Proper 10 (15), Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

July 10, 2011: Genesis 25:19-34; Psalm 119:105-112; Isaiah 55:10-13; Psalm 65:(1-8), 9-13; Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Genesis 25:19-34 19: “These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac,

20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If it is to be this way, why do I live?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her,

‘Two nations are in your womb and two peoples born of you shall be divided; one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.’ 24 When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. 26 Afterwards his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skilful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. 30 Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!’ (Therefore he was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, ‘First sell me your birthright.’ 32 Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?’ 33 Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23: “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!’

18 ‘Hear then the parable of the sewer. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Proper 10 (15), Fourth Sunday after Pentecost Comment: Jesus kindly gives and explanation of his parable, verses 18-23. When I read about Esau selling is birthright to his brother, I want to ask the question, which of Jesus’ interpretations apply to Esau? Esau had as firstborn the honor of inheriting all his father’s earthly possessions. It seems that privilege had little meaning to him because for one meal, which would only sustain him for a few hours, he gave it all away. How often do we accept second best for instant gratification?

Oh God, we acknowledge that there have been times we have chosen less than your desired best for us. Plant in our hearts the words given to Paul, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Chris Jesus. Romans 8:1 AMEN]

Extraordinary Blessings for Ordinary Times,
Rev. Julia
© July 9, 2011

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