September 30, 2018, Lectionary

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For my most difficult circumstance, I can depend on God to turn it around if I present it to God. God will turn it "from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday."  Esther 7:1-10; 9:20-22

While many Psalms with singular pronouns can be read as inclusive of the whole community, Psalm 124 shows by its plural pronouns throughout that it is certainly a community song.

When in trouble, pray. When happy, sing Psalms, which is the same thing as pray. Everything is a reminder to pray. James 5:13-20

Jesus makes it pretty clear and strong not to shush someone from preaching the gospel just because they don't use the same words or follow the same policies and procedures. It's best even to give them some small support, like a glass of water. Mark 9:38-50

Thoughts about Listening

Should a person celebrate when the bully gets bullied? There's a difference between celebrating the fall of a bully and celebrating one's own newly gained freedom. Esther 7:1-10; 9:20-22

I know that when I think I will be overwhelmed, by feelings or peer pressure or multiple troubles, the only way out is through. With a good listener I can go steadily through. Psalm 124

What the world needs is listeners, who will committ to give the gift of listening whether receiver of the gift is in trouble or in happiness. James 5:1-13

Giving the gift of listening is like giving a cup of cold water in generous hospitality. Mark 9:38-50

Bible Reading Group Study Guide

1.    Get in mind your most difficult circumstance at this moment. You don’t have to tell your group what the trouble is, but just share, if you will, what feelings you experience because of this trouble. Listen to others tell theirs.

2.    Read or listen to Esther 7:1-10; 9:20-22. Scan the whole book. Then dramatize, draw, dance, sing, paint, or sculpt the story. Which would you celebrate, the downfall of the bully? Or the new freedom of the previously oppressed?

3.    Read or listen to Psalm 124. Let some picture left in your mind from reading this psalm change or add to the art of #2 above.

4.    Read or listen to James 5:13-20. How many pictures or metaphors can you list from this reading to illustrate the value and power of prayer? List some things mentioned in this reading that a person can use as triggers, or reminders, to pray.

5.    Read or listen to Mark 9:38-50. Read this several times (you can skip the repeated piece about the undying worm and the unquenched fire). Discuss what might have been Jesus’ train of thought, or that of Mark in later remembering and writing. How does all this fit together and into the story? What will you do differently today because of this reading?


1.    Tenga en cuenta su circunstancia más difícil que tenga en este momento. No tiene que decirle a su grupo cuál es el problema, solo comparta, si lo hace, qué sentimientos experimenta por este problema. Escuche a los demás decir lo suyo.

2.    Leer o escuchar Ester 7: 1-10; 9: 20-22. Revise todo el libro. Luego dramatize , dibuje, baile, cante, pinte o esculpa la historia. ¿Qué celebraría, la caída del matón, o la nueva libertad de los previamente oprimidos?

3.    Leer o escuchar el Salmo 124. Deje alguna imagen en su mente al leer este cambio de salmo o agregue el arte del anterior n. ° 2.

4.    Leer o escuchar Santiago 5: 13-20. ¿Cuántas imágenes o metáforas puede enumerar de esta lectura, para ilustrar el valor y el poder de la oración? Enumere algunas cosas mencionadas en esta lectura que una persona puede usar como disparadores o recordatorios para orar.

5.    Leer o escuchar Marcos 9: 38-50. Lea esto varias veces (puede omitir la pieza repetida sobre el gusano eterno y el fuego no apagado). Discuta lo que pudo haber sido la línea de pensamiento de Jesús, o la de Marcos en recordar y escribir más tarde. ¿Cómo encaja todo esto en la historia? ¿Qué va a hacer de manera diferente  debido a esta lectura?