Scripture Introductions

Pentecost 2 (Ordinary 10) June 6, 2010 Scripture Introductions by Stewart Clarke
I remember thinking that, in broadcasting, a song may well be “set up” for the audience, and concluded that Holy Writ deserved at least as much courtesy. So I offer something to begin with, to correct, to expand, to edit, and to use in worship, with the intent of honouring the Bible on the one hand, and the intelligence and interest of the congregation on the other. (Of course, when you open it, it is yours, for whatever use!) So, let’s take a look: The first reading is full of drama. I wish that time would allow it to be read from verse 1, where we find Elijah challenging King Ahab and promising a country-wide drought. He, himself, on God’s advice flees and lives in the wilderness, by a “wadi” – a river that flows in Springtime and dries in Summer.[2] He relies on the flowing stream until it dries up, sipping its water and eating what the ravens leave for him. And, then, as he promised, there is no rain or even dew, and the wadi dries up. Then God sends him north-west, to a Gentile town, to rely on a Gentile woman[3] who lives there. She is to assure his survival, and he assure hers and her son’s. Let’s listen as the story unfolds, with its message of hope in God. (Incidentally, Jesus would refer to this passage, and rouse ire from it! Luke 4: 25f.) Let’s listen...I Kings 17: 8 – 16 (17-24) (You may wish to reserve your acclaim until after the Gospel reading, or use traditional words or say something like: “May God help us see God’s work in people we meet. Amen.“)
The Psalm echoes the element of trust, not in humans, but in God, to whom be praise! Ps. 146 (VU pp. 867-868)
Writing to the church in Galatia,[4] Paul explains himself and his change of heart and focus, insisting that he speaks a divine message. Let’s listen as he explains, in Gal. 1: 11-242 May we, also, glorify God in our words and actions. Amen.
The Gospel reading tells of a boy revived, comparable to the miracle with Elijah. It may be important that we keep the essential message in mind, rather than focus on details, and remember the core message that Jesus means Life! Let’s listen and understand, in Luke 7: 11-17 And may we rise to new life with Christ. Amen. (It is appropriate to follow the readings with thanks and praise.) (Comments to Stew at