full of love.

Shake yourself up like a soda bottle

exploding into a messy, sticky wonder

where the only response is laughter.

Let this be what we remember together

rather than focusing on all that has gone wrong

and all that could still go wrong. There is enough frustration.

Let us remember all that goodness and

invite each other to keep dancing.

Happy. Hope. Love. Trust. 

Praise for God for all that is good. 

Remember… joy… hope. Live your life so that your ideals and your dreams are lived experiences. 

What in my life tells me this scripture is true? (Alexis Fuller-Wright)

1. Circle or mark words or themes that are repeated. Look for patterns or repetitions. Look key words up in Bible Dictionary, Concordance, etc. Where else in the Bible are key words used? By whom? In what contexts? 

2. What is the larger context of the passage? What happens before and after?

3. Shifts in speaker or person?

4. What do the words in the dialogue reveal about the speaker(s)?

5. What are the dominant actions? Circle the verbs and underline the subjects. Patterns? Flow? Major concerns? 

6. Other ways to outline or structure the passage?

7. What is the passage really about. Theological or ethical implications? Philosophical, psychological, social, or ideological implications? Expressly stated or implied? Does the passage reveal anything about the human condition we might regard as “true”? In Isaiah, the refugees bring gifts of lambs, so that they will be welcomed. Rather than turn people away at our borders… what gifts do they bring? They have much to offer. 

God’s plan, according to “Paul” is to united Jews and Gentiles into one community. 

Praise of God… Remember… joy… hope. Live your life so that your ideals and your dreams are lived experiences. 

What are overlapping themes between this and other texts being considered? Unity. All people sharing God’s land in peace. All people under one God. Unity of all individuals with God. 

Living Psalm 33 reflections…

Remember…  how it felt to be told that your ideas were too fresh, too daring, too different…?

Remember wanting the older generation to pack up their outdated ideas and get out of your way?

How is it different now that the roles are reversed? 

What can we learn from our own pasts? 

Can we be humble enough to make space for the younger generation and their newer ideas, and their youthful energy? Are we able to work alongside them when asked, to offer wisdom, when asked? Are we able to grant them our blessings and hope that they succeed where we have failed? 

Remember your enthusiasm. Rekindle it. Share it with others. Speak of it with those that you know and those that you do not know. 

Justice and Love. We want it for ourselves. We need to make it a reality for all of humankind. We know by now that we cannot do this alone. We need to include the global village in our efforts. 

Doug. Shared article about co-rumination. Let’s get unstuck from our fears and worries and move together into joy, change, hope. 

Let us learn from those that have known oppression and fear far longer than we have. Those enslaved employed songs / spirituals to keep the flicker of hope lit in their hearts. 

Keep singing. Keep dancing. Truly, let nothing come between you and God. No matter what is happening in the world around us our God is near; as near as our breath. 

High School Basketball… Coach Gene Schutt… don’t let the defense change your game… don’t let the defense change your shot… stay in your rhythm. Applied to life… don’t let oppressors steal your joy… your love of life… your desire to seek kindness, to do justice, to love all that is good. 



Thesis Unity. 

All people sharing God’s land in peace. 

All people under one God. 

Unity of all individuals with God.

Support/s Always many ways to interpret a passage. Especially thousands of years after it was written. We attempt to be true to the authors intent. Whether interpreting the Bible or our Constitution… letter of the law and spirit of the law are important factors. 

Isaiah – As it should be; it will be… Jesus / lamb. Us / lambs. Be brave enough to be gentle.

Send lambs to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of daughter Zion. Send your kind-hearted ones as your emissaries to the world.

Like fluttering birds, like scattered nestlings, so are the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon. Working in community for the good of all (?)

“Give counsel; grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; hide the outcasts; do not betray the fugitive; Show up for people, share your wisdom, be fair, offer comfort, provide shelter, protect the vulnerable. 

let the outcasts of Moab settle among you; be a refuge to them from the destroyer.” Open your hearts, open your homes, open your borders. Offer shelter to those in need of protection from oppressors. (What if we were the ones in need of shelter? What if we were being oppressed?) When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and marauders have vanished from the land, When we have established, or achieved, heaven on earth… When governments and people treat one another with justice and respect, people and governments quit fighting to control what is not theirs, and people come together to work for the common good… 

then a throne shall be established in steadfast love in the tent of David, and on it shall sit in faithfulness a ruler who seeks justice and is swift to do what is right. Heaven on earth. Ruling councils shall seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. Who, when, where are such rulers? Let us rally behind them, walk with them, work with them, serve them gladly.


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