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Left out of the Lectionary.

October 6, 2016

 

There is no gap between the Gospel reading for October 2 and 9, but there is a big gap in the Epistle reading from 2 Timothy.  This is what gets left out:

 

15 You are aware that all who are in Asia have turned away from me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain; 17when he arrived in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me 18—may the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! And you know very well how much service he rendered in Ephesus. 

 

2You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; 2and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. 3Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. 5And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. 6It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.

 

While the tail end of chapter one is focused one some personal details, the beginning of chapter two has three analogies in a row for how Timothy is to lead his life - like a soldier, like an athlete, like a farmer.

 

All three analogies are joined by a concern for focusing on the current situation rather than trying to understand all things all at once.  A soldier is concerned about his officer's orders not the strategy of the whole war.  An athlete (looking at you Orioles and Nationals!) is concerned about the next at bat, the next play, the next pitch and lets the managers worry with the strategy of the whole series.  A farmer may always be planning for next year, but the immediate concern is always today's weeds and today's water.

 

So pay attention, dear people about the task in front of you, not the worries of the next week or the next year.  Stay focused on the work in front of you and trust God to always have the big story well under control.

 

 

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