St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

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Readings and Reflections for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost

Proverbs 9:1-6 Psalm 111 Ephesians 5:15-20 John 6:51-58 Dear Friends, The Book of Proverbs often speaks in terms of opposites – good and evil, wise and foolish.  In today’s chapter, the “simple” are invited to accept wisdom and become “wise”; the “immature” are invited to become people of “insight.”  In this context, wisdom and maturity would…

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Readings and Reflections for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Jeremiah 23:1-6 Psalm 23 Ephesians 2:11-22 Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 Dear Friends, The prophet Jeremiah condemns the leaders of Israel who have failed to act as proper shepherds to the people.  The Lord declares that He personally will gather his scattered and mistreated flock and raise up shepherds who will genuinely care for them. In Mark’s Gospel Jesus welcomes…

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Readings and Reflections for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Amos 7:7-15 Psalm 85:8-13 Ephesians 1:3-14 Mark 6:14-29 Dear Friends, Mark 6 contains the unpleasant story of Herod being tricked into beheading John the Baptist.  Put simply, this is a reminder of how the world often works.  The level of violence and manipulation that “make the world go round” is truly appalling. The gospel accounts do…

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Readings and Reflections for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Job 38:1-11 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 Mark 4:35-41 Dear Friends, Job 38 contains a small portion of God’s reply to the challenge of a suffering man.  This “opening statement” from God clearly depicts the great distance between what human beings can know, and the reality of God who has created all things.  After a good bit more…

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Readings and Reflections for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Ezekiel 17-22-24 2 Corinthians 5:6-10,14-17 Mark 4:26-34 Dear Friends, When the prophet Ezekiel tells the allegory of the cedar tree, he is speaking to the exiled people of Israel with a message of hope.  The tender twig of cedar that is planted and grows into a great tree is a picture/promise of restoration from disaster and renewed life…

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Readings and Reflections for the Third Sunday of Pentecost

Genesis 3:8-15 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 Mark 3:20-35 Dear Friends, In Genesis 3:8-15 we have the story of Adam and Eve when they disobeyed the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge. Now aware and knowing their “nakedness”, they seek to hide from God’s presence.  Perhaps we could say they’ve exchanged innocent awareness of and trust…

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Readings and Reflections for Trinity Sunday

Isaiah 6:1-8 Romans 8:12-17 John 3:1-17 Dear Friends, In Isaiah’s vision of God, the prophet is transported to the Holy presence of the living God!  Even as he sees his own frailty and unworthiness and the brokenness of his culture (unclean lips), grace is immediately extended to cleanse him.  Now, Isaiah also is part of the heavenly conversation,…

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Readings and Reflections for the Day of Pentecost

Ezekiel 37:1-14 (or Acts 2:1-21) Psalm 104: 25-35,37 Romans 8:22-27 John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15 Dear Friends, Ezekiel 37 describes the “Valley of Dry Bones” – an “image parable” which represents the people of Israel, defeated and in exile, cut off from hope and life.  While this was an actual historic situation, it is not unreasonable to see it…

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Readings and Reflections for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

 Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 1 John 5:9-13 John 17:6-19 Dear Friends, John 17 allows us to “eavesdrop” as Jesus prays for his disciples in anticipation of his death, resurrection and ascension.  They will be “in the world” without his physical presence.  But Pentecost is coming next week, so we know they will not be alone!  And we learn much from what Jesus…

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Readings and Reflections for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 10:44-48 1 John 5:1-6 John 15:9-17 Dear Friends, In John’s Gospel we hear the “secret” of Jesus’ own joy, a joy that he wants to share with his disciples.  We are surprised that this joy is rooted in keeping his Father’s commandments.  In other words, Jesus describes his way of remaining connected to God’s love by…

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