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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The "Sometimes Lectionary Leanings are a Procrastination Tool" Edition

I'm trying like heck to avoid writing two worship bulletins, so I guess I'd better muse homiletically instead.

As others have noted, this week is the celebration of Trinity Sunday, in my opinion a peculiar celebration, since it is all about an idea which does not appear in Scripture. Nevertheless, it appears on church calendars everywhere.

I will be concentrating on Paul's letter to the Church in Rome this week. This text to me sounds more like an Advent text than one to visit right before Ordinary Time. In the beginning of the carefree days of summer, who wants to think about the groaning of all creation? Many folk in our churches will have graduations, weddings, and family vacations on their minds, not Paul's "sufferings of the present time".

What is our responsibility to our church community at this time? I'm seriously considering switching to an every-other-year schedule for the Trinity. I wonder if anyone would even miss it. I keep thinking about a question that PCIT posed earlier this week. What will you do with this whole concept of Trinity Sunday? And if not Trinity Sunday, then what?

What are you musing this week?


  1. /This will be my last Sunday to preach at Wadley, it seems like this goodbye thing has gone on forever. I chose the Isaiah passage. And now for the life of me, I can't remember why. We are doing VBS, and my brain is gone to that and the move.

  2. Ok - definitly not from a stole-wearing-pulpit-blazing-priestly point of view. That is my disclaimer for this comment.

    So your question...
    Many folk in our churches will have graduations, weddings, and family vacations on their minds, not Paul's "sufferings of the present time". What is our responsibility to our church community at this time?

    Maybe I am just being far too simplistic, and not liturgical enough, but I don't see any reason why to speak the language of the people in the pews. If the congregation, and more importantly the guests who are not members or regular attenders, are not feelin' Paul's suffering of the present time, why talk about it, taking the risk of boring them to tears, driving them away, or worse yet, be irrelevant?

    I am not sure what the alternative is.
    Sidenote - I normally don't respond or post - so if you want to slaughter me for these comments, please do so kindly.

  3. Hi, Swandive. I'm not sure what you're getting at here. It's hard to get each other's tone in comments sometimes.
    Sometimes the thing people are not thinking about is exactly the thing to preach about, if that seems needed in the local community of a particular church. And I think an argument can be made that any of those milestone and annual events can be experienced as "sufferings of the present time."
    I'm not preaching on the lectionary this week because we have a guest preacher, but if I were, I think Isaiah 6 would be my choice. As we reach a turning point in the year for many people, especially where graduation is a focal point, thinking about being sent or called is timely.

  4. Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who wasn't exactly sure what you meant.

    Sometimes it is the season to preach what is exactly on everyone's mind, sometimes it is the season to stretch each other. That's my job to be open enough to the Spirit to (only with God's help) try to do.

    Driving them away? I give the folk here more credit than that. Boring? Probably not. Irrelevant? Hmm...can the Sprit be irrelevant?

    I've been posting here since this site's inception, and I've yet to see anyone slaughtered. We're a pretty nice lot here, I think. Join us more often!

  5. I am thinking that the purpose of the Trinity language, like any other God-talk, is to try and express how we experience God. After all the doctrine itself largely arose as the early churhc tried to understand how they wer monotheistic and yet were able to say that Christ was divine.

    So I am going to talk about how we know God's presence, and talk about how the Trinity can help with that at times.

  6. I'm musing about my summer internship in Seattle. I just dragged in up here this morning. Tired, but very excited, now.

  7. I love Isaiah 6. what strikes me is that Isaiah sees God when he's in distress (as I see it) after the death of the King. In his desperation he cries out.

    We don't do trinity Sunday and actually I won't even be in chruch this weekend (shock horror!) but I do think it's wonderful to remind ourselves of the link between Father son and spirit. I think that's why maybe trinity Sunday is at the end of the season of Pentecost - so we we can remember what the purpose of the trinity is - relationship with God.

    be blessed. I'm just home, and off again (sigh) annual conference which I'm cutting short on Friday. I need time with my family and they with me.

    PS Rev Gals and Pals is the nicest of places. Shootings are rare :)

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  9. As an Anglican the Trinity is fundamental to my faith and I enjoy the time to focus on this particularly. The Church of England is a liturgical church and I enjoy the changing seasons and patterns of worship.
    Each service has elements of the Trinity but it is good to have a whole service dedicated to this aspect of God.

    As someone who had a bad father being able to relate to God in Jesus and the Spirit helped me then to feel safe enough to reach out to Him as Father.

    Whatever you all do this Sunday I wish you God's peace.

  10. I'll be using Isaiah 6. We have our graduate recognition and a new member joining, and in my view they both tie in nicely to a story of call.

    What strikes me (this time) about Isaiah's call is how, in the midst of this incredible vision he has, he discovers his place in God's world first through humility and then through accepting his role. Graduation can bring similar feelings in particular.

  11. Hey everyone!
    Wednesdays is my first day looking at the lectionary--I'll be underlining and circling those words/phrases in the text that come out to me--chew on them a bit in my mind. First impressions to me is the awesomeness of God. From all the lectionary picks for this week, there is something to be said about revering God, and perhaps we're missing that in society. One of the first things that comes to my mind is Rudolph Otto's philosophy of God, "the tremendum, mysterium, fascinan" (I hope I remember some of my Latin spelling here). How do we describe God: tremendous, mystery, and fascinating to us as God's creatures. I think this Sunday I'm going to focus on how we think about God, with a bit on the Trinity, and that faith in God is still worth having in today's world.

  12. Right now I'm troubled with the attitudes my friends seem to have about Christianity. Like you can't be truly educated and still believe in God. Or you can't be cool and believe in God. Or you can't drink and dance and wear vinyl gogo boots and believe in God.

    I wrote more about it in my blog

  13. Well, I have been pondering the relationship between the Trinity (and the implied relationships there) and the way that we have been hemming in relationships in this country...

    We are building a Big Fence.
    We are thinking of keeping some people from the benefits of marriages...civil unions?
    We are killing those who disagree with us...or threaten us...

    So, do we know how to live in relationship? Really? I am thinking that we need to listen to our theology a little more.

    BTW, the Trinity is in scripture...just not explicit i.e. Jesus never say "We's a Trinity, Batman." But Pentecost ushers something in that we need to engage somehow...we experienced a plurality of godliness/divinity in worship according to scripture. So, the Trinity is a result of a worship experience.

    I think...

  14. To my people in Disaster Zone, the "present sufferings" are all too real. Miserable, frustrating and frightening stuff goes on most days if not for them particularly then for the community.

    Feeling close to Paul is an interesting sensation.

  15. I love Henri Nouwen's observation that in Christian theology God loves relationships so much that God IS a relationship.


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