Well, last night was meeting #2 of my lectionary discussion group, and I'm happy to report that we had three new people show up, doubling the number of people over last week! Hooray! Thanks be to God!
This weeks passages that I'm especially looking at are Exodus 20:1-17 better known as the Ten Commandments, and John 2:13-22 better known as "Jesus tears up the Temple".
Onw important point that was brought up last night is that there are commandments regarding things about which we are very clear are wrong: lying, stealing, killing...but how many of us worry about neglecting the Sabbath? This turned into a long-winded discussion about how society does not honor sabbath-keeping in any form. Employees are seldom encouraged to use all their vacation, except in the punitive "Use it or lose it" sense. How important must it be to God that we set a side time to honor the Sabbath, if it ended up being one of the Creator's "Top Ten" ways to honor God?
In the John passage, folks were fascinated by the discussion that the sellers of cattle, sheep and doves were in fact part of the system that made Temple worship work--that folks could show up empty-handed, and purchase what they needed to sacrifice appropriately. I was left wowdnering if Jesus was overwhelmed by the fact that he would soon be the sacrifice, and that this is what caused him to react so strongly to what he saw going on.
Trying to tie the passages together (which I warned the group wasn't always feasible in the light of the events of a single week) people were left with a 'Grace vs Law' thought that I'm sure will end up somewhere in the sermon.
What are you thinking this week, homiletically-speaking?