OT 10: 2nd Sunday After Pentecost

June 11, 2023

Lectionary Texts

Genesis 12.1-9. God calls Abram (soon to become Abraham) from his native land to the land of Canaan. God promises that Abram will have land and many descendants, and especially that they will be a blessing to all on earth.

Psalm 33.1-12. A song of praise to God, who is the maker of all Creation and the ruler of all nations.

Romans 4.13-25. God’s acceptance of us comes by God’s grace, not our own doing. Faith does not mean being good enough, it means trusting God. Abraham was accepted by God as righteous, not because he obeyed some law, but because he trusted God.

Matthew 9.9-13, 18-26. Jesus calls Matthew to follow him in ministry. He then heals the woman with a flow of blood and raises the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue.

Preaching Thoughts

         A story about trusting God. A story about how a relationship with God isn’t about “believing in” God but listening to God, and going with God. A story about allowing God to lead us into the unseen, unknown. A story about leaving behind the familiar, adapting to change. A story about how following God changes who we are (even if we don’t get a new name.)

As with Abram and Sarai, Matthew the tax collector is called not just to believe in Jesus but to follow him. Go with him. Join him in his ministry. Which, we can imagine, greatly changes who Matthew is.
        “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Jesus quotes Hosea 6.6 twice (also in 12.7). I think it’s central to his theology: God doesn’t care if we get religious forms correct, or believe the right things; what God cares about is that we love.
        Two healings. • This is clearly a story about Jesus’ power to heal. Imagine what is made whole in the woman’s life besides her body, since she is also considered “unclean:” her relationships, her faith… Imagine what it’s like for any of us for someone who has reason to focus elsewhere to give us undivided time, really pay attention to us, listen to our story. I also think about her “flow of blood,” a disruption and restoration of her reproductive (creative, life-giving) powers.
         • It’s also a story about the power of faith—understood not as “belief” but as reaching out. How much of our spiritual life is reaching out to God (in one form or another), without knowing the outcome, but trusting the process? Note the woman seems to have “faith” that Jesus can heal her, while the girl’s family doesn’t. (They laugh at Jesus!) But healing comes equally to both. God’s grace is not dependent on our level of belief. Sometimes faith means reaching out even when we doubt.
        • This is also a story about Jesus’ patience, his willingness to be interrupted on an emergency call by a “diversion,” as if it’s actually not a diversion; his willingness to stop and attend to the woman without hurrying off to a “more important” mission. It’s not enough for him for an impersonal healing to happen; he wants a relationship, even if it takes precious time. He’s also patient with a family who laughs at him for his faith; he offers healing despite their cynicism (and maybe ours).
      • It’s a story about hidden grace: hidden in a crowd… a need.. a passing opportunity… hidden in a girl we think is dead, in a time when we think there is no hope.

Call to Worship

Leader: Beckoning God, you call us.
All: Wandering Jesus, you invite us to come.
Moving Spirit, you go with us.
Holy One, we follow you, even into the unknown,
so that we may be a blessing.

Leader: Creator God, we praise you.
All: Risen Christ, we greet you.
Holy Spirit, we welcome you.
You call us to follow you, and we see miracles.
A flow of blood healed, the dead raised.
What is unwell in us is mended;
what is dead is brought to life.
Bless us that we may follow closely.
Shape us by your Word, Beloved.
Make us yours.

Leader: God of life and wholeness,
we come to you broken, and our world is broken.
All: We reach out for the hem of your garment.
We come to you longing for healing.
We open ourselves to your mercy.
You come among us full of grace.
We feel your spirit move in us, and we are healed.
And so we bow before you, and in gratitude, humility and wonder
we tell the story of your grace.

Collect / Prayer of the Day

God of the journey, God of the unknown, you spoke to Abram and Sarai and called them to a new place. Speak to us now. Call us, and we will follow. Amen.

God of healing, the flow of life in us is disturbed. Heal us. There are parts of our hearts that are dead. Revive us. You have given us gifts that we don’t use. Call us, and we will follow. We pray in the name and the presence of Christ. Amen.

God of love, even as the world presses in on you with all its wants and demands, you walk among us in peace. You radiate your mercy and grace. We open ourselves to your love. We listen for your Word to enter us and change us. We reach for the hem of your garment. Enter our longing, and heal us. Amen.

O God, you who called Abram to leave his country and go with you, who in Christ called disciples to follow him, you call to us now. Help us to hear your voice, to leave behind old lives, and to walk with you in new life in your grace. Help us to hear what you are saying to us today, and to respond, by the grace of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Gracious God, you called Abram to go to a new land. Jesus called Matthew to follow him. Speak to us now and invite us into the journey of your grace. Open the ears of our hearts to hear you calling, so that we may follow in love, in the loving company and healing spirit of Jesus. Amen.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to prayer)

Eternal God, Loving Healer,
we reach out to touch
the hem of your garment.
Trusting your grace,
we reach out to touch.
Trusting, we reach.


              The flow of blood

The sacred blood that flowed twelve perfect years
was never stanched—the healing was not such.
Drawn by the Heart most wounded, salved in tears
still flowing and too sacred to be touched,
she surged through calloused throngs; and stained his cloak
and heart with dark, unclotted faith, her true
blood sacrifice, her tithe of pain, that spoke
of life within her flowing, flowing through.
Heart pierced, he blessed his new blood-sister’s flow;
they both the holy mystery revealed
of wounds blood-sanctified, in which we know
that life is uncontained, and we are healed.
The cross thus washed in double flow of blood,
the curse thus hemorrhaged, life renewed its tide,
a welling up, a sea released, a flood
of life her tear-stained face could never hide.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

We trust in God, Creator of all things,
who is pure compassion,
who loves us unconditionally,
who is present with us in good times and in bad,
who is our salvation.

We trust in Christ Jesus, who is the embodiment of God’s love,
and the embodiment of humanity,
the lover and healer of our souls,
who saves us by washing away our transgressions,
who teaches us life’s deepest things:
how to pray, how to love,
how to be gentle with each other.

We trust in the Holy Spirit, God’s power flowing in us,
hat comforts the faithful,
empowers us to love as Christ has loved us,
and joins us together as the Body of Christ
in loving service to the world.
We trust in the power of forgiveness,
the reality of resurrection,
and the infinite, eternal life God gives us through love,
to which love we pledge ourselves as followers of Christ.

Eucharistic Prayer

[After the introduction, the body of the prayer may be read responsively with the presiding leader(s) and congregation, or by the leader(s) alone.]

God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One, our God.
It is good and beautiful to give God our praise.

God, we thank you, for life flows from you,
and power comes from you.
You walk among us with grace and healing.
You bring life out of death and hope out of despair.
You call us to new paths, and make us new people.
Therefore we reach out to you,
to touch the hem of your garment, to receive your grace.
And power flows from you, and we are made whole.
Therefore with all Creation we sing your praise.

            [Sanctus, spoken or sung:]
        Holy, holy, holy One, God of power and might,
        heaven and earth are full of your glory.
        Hosanna in the highest.
        Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
        Hosanna in the highest.
               [or alternate version]

Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ,
who healed and taught, who fed the hungry and honored the outcast.
He has brought healing into our lives.
What was dead in us he has brought to life.
Christ, crucified and risen, comes to us in this meal
to reaffirm your covenant to be with us in love forever.

     (The Blessing and Covenant)
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.
Therefore, remembering these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

             [Memorial Acclamation, spoken or sung:]
        Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
        Dying, Christ destroyed our death. Rising, Christ restores our life.
        Christ will come again in glory.
             [or alternative]

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Pour out your Spirit on us, that we may be for the world the Body of Christ,
the flow of life in us restored,
radiant with the power of love.
As you called Abram and Sarai to follow you,
as Jesus called Matthew to follow,
may this meal call us forth in your love.
May we bear your grace, for the healing of the world,
in the name and the Spirit of Christ.

     [Spoken or sung]

* The Blessing and Covenant
[I usually don’t print the words. I want people to be looking at the bread, not their bulletins.]

On the night in which he gave himself for us
Jesus took bread, blessed it,. broke it, and gave it to his disciples,saying,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup,
blessed it with thanks and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of this, all of you. This is my blood,
poured out for you and for many, in a new Covenant,
which is the forgiveness of sin.”
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending / after Communion

[Adapt as needed.]
Gracious God, we thank you for (the mystery that you give yourself to us / this mystery in which you have given yourself to us.) In gratitude we give you our gifts as symbols of our lives. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. By your life-giving Word and your loving presence, lead us into the world to new places, trusting you in the unknown, for the sake of the blessing of the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.

Your Cart
  • No products in the cart.