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July 15, 2018


Amos 7:7-17
In these verses from the Old Testament, Amos is a poor farmer, chosen by God to prophesy to the Israelites. Amos uses the image of a “plumb line” measuring a faulty wall as a metaphor for a fatal flaw in the structure of society. Amos prophesies God’s divine judgment against social injustice.

Psalm 85:8-13
The verses from Psalm 85 for this week are the final verses of the Psalm. In the opening verses of the Psalm, the psalmist reflects back on a time of peace and God’s favor. In the middle section of the Psalm, clearly that peace has ended because there is a plea to God for restoration and revival. In these final verses, the verses for this week, there is anticipation that God will once again bring peace and prosperity to the people. There is hope in the promises of God based on the good things God has done in the past.

Mark 6:14-29
The Gospel lesson for today is a “story within a story.” Inserted in the midst of some of the miracle stories of Jesus we find the story of King Herod. Herod has heard about Jesus and the things Jesus is doing and Herod thinks that perhaps this Jesus is actually John the baptizer, raised from the dead. Then there is a “flashback” in the text as the story of John the baptizer is told. It was Herod who had John arrested, and we learn the full story as to what led Herod to order the beheading of John.

Sermon Notes
There is much to be explored in the passages for this week as we see people in power faced with life-changing decisions. In the Gospel lesson we get a closer glimpse of King Herod as he holds John the Baptist’s fate in his hands. As Christians, what voices do we allow to guide our actions? Let’s explore that together.

Shalom, Rev. Lisa Bowersock