Lectionary Reflection: The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

By Carol James

Friday, September 14

Proverbs 1:20-33; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38

Have you heard that old saying, “God loves us as we are, but too much to leave us that way”?  That’s what I like to think of when we share stories of divine impatience, as we do today. Wisdom, in her embodiment as a generous but dramatic hostess seeking to bring guests to her bounteous table, is yelling on street corners. Jesus calls one of his best friends “Satan.” James is pretty sure most of us should just keep our mouths shut.

I hope these images have made you smile, because you recognize the loving invitation that underlies all of them. In our frailty and in our earnest but sometimes awkward attempts to get closer to God, we don’t always choose rightly, or act rightly, or speak rightly. Jesus understands that if he wants us to have a path to doing better, he’s got to tell us. We can’t embark on the journey if we don’t know that anything’s wrong.

On this path, how blessed we are to have so many wonderful companions! Today we celebrate our congregation – that is to say, each other – and the variety of ways we accompany each other, praying, growing and serving. I invite you to learn more about what our ministries are doing, and ways that you can learn to respond more deeply to God’s unique call to you.  There’s a place at Wisdom’s table for each of us.

Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in the Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.

Photo Credit: Emma Marie Chiang

Connect with Us