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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings--Easter Edition

So...anybody preaching this week?


I know, bad joke.

I have found myself in two different conversations this week (since Saturday) saying the same thing: Easter will just have to wait. One was with a person who had already trashed a perfectly good Easter sermon by last Saturday, and one was with smeone who was sweating not having a really good one by Monday. I tell you, I hang out with overachievers sometimes.

I have come to referring to this week's crescendo event as "Super Awesome Easter--with Super Awesome Sermon included!" And yet I am feeling neither super nor awesome about it this Tuesday of Holy Week. I am preaoccupied with the memorial that looms overhead in the next two days. In the next 48 hours I will stand beside a gieving family as accept and embrace the condolences of their frinds and loved ones, and I will celebrate the Hope of the Resurrection that has been made all the more real in the glorious passing of one of our church saints.

I'm beginning to feel as Mary Magdalene might have on the early Sunday morning. "Just get me through it, Lord. Meet me on the other side."

Will I meet Jesus face to face? Will I hear him call me by name, respond with my own nickname for him, and somehow understand that he has conquered death, hell and the grave just for me? Will my tears be wiped away?

May it be so, Lord.

What are your thoughts this week, super and awesome, or not?

PS--if I may be a little self-indulgent, today is my one year Blogiversary. Yeah for me!


  1. happy anniversary!!!

    it sounds like you need to preach easter like it was a funeral service... usually we think of friday being the funeral, but really it's easter... the day we get to bury death forever.

    and i have NO CLUE, what i'm gonna say on sunday, or thursday or friday for that matter.

  2. Maybe this is heresy... especially on a ring full of preachers!... but as one who sits in the pews during Holy Week, I would almost prefer no sermon at all. I basically camp out at church from Thursday until Sunday and at no time do I really feel like listening to a sermon. The best, closest thing to it was the meditations on the way of the cross last year at the 3 hour Good Friday service. Short meditations, perhaps explainations, of the events of the stations. And then lots of silence between.

    Heresy, I know!

  3. Yah for you indeed! Hard to believe it's only one year. Only one?

    I liked cats thoughts on burying death forever. That'll blog and preach too I daresay!

    Be blessed

  4. I preached on Palm Sunday and don't have to do it again until Pentecost...

    Enjoying being in training while I still can, because 3 short years from now I will be close to having to preach all the time...

    Which is fine (I love the actual preaching) except that I agonize over the writing process.

  5. Thanks for this post, I am totally relating right now and glad to hear I'm not alone. I'm still planning Thursday - Sunday services, and I think Easter is always the hardest time to preach. I do like the funeral images though.

  6. I am using Mark, the short ending (to verse 8). I am thinking about the New Life beyond the fear. The short ending of Mark is all about fear. Most people I think never fully experience resurrection because it is hard to move past the fear.

    FOr me resurrection is not an event, it is an experience. ANd it is an experience that can come at many times in our lives -- if only we would let it come in its ownway, not how we want it to look.

  7. Finally decided to stop struggling with my Palm Sunday message and dress up in a robe and headdress and do a dramatic monologue. It was well received. Now I'm struggling with Thursday's Communion and Prayer Service. Good Friday is set--we do a community thing and my part was sent in an email. I just have to read and snuff a candle.

    On the bright side, there are bugs on my windshield. Yes, this is good.

  8. So true that this Sunday is THE ONE. I think it comes from knowing that people will be there that aren't usually there and we hope that this sermon will be so amazing, so spiritual, so...well you get it....that they will just have to come back next week. As if our Easter sermon was a large yo-yo with a people magnetic attached to the end! Some of the posts have given me some good things to ponder regarding this, thanks.

    At this point I'm using the video clip to start the service from Work of the People (link on my blog) of a dead tree being replaced by a live one, and the Isaiah text at the end. It's quite powerful.

    Blessings to all as we prepare to prepare!

  9. Happy anniversary!!

    Anyone who stresses over a sermon more than a week before it's preached needs their head read.

    I prefer the "Lord inspire me I'm preaching in an hour" method of sermon

    Having said that I am on my way to being ready for Sunday today which is very prepared for me.


  10. I think I'm done with trying to squueze the Passion into Easter in order to "educate" the once-a-year folks. I'm going to try treating this the way I do every other sermon. What moves me? What puzzles me? What do we need to hear in our particular context? On that last one, I'm trying to keep the focus on the week-to-week community.
    Because really, if I treat this day as being odd and unlike all the other Sundays of the year, how will the once-a-year folk even know what it's like at Small Church?
    I'm preaching from Mark and working with the idea that fear can keep us from believing in the unlikely truth that resurrection does happen, in all kinds of ways and throughout time. Will we choose fear? Or will we choose love?

  11. Hurrah Cheesehead! Happy One Year to you!

    Rachel, last year I was preaching Easter for the first time in my life while our sr pastor was on sabbatical and I was petrified. The organist said, "Dont stress about it so much - nobody comes to easter Sunday to hear the sermon. They're here for the scriptures and music." Which ticked me off for about a minute, then made me feel a whole lot better.

    I'm not preaching this year (wipes brow with relief) but I hope someone's going to write one about those bugs on your windsheild, Owl! There must be a resurrection story in there somewhere....

    Yeah Songbird!! That sounds like a good direction to be moving IMHO - and we can ALWAYS use a word about choosing love over fear!!

  12. Happy Blog-oversary --

  13. Interesting that the subject of fear is coming up as a key point to talk about in the Resurrection sermon--see my blog.

    Owl, there are plenty of bugs here in Florida. In another month, we'll be inundated with lovebugs, more numerous than I can imagine and a pain to wash off the car, not to mention hearing them squash against the windshield. Like Mary Chapin Carpenter sang: "...sometimes you're the windshield...sometimes you're the bug"

    Happy Blogoversary! And blessings to all of you during this Holy Week!

  14. I think I'm done with trying to squueze the Passion into Easter

    THe first item in our order of worship is WHERE ARE WE NOW in which I will do a quick recap of the story that leads us into the Call to Worship announcing that Christ is Risen. It is part of my project to remind people that cross needs to be there before empty tomb.

  15. i'm up to bat on sunday as well. "he is alive" (original, i know) will be our focus. what are the consequences of really believing that Jesus is alive?

  16. I'm also focussing on the so what part of the resurrection. That is I'm sooo over the he's alive and resurrection means new life angle which does nothing to change Christian lives week in and week out the rest of the year.

    So my focus is similar to caroline's, on consequences as well. Looking at practical, real ways the resurrection changes people lives not just the He's alive hallelujah bit.

  17. Gord, it's not that I don't think we need to remind people of the cross. It's more that I worry I have been motivated by my own puzzlement and perhaps resentment at the once-a-year folk instead of letting the message happen the way it does week in and week out. Every Sunday is about the resurrection, isn't it?

  18. One Easter at my former church (a lively place to say the least!) Fr. Jeff got up to give the sermon. He looked around at all of us for a few minutes with a big grin on his face, and then he said, "The best sermon I could preach is every single one of you, and what Jesus Christ is doing in your lives, in this community, and in our lives together. You ARE Easter."

    We erupted in whoops, cheers, and tears. End of sermon. :)

    I don't think it would work more than once though.


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