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Showing posts from July, 2015

The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 13, 2 August 2015

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The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 13, 2 August 2015
II Samuel 11:26-12:13a Psalm 51:1-13 Or Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 Psalm 78:23-29
Ephesians 4:1-16 St. John 6:24-35


Background: Bread We have known bread from around 28,000 BCE until this day. Before grains were used the starches of plants (ferns, cattails, and roots) were baked on rocks. Grains enter the picture around 10,000 BCE. Leavening occurred naturally with airborne yeasts providing the leavening agents. Actually bread and beer are forms of the same food, both involving grain and fermentation. Other cultures used wine to produce leavened bread, while some began the practice of saving a lump of starter to leaven the next batch. Various grains and parts of grains were used in the production of bread: wheat flour, barley flour, wheat germ, rye, and hemp. In the bread stories in John, we are referring to bread made from barley, the bread of the poor.
2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a
When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lame…

The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 12, 26 July 2015

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The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 12, 26 July 2015 II Samuel 11:1-15 Psalm 14 Or II Kings 4:42-44 Psalm 145:10-19
Ephesians 3:14-21 St. John 6:1-21


Background: First Fruits
The notion of offering the first products of the agricultural harvest is common to the religions of Greece, Rome, Judaism, Africa, and Christianity. The offering of the first fruits in Greece provided sustenance and goods to the temples of Kore and Demeter. Some of the foods were used to feed the temple staff while the remainder was sold to provide currency for the other needs of the temple. This practice was usual during times of peace, but during war, the excess funds in the temple treasury would be used to support the city-state.Amongst Hebrews, such gifts were offered for the use and support of the temple and were offered from the festival of Shavuot until the festival of Sukkot. The gifts were limited to wheat, barley, grapes (wine), figs, pomegranates, and olives (oil). Such practices are not commonly known amo…