Readings for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost
Luke 7:1-10; Galatians 1:1-12; 1 Kings 8:22-24,27-29,41-43
A building is only as good as the foundation its built on.
In the passage just prior to this Sunday’s Gospel reading Jesus tells a parable of two houses – one built upon a rock and one built upon the sand. One of them remained standing in bad weather, and one fell down. The rock here is Jesus’ own words. Those who live according to them will stand, and those who don’t will eventually fall down.
This theme of well-built houses carries over into both the Gospel and Old Testament readings for Sunday. In the Gospel we hear about a centurion who was much revered because he paid for the construction of a new synagogue. But this is not why Jesus commends him. Jesus commends him for humility and his faith. “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you under my roof. But only say the word and my servant shall be healed.” Now that’s a solid foundation for life (Luke 7).
King Solomon in the Old Testament carried out his Father’s desire to build a house for God in Jerusalem. But the real glory in this reading isn’t the newly built temple and all its furnishings. It’s the wise words of Solomon: “Behold, heaven itself cannot contain you [Lord], much less this house I have built!” Solomon had faith that God would listen to his prayers, not because of any grand temple, but because of God’s own faithfulness to His covenant promises (1 Kings 8).
Finally, in the first of 6 consecutive readings through the book of Galatians, the apostle Paul urges Christians not to abandon the true Good News of Jesus for a false gospel of working hard in order to prove your worth to God and others (Gal 1).