Lectionary Preview: Pentecost 11 (study on 4 August)

Lectionary Preview: Pentecost 11 (study on 4 August)

Lectionary Preview study materials:  Pentecost 11 ( 8 August)

(study on 4 August)

*Please note that the study group will NOT meet this week. Thanks.

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33
Psalm 130
Ephesians 4:25-5:2
John 6:35, 41-51

The Collect

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament
2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33

The king, David, ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders concerning Absalom. So the army went out into the field against Israel; and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim. The men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the slaughter there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. The battle spread over the face of all the country; and the forest claimed more victims that day than the sword. Absalom happened to meet the servants of David.

Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. His head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on.

And ten young men, Joab’s armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him, and killed him.

Then the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, “Good tidings for my lord the king! For the Lord has vindicated you this day, delivering you from the power of all who rose up against you.” The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” The Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up to do you harm, be like that young man.”

The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

The Psalm
Psalm 130

De profundis

1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice; *
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

2 If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss, *
O Lord, who could stand?

3 For there is forgiveness with you; *
therefore you shall be feared.

4 I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; *
in his word is my hope.

5 My soul waits for the Lord,
more than watchmen for the morning, *
more than watchmen for the morning.

6 O Israel, wait for the Lord, *
for with the Lord there is mercy;

7 With him there is plenteous redemption, *
and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

The Epistle
Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

The Gospel
John 6:35, 41-51

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”



Pentecost 11 (B) – August 8, 2021                                                                Paul White

RCL: 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 31-33

David’s kingdom is in rebellion and his troops encounter the rebels in the forest near Ephraim.  David gave orders that his rebel son, Absalom, be dealt with “gently.” David’s forces are victorious, but in the course of battle, Absalom is killed as he rides through the forest. A Cushite messenger brings the news to David and the king begins to weep and mourn the loss of his son. This is one of the tragic stories of the Hebrew scriptures – for though the kingdom is preserved through military might, King David is not immune to the painful circumstances of its preservation.

  • How do we discover God’s presence working through the painful circumstances of our lives?
Psalm 130

When we are speechless during times of sorrow and despair, Psalm 130 provides words to express our grief and hope in God’s merciful redemption. In prayerfully reciting the psalm, our hope is to experience God’s forgiveness, mercy, and redemption in the midst of pain and suffering. Psalm 130 is one of the choices for use during the burial service in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

  • Describe and discuss the varied forms of human reactions to pain and suffering.
  • Are we comforted by the words of the psalms, especially Psalm 130?
Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Paul, in this selection from Ephesians, advises the believing community to live peacefully in communion with one another. They are not to be angry – or at least they are not to remain angry overnight! Paul goes on to advise all the things that they are not to do; to be wrathful, bitter, or slanderous. But Paul does not conclude on a negative note. He then tells them what they are to do: “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving” (v. 32). The reading ends with Paul encouraging the community to journey in love as Christ loved us and to let their lives be a reflection of God. Ephesians 5:2 is an offertory sentence option in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

  • Is it important to be an active member of a Christian community?
  • Why do we gather and worship as a community?
  • How well do we follow Paul’s recommendations for communal living?
John 6:35, 41-51

This gospel passage from John centers around one sign and one issue in the gospel: John’s account of the feeding of the five thousand and Jesus’ special relationship with the Father. First is Jesus’ special relationship with the Father. If one desires to be close to Jesus, then one must be “drawn” by the Father. Jesus continues, describing how those who listen and hear God come to Jesus. Jesus tells the people that no one has seen the Father except the One who has come from the Father. Later in the gospel, Jesus will tell Philip and the other disciples that to see him (Jesus) is to have seen the Father (14:9).

Second, after he speaks of the Father, Jesus makes the profound statement that he is the bread of life and connects that point to the Exodus story.  Manna, in the Exodus wilderness journey, provides necessary food for the survival of God’s people. Jesus proclaims that those who ate the manna died and those who partake of the bread of life that is given from heaven will have eternal life.

  • How do you react to the rather abrupt ending of this gospel passage?
  • Does this passage make you want to hear more about Jesus’ relationship with the Father and the bread of life?
  • As a Christian, how might you explain Jesus’ special relationship with the Father and his being the Bread of Life?


Paul White is in his senior year at the Iona School of Ministry in the Diocese of Texas. He and his wife, Marianne, have five children, five grandchildren, and two more grandchildren on the way. He is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans and the LSU School of Graduate Studies in New Orleans.