July 2019 Lectionary Preview
May 24, 2019 by Lee Hinson-Hasty
Editor’s note: Each month, we ask a PC(USA) teaching elder to provide a lectionary preview for the coming month. The July preview is provided by Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty, Senior Director, Theological Education Funds Development at the Presbyterian Foundation.
Summer rain showers and swimming pools and places always remind me of my baptism. Although I was baptized as an infant, about 10 years ago I read the minutes of John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, NC session when they approved “the baptism of the son of Gerald and Sarah Hasty.” Strangely, I was not named in record, but I know I am named, claimed, and known by God and that God has, is, and will continue to call me to walk paths I have yet to dream or imagine.
Although summer is not a liturgical season, it is a holy time for sabbath, introspection, and listening for where God and the world is calling us next. Maybe as you and those you serve alongside get “wet” this summer, you might take time to consider ways you might live into your baptism too?
- How will you confess faith in Jesus Christ today and in all your tomorrows?
- How will you use the gifts God has entrusted to your care to glorify God?
- How will you be a good steward and faithful disciple?
Lectionary texts for July help us address these and other discipleship and vocation questions; questions that are also stewardship questions. I comment on one text from each Sunday below briefly and, if you are interested, you can click on the links to my blog, “Theological Education Matters” where I say more about the themes and passages I suggest for each Sunday.
On July 7, the passage from 2 Kings, chapter five appears to be about Naaman, but an unnamed captive girl from Israel who serves as Naaman’s wife, directs the story in the passage. She serves as a reminder that seemingly minor characters, us or others, can and do have an major impact when we stay faithful to God and God alone.
In Luke 10:25-37 appointed for July 14, Jesus has a public conversation with a law expert in which he asks what appears to be a trick question: “And who is my neighbor?” Being a neighbor is more a verb than a noun. Call and discipleship, and stewardship, too, is about what you do not who you are; more about loving actions than titles and social or geographic location.
On July 21, the Gospel reading picks up not long after the reading from the previous week in Luke 10: 38-42. Martha and Mary both provide hospitality for Jesus in their home, but in different ways. You know a good disciple and steward, not so much by how busy they are, but if and how they are focused on Christ.
Finally, on July 28, Luke 11:1-13 includes Luke’s shortened version of the Lord’s Prayer. It is a reminder that if stewardship is about anything, it is about making clear through our actions that we are a part of a larger community of interrelated relationships. Those friendly and faithful relationships start with providing “bread”/ nourishment, food, energy for those who need it. Do you see what I mean about stewardship here?
Go, therefore, and remember your baptism: Remember that no matter who you are, God knows you by name and sends you to be a neighbor focused on Christ and providing nourishment to others.
May that be. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty is senior director for Theological Education Funds Development for the Committee on Theological Education (COTE) with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation after a decade of service to COTE as the coordinator for Theological Education and Seminary Relations. Ordained in 1995, he has served as a campus minister and pastor in Virginia and as director of church relations at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina.
The author of numerous published essays and articles, the Rev. Dr. Hinson-Hasty also writes the blog, Theological Education Matters: Stories from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminaries, pastors, friends and all who care about theological education. A frequent guest preacher and speaker across the country, Lee welcomes invitations. In addition to preaching, he enjoys the opportunity to present on theological education today, creating communities of call, stewardship, mentoring and more.