Lectionary Commentaries for July 17, 2022
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

from WorkingPreacher.org


Commentary on Luke 10:38-42

Niveen Sarras

Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus are Jesus’ friends. This family opens their house to Jesus and his disciples. The Gospel of Luke 10:38-42 and John 12:1-11 are the only Gospels that narrate Jesus’ visit to this family. The evangelist John provides us with more detailed information about this visit. He mentions the three siblings: Martha serves (John 12:2), Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume and wipes his feet with her hair (John 11:2; 12:3-8), and Lazarus reclines at the table with Jesus (John 12:2). The disciples are mentioned, and so is a large crowd. The evangelist Luke only focuses on Martha, Mary, and Jesus. He places this story after the parable of the Good Samaritan. This parable shocks the audience because they did not expect a Samaritan, an enemy of the Jews, to be their neighbor and succeed in what their religious leaders failed to do. Luke shocks his audience again with the story of Mary and Martha. In this narrative, Jesus welcomes Mary to learn from him.

The narrative does not intend to present Jesus as a feminist who creates a gender-egalitarian (sex-equal) society. It is not that Jesus would not be in favor of a gender-egalitarian society; rather, to attribute the term “feminist” to him would be anachronistic (chronological error) since the term would require certain actions and statements on his part that his and God’s plans would not do or say. However, he promotes a vision or even a foretaste of equality—he is saying that these women have as much to learn and teach as any man; but leaves open the logistics which would, in their time, be too difficult to digest. 

To understand this pericope (passage) in Luke, we need to understand its cultural context and the early church ministry’s development in the book of Acts, mainly Acts 6—appointing the seven deacons. I will show that in the pericope of Luke 10:38-42, Jesus teaches that the ministry of service (in Greek is Diakonia) and the ministry of the word require each other.

The cultural context of the pericope relates to the practice of hospitality in first-century Palestine. In my modern-day Palestinian culture, eating together is an invitation to be a part of the family circle. It is about breaking barriers and providing protection to guests no matter the personal cost. In my culture and in first-century Palestine, hospitality is about allowing the guest to share the sacredness of the family space. The women’s role is to do all of the cooking and food preparation. It is very unusual for Palestinian women to join male guests before they are done with all the food preparation. In my culture and Jesus’, failing to be a good hostess means disrespecting the guest. 

Luke’s statement that Martha opened her home to Jesus implies that Martha was an independent woman and financially stable. Martha may be a widow because there is no mention of her husband, and she owns and manages her house. If she had lived with her brother Lazarus or her husband, Luke would have said Lazarus’ house or mentioned her husband’s name. In the Middle East and first-century Palestine, the house is attributed to the family’s oldest man, not a woman. Men are always the head of the family. 

Martha oversees the material care of guests. As a Palestinian Jew, Martha is anxious to ensure that her honored guest Jesus and his disciples feel welcomed at her home. Her sister Mary neglects her traditional duty of assisting her sister. Mary prefers to listen to Jesus’ teaching. It was very unusual for a first-century Palestinian Jewish woman to join men in learning. The phrase “sat at the Lord’s feet and listened” describes students’ actions. The apostle Paul states his credential in the Book of Acts, “[I] brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral law, being zealous for God, just as all of you are today” (Acts 22:3). Paul’s statement indicates that Gamaliel was his teacher. Mary acts as a disciple of Jesus, who allows her to hear the word of God. 

The traditional interpretation of this pericope criticizes Martha for not acting like her sister, who listens to Jesus’ teaching. We need to understand Martha’s behavior from a woman’s perspective. Martha is exhausted by the burden of hospitality that has fallen on her shoulders. She asks Jesus whether he cares that Mary left her alone to serve the guests. She asks Jesus to tell Mary to assist her. Martha’s complaint is fair. Jesus gently acknowledges Martha’s exhaustion and reminds her of her distraction. He praises Mary for choosing to listen to his teaching.

Does Jesus value Mary’s choice over Martha’s? I do not think so. The story of Jesus’ visit to Martha’s house is related to the questions of church life. Martha’s house is a house church where Christians met to worship and learn the word of God. The Book of Acts refers to house churches (2:42, 46; 5:42; 20:20). The traditional interpretation of Luke 10:38-42 presents the narrative as a problem between Martha and Mary, but it is about the two kinds of ministries: diakonia and the word. Marta represents the ministry of diakonia, and Mary represents the ministry of the word. Jesus does not prefer the ministry of the latter over diakonia. Instead, Jesus does not want the diakonia to be at the expense of the ministry of the word. Both ministries are important. The ministry of diakonia should not absorb our energy and time and drive us to neglect God’s word. 

Francois Bovon explains that “Priority should be given to listening to the word of God, to taking time out, to the act of sitting down; it consists in not wishing to precede the Lord, in accepting to be served before serving.”1 The word of God motivates us to engage in the ministry of diakonia. To explain my point further, let us compare the pericope of Luke 10:38-42 with Acts 6.

The increase of disciples expands the responsibilities of the apostles. Consequently, the ministry of diakonia absorbs their time and makes them unable to serve all the widows in great need of food (6:1) and neglect the word of God. The twelve apostles state that “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables” (6:2). The disciples called seven male deacons to take responsibility for diakonia. Stephen and Philip are two of the seven deacons. Later in their ministries, they engage in the ministry of the word. Stephen testifies about his faith before the Jewish leaders (Acts 6:8-14), and Philip evangelizes the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). The twelve apostles, Stephen, and Philip, demonstrate that the ministry of Diakonia must come after learning and meditating on the word of God.

It is essential to realize that the apostles and the seven deacons respond positively to Jesus’ call to ministry. Likewise, Mary positively responds to Jesus. She chooses to learn from him. It is possible that Mary engaged in the ministry of diakonia after spending time learning from Jesus. She chooses to draw near to Jesus. Jesus describes Mary’s choice as a good part that will not be taken away from her because learning God’s word always inspires believers to serve. Martha positively responds to Jesus too. She hosts him and his disciples in her home. Jesus does not ask Martha to give up the ministry of diakonia; instead, he intends to relieve Martha from her anxiety and exhaustion by inviting her to join her sister in learning from him. Then, she can resume her hospitality with her sister.

In sum, the two pericopes help us understand the development of the ministry of diakonia and the ministry of the word. In his gospel and the Book of Acts, Luke does not value one over another. The apostles in Acts 6 do not prefer the ministry of the word over the diakonia. Instead, they engage in both ministries. My denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, calls the ministry of diakonia the ministry of word and service. The deacons study the word of God before they engage fully in service. The bottom line is: diakonia and the word of God require each other.


  1. Francois Bovon, et al. Luke 2: A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke 9:51-19:27. ed. Helmut Koester, Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2013), 77.

First Reading

Commentary on Genesis 18:1-10a

Lisa Davison

The saga of Sarah and Abraham rivals any television soap opera, with unbelievable plot twists that would make great headlines on a tabloid displayed at the checkout counter. “75-year-old man uproots family and leaves on a trip to an undisclosed destination at God’s command.”  “Husband trades his wife to the Pharaoh for his own safety!” When we join the story in Genesis 18, God has made a covenant with this elderly couple, declaring that they will have countless descendants. The ridiculous nature of the promise is obvious:  Sarah and Abraham are in the sunset years of their life, and they have no children because Sarah “was barren.”  

In the Ancient Near East, a woman was valued for according to the productivity of her womb; her primary role was to produce offspring for her husband, in particular, to provide a son to inherit the family estate. Being barren was a serious problem; it meant that the woman could not fulfill her purpose in life. However, it seems that Sarah’s barrenness had not been a major obstacle for the couple. There were other legal ways for a man to secure a male heir; he could adopt a male servant, which was what Abraham intended to do with Eliezer.  

With that detail settled, Abraham and Sarah had lived quite well, even without children. That is until God entered the story with a promise that Abraham would have a biological heir. At this point, though, God had not said anything to Sarah about becoming a mother.

Abraham and Sarah had pitched their tents by the Oaks of Mamre at Hebron, and one day Abraham sees three strangers approaching their camp. The storyteller has informed us that these men are representatives of the Holy, but Abraham does not have this insider information when he invites them to stop and enjoy a break from their journeys. With their acceptance of his invitation, Abraham jumps into full hospitality mode. 

Hospitality customs were a vital part of the culture of the ancient near east. The people followed these customs as formal, even sacred, codes of conduct. The environment of the desert and arid land in most of the Middle East is harsh. For a traveler, access to water and food was a matter of life and death. Also, they needed a safe place to spend the night, and there was no Motel 6 to leave the light on for you. Without the hospitality of strangers, a traveler could die. When one invited a guest into their home, the host was required to provide that person with food, water, and safety. 

Many preachers and interpreters have used this text to lift up Abraham as the epitome of hospitality, but we may need to abandon that image from a close reading of the story. While he does make the invitation to the strangers, he does very little of the work to provide them with food to eat. First, he runs to the tent and tells Sarah to make cakes, and then Abraham gives the fatted calf to a servant who slaughters and prepares the meat. Then Abraham presents the meal to the guests as if it was all his doing and gets the credit for being such a great host.

One way to address this text would be to ask ourselves this question: “Who are the people who work behind the scenes to make us look good and comfortable?” These might include the cooks, servers, and those who bus tables, wash dishes and take out the garbage in restaurants. If we look behind this level of workers, we could include those who grow the elements for our meals, the ones who harvest the crops, and those who process these items into usable food. We might remember those who clean the building and tend to the maintenance in a congregation. How do we recognize these important participants in our lives as well as in the biblical story?

Focusing on Sarah, both the writers of Genesis and the Revised Common Lectionary committee have made certain that she remains off stage. The selection for this Sunday ends in verse 10a, leaving Sarah at the entrance of the tent, just as the storytellers leave her on the margins. After helping to prepare the food for the guests, Sarah does not get to enjoy the meal. Even more problematic is that the conversation between Abraham and the visitors directly concerns Sarah and her well-being. The guests announce that Sarah will have a child “in due season,” even though she is over 90 years old and well past childbearing age. Many have imagined that Sarah would have been joyful about becoming a mother. Would she have felt that way? 

Going through labor in the ancient world was dangerous enough for a young female. Imagine how much more difficult pregnancy would be for Sarah. Her laughter in verse 10b (omitted by the lectionary selection) was more about the ridiculousness of Abraham and her being able to do what was necessary for Sarah to become pregnant. It is also important to remember that this is the first time Sarah has heard (or overheard) that she is required to bear the child of promise. Abraham has heard it at least three times (Genesis 12:1-9; 15: 1-21; & 17:1-27), and even he laughed when the Divine qualified that the child must be born through him and Sarah (Genesis 17:7). While the story emphasizes that nothing is “too wonderful for the LORD” (verse 14), Sarah’s reaction may remind us that “too wonderful” may not be what is best for everyone.

Once again, the story raises a question: “Whom do we leave on the margins while we make decisions that directly affect their lives?” Too often, the privileged few leave the marginalized out of the conversations, assuming that they know what is best and are surprised by their reactions. Without their voices, the temptation is to choose actions that do not upset the status quo. How different would it be if all were included in the decision-making? Imagine the possibilities of inclusion and the world we could create.

Alternate First Reading

Commentary on Amos 8:1-12

Pamela Scalise

Amos describes a basket of summer fruit shown to him by God. This visual image serves as an icon, linked to the content of the divine word. A play on words forms the link, the similar sound of qayits “summer fruit” and qets “end.” This play on words marks a startling reversal of expectations comparable to Amos 3:2. 

The bounty of sweetness from pomegranates, figs, and grapes, the value of olive oil and wine, the long years of care and cultivation to bring fruit-bearing trees and vines to productivityall these associations with summer fruit anticipate a good word of blessing. God’s word through the prophet, however, announces the end.

Many will die, as did happen when the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 732 and 722 BCE. The rest will mourn, wearing sackcloth and shaving their heads. Wailing will replace celebratory singing in the temple (or palace) as the nations’ feasts become only occasions of mourning.

The nation’s grief will be like mourning for an only son. This loss would have been the greatest that parents could experience in a patrilineal culture. One’s hope for continued remembrance as part of a family lineage depended on having a son who would have a son, and so on. 

The Gospel accounts of darkness at midday following the death of the Beloved Son, Jesus, recall the language of Amos 8:9 (Matthew 27:45//Mark 15:33//Luke 23:44). 


Amos 8:1-3 describes the fourth in a series of visions, interrupted by the report of the conflict between Amos and Amaziah at Bethel (Amos 7:10-17). After the first and second visions of destruction, Amos intercedes for Israel saying, “How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” Then God relents, “It shall not be” (Amos 7:2-3, 5-6).

The third and fourth visions conclude with announcements of divine judgment, including the cause for their greatest grief, “I will never again pass over them” (author’s translation), that is, “I will never again spare them” or “pardon them.” The prophet doesn’t ask God to forgive and God does not relent. As cold as these judgments sound, there are hints regarding the warmth of God’s emotions. The objects of divine judgment are still “my people Israel,” Yahweh’s chosen covenanted people.

Divine compassion for the suffering of poor and vulnerable people is the root of God’s wrath against the comfortable wealthy who do not “grieve over the ruin of Joseph” (Amos 6:6).

This week’s companion Psalm 52 describes people like Amos’ audience, who love evil and seek refuge in wealth rather than in God. Such people exist in all times and places. The psalmist is one of their victims, one who thanks and trusts in God forever. The judgments announced in Amos answer the prayers of sufferers like this psalmist.


What had God’s people Israel done to deserve this ending? What crimes deserve this sort of consequence? The book of Amos describes many sins, but this pericope focuses on oppression of the poor and the needy by economic exploitation. Seeking profits by cheating, fraud, and enslavement of poor people will make the very land tremble. (Compare Amos 2:6-7.) 

Deuteronomy 25:13-15 and Leviticus 19:35-36 forbid the use of dishonest weights and measuring vessels that skimp the product and inflate the payment. This is not an esoteric requirement; it is basic justice recognizable by anyone. 

Israel’s particular observances of Sabbath and New Moon are distinctive faith practices with spiritual and theological purposes. Weekly and monthly one stops work to acknowledge the Creator as the source of sustenance for all living things and the stability of the created world (Genesis 1:29-2:3; 8:22; 9:3). 

For the people addressed by God in this pericope, this spiritual purpose has not been achieved. They think of Sabbath and New Moon observances as things done merely to satisfy Yahweh’s requirements rather than to form their lives of faith and relationship with God. This charge is a major theme of the book of Amos (compare 4:4-5; 5:21-24).

In Amos 8:7 the Lord “has sworn by the pride of Jacob,” the very thing that God “abhors” in Amos 6:8, instead of swearing “by himself,” as in Amos 6:8 and many other places. This pride (gaon) includes fortresses and other evidence of wealth and power. 

In Amos’ time, “the kingdom of Israel included vast territories … had an abundance of fertile land and water sources, extensive control over the main roads of the country, … and direct access to the coast and trade routes…”1

Surely the Lord’s own oath would not be secured by such temporary things! “The pride of Jacob” should be God, God’s self. 


This pericope begins with the vision of a cornucopia and ends with the announcement of impending famine. A deadly dearth of food and water is only a metaphor for the even more dangerous lack of communication from the Lord. 

The previous chapter tells how Amaziah attempted to silence God’s word in the Northern Kingdom by ordering Amos to cease prophesying at Bethel (Amos 7:13; see also 2:12). The climactic judgment in Amos 8:11-12 corresponds to his desire. 

No one wants to hear terrible indictments and threats of punishment. Yet these forms of divine speech provide opportunities for prophets to intercede (Amos 7:1-6) and invitations to their audiences to repent. (Compare Jeremiah 26:1-6; 36:1-3.) A hard word from God is better than no word at all.

Deuteronomy 30:11-14, Psalm 19:7-10, and 119:11, for example, celebrate the blessing of God’s word held close.

The Northern Kingdom of Israel did come to an end, but God’s word wasn’t silenced. The book of Amos was composed and heard in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and everywhere and in every time that the Bible has been read, studied, memorized, and preached. 


  1. Amihai Mazar, “The Divided Monarchy: Comments on Some Archaeological Issues.” In The Quest for the Historical Israel, Debating Archaeology and the History of Israel. Ed. By Brian B. Schmidt. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Israel, 2007. P. 161.


Commentary on Psalm 15

Matthew Stith

The question posed in two parallel clauses by Psalm 15:1, “O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?” sets the agenda both for the psalm itself and for any interpretation of it. The question, in and of itself, relates to the identification of those people who enjoy access to God’s presence, as it was understood to be specially manifested in the temple. 

For the preacher, the obvious connection here is to the understanding that the church, and every gathering of 2 or more of its members (Matthew 18:20) represent similar opportunities for access to that presence. The psalm’s answers to the question will have implications for people who publicly participate in such gatherings. Are there requirements that must be met for rightful attendance and participation? If so, what are they? If not, how else are we to understand what the psalm says about those who “may abide” in the presence of the Lord?

First and foremost, it is noteworthy that the psalm’s description of the person who may abide in the presence is entirely ethical. There are no ritual or liturgical elements whatsoever. This may be surprising, since such requirements are, in other texts, given in considerable detail and applied with considerable rigor, and one would expect such elements to be part of any actual list of enforceable requirements. Psalm 15, however, is entirely concerned with the conduct to be observed by those who would draw near to God, and so it seems likely that the text is intended to function in some other way than as a list of admission standards. It is not a sort of checklist that must be completed before coming to church!

Consideration of the specific sorts of conduct listed may shed some light on how the text is intended to be used, and will in any case offer sound ethical instruction, which can itself be the basis of fruitful preaching. Specific ethical imperatives urged by the psalm for those who would “walk blamelessly and do what is right” (2) include:

    • Truthful speech, both about one’s inner thoughts and about one’s neighbor (2-3)
    • Good conduct toward one’s neighbor (3)
    • The giving of approval to conduct in others that is aligned with God’s will, and the withholding of approval from what is contrary to it (4)
    • Integrity and fidelity in keeping one’s word (4)
    • Refusal to engage in financial exploitation of the vulnerable (5)

It will not be difficult for the preacher, if so inclined, to find examples of professing believers who strive to exemplify these activities. It will be even less difficult to find widely known and public examples of professing believers who do not.

It is the fact of human inability to perfectly execute the ethical program of Psalm 15 that makes it crucial to understand how this list of behaviors is meant to function. If they are absolute requirements that must be fulfilled in order to enter God’s presence, no one will ever be qualified to do so. Happily, it is consistent with Christian teaching on God’s forgiveness and renovation of the flawed and fallen members of God’s people to construe them not as requirements that must be met to enter the presence, but rather as markers of a person who has been touched by that forgiving and renovating presence. 

In other words, these ways of behaving with respect to neighbor, worshiping community, and world are made possible by the encounter with the powerful presence of the Lord. The message of Psalm 15 to the church is thus a hopeful rather than an exclusionary one: Those who regularly enter the presence of God by coming to the place of worship are enabled, more and more, to walk in righteousness, to do what is right, and more specifically to strive to display the ethical marks set forth in the text.

In this light, the closing line of the psalm, “Those who do these things shall never be moved,” reads as a promise of the reliability and solidity of God’s agenda for redemption, as it applies to the individual believer walking through life in the world.

Approaching the text in this manner allows either for preaching on the psalm alone or drawing connections to any number of New Testament texts that address forgiveness, sanctification, and/or Jesus’s habit of welcoming surprising people into his presence with equally surprising results.

Second Reading

Commentary on Colossians 1:15-28

Ryan Schellenberg

Our passage begins with an apparent paradox: Christ is “the image of the invisible God” (1:15). Probing into this striking statement brings us close to the heart of the letter’s bold Christological claims and its all-encompassing vision of healing and reconciliation. 

The first section of the passage is often referred to as the Colossian “Christ hymn” (1:15–20). Some scholars have argued that these verses preserve ancient liturgical material that this author did not write but has rather incorporated into the letter. If so, the hymn’s vision of a created order that finds its structure and purpose in Christ nonetheless resonates with the “cosmic” Christology of the letter as a whole. 

In Colossians, Christ does not bring reconciliation to the individual believer alone, nor only to the church, but to all of God’s creation.

Image, wisdom, cosmos, church

That God is invisible may go without saying. But what then does it mean to speak of Christ as God’s image (eikōn)? Here one place to start is with a similar statement in Colossians 2:9: “In [Christ] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily (sōmatikōs)” (see also 1:19). Without getting caught up in later trinitarian formulations, we might begin by saying that Christ, for this author, is the “materialization” of God, what the spiritual deity looks like in the flesh. 

A second striking claim thickens the plot: Christ is “the firstborn of all creation” (1:15) in whom “all things hold together” (1:17).

Here we must pause to consider a cluster of overlapping ways these phrases will have resonated with the letter’s ancient addressees. In Jewish wisdom tradition, the personified Lady Wisdom was often described as the first of God’s creations (Proverbs 8:22; Sirach 1:4; 24:9). She was, as the first-century Jewish thinker Philo wrote, “the first-born mother of all things” (Questions and Answers on Genesis 4.97).

More than that, Wisdom was often depicted as having had a role in creation itself. As Proverbs 3:19 puts it, “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens” (see also 8:22-31). God’s Wisdom, then, was woven into the fabric of the created order. Accordingly, when Solomon sought to understand “the structure of the world (kosmos) and the activity of the elements,” he turned for instruction to Wisdom, “the fashioner of all things” (Wisdom 7:17, 22). How better to gain insight than by consulting the divine blueprint by which the world was made!

So when Colossians speaks of Christ as the one through whom all things were made and in whom all things hold together, this is to portray Christ as the very wisdom of God, the living and intricate logic by which the world was made. Or, to put it differently, if Christ is the image of the invisible God, the cosmos itself bears the image of Christ—even if, as we will see, it has not always lived the part.

Given the cosmic scope of this vision, it is something of a surprise to come to Colossians 1:18: “Christ is the head of the body, the church.” Since the universe itself was often conceptualized in the ancient world as a body, and since we have just read that all of creation holds together in Christ, we might have expected the text here to read “Christ’s body, the world.” 

Some scholars have seen in this unexpected reference to the church an indication that the so-called “Christ hymn” does not quite fit its current context in the letter to the Colossians. But perhaps the surprise is intentional, provoking readers to reflect on how church and cosmos intersect in Christ. Indeed, in this letter’s sweeping theological vision, the story of Christ’s ecclesial body is wrapped up in the story of the whole created order, the larger ecological body knit together in him.

For modern readers accustomed to thinking of humanity as standing apart from other creatures, this doubling of Christ’s body invites a reimagining of our place in the world God created. As Vicky Balabanksi writes, “the Church must be committed to Christ’s body, our ecological home, and our participation in the sacraments must help us perceive the world sacramentally.”1 Paradoxically, then, to dwell in the heavens with Christ (3:1) means belonging more deeply on Earth.

The reconciliation of all things

If this letter’s Christology incorporates the whole created order, so too does its vision of reconciliation in Christ. For, however masterfully designed, the intricate web of the cosmos has been strained, suffering hostility between creatures and estrangement from its creator (1:21; 2:8; 3:11). 

Here the passage turns from creation to new creation. Echoing the earlier claim that Christ is “the firstborn of all creation” (1:15), the writer now describes him also as “the firstborn from the dead” (1:18)—the first sign, we might say, of the world’s renewal. 

Our text does not indicate how the cross of Christ brings reconciliation. There will be more to say on that in Colossians 2:9-15. Here the focus is rather on the scale of what has been achieved: All things, in heaven and on earth, have now been reconciled to God in Christ (1:20). The brokenness and alienation that afflict the whole created order have been undone. Where once there was hostility and strife, Christ has now made peace.

Again, this cosmic vision of reconciliation is an invitation for the church to reimagine the scope of God’s renewing work. The reconciliation of believers with God outlined in Colossians 1:21-22 is part of a much larger story, the creation, estrangement, and then renewal of all that God has made. Indeed, in Colossians, the gospel is not only for humans, but is good news of restoration “for every creature under heaven” (1:23).

In these days of environmental degradation and ecological collapse, our own alienation and estrangement from the world God created is all too visible. The web of relationships that sustains God’s creatures is under severe strain. Here Colossians speaks a challenging but hopeful word: Christ has done this reconciling work. What remains is to live into this new reality. 


  1. Vicky S. Balabanski, “Hellenistic Cosmology and the Letter to the Colossians: Towards an Ecological Hermeneutic,” in Ecological Hermeneutics: Biblical, Historical and Theological Perspectives, ed. David G. Horrell et al. (London: T&T Clark, 2010), 105–6. For an ecological reading of the letter as a whole, see Balabanski, Colossians: An Eco-Stoic Reading, Earth Bible Commentary (London: T&T Clark, 2020).