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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings:Cold Snap Edition

Here in the heartland, a change has occured. Yesterday was 65 degrees, and right now my weatherbug says it is 34 degrees! With the beginning of November tomorrow, other changes occur in the church calendar: suddenly there is no denying it. Ordinary Time for year B is dwindling fast! Only a few more Sundays left until Advent, and if you're like me, at least a couple of those will be spent on Stewardship themes.

That's why I'm very glad for this week's lectionary passages. The Ruth reading and the Gospel are two of my favorites. My choice this week is whether to go narrative (Ruth lends itself quite nicely to this.) or to just "give it to 'em straight" with the Gospel. I hope the Holy Spirit provides a clear signal before tomorrow morning! But then, I'm sure the Spirit is used to dealing with bulletin deadlines, eh?

Where are you leaning this week?

27 comments:

  1. Ah Cheesehead, the bulletin deadline. Yes, the Holy Spirit inspires us for that one too.

    I was thinking as reading what you wrote, that the narrative would be nice and lends itself to ending with the gospel. And I was even thinking of that for my sermon.

    But as for a title, who knows yet?

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  2. I am leaning toward the Gospel (I am a "rule follower.") I was reading this morning in "Master of Surprise" by Juel that this pericope is a part of the section that draws stark, radical contrasts between the temple establishment-which will be destroyed-where offerings and sacrifices are made in ritual, and truly keeping the commandments-as seen in Jesus'life/ministry. It transfers well to our culture today. What does it look like when we truly adhere to the commandment to love God, neighbor, and self, rather than feeding the establishment or cultural norms.

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  3. I'm learning a lot. But still not preaching ...

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  4. Not a preacher but I like to think about how I'd do it. I wonder if people plan on adding an All Saint's Day component to it as well?

    For myself I love the Deuteronomy text but there is something so poetic about writing the words of God on our hearts.

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  5. The Gospel lesson reminds me of that old military recruitment slogan, "The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love." Just two commandments...but we still mess them up, time and again; God's grace is what frees us to take the risks necessary to keep living into that ideal, even if we don't get it right.

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  6. can we use that for a sermon title without infringing on copy rights?

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  7. I'd say go ahead and use it for a sermon title-I am thinking I will. Thanks for a great idea! This would be our tax dollars at work, right?

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  8. I'm guest preaching this week, using the Gospel text. I've been caught this time by the "no one dared to ask any more questions." at the end of the passage. Not sure what that's going to turn into, if anything.

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  9. I'm using neither the Gospel nor Ruth (as much as I like both). Instead I am going with the psalm, and using the devotional I wrote for November 4 (everyone can check their book) as the basis--if not the major part of the sermon.

    And since this SUnday is the last before November 11, I am doing some Remembrance Day talking for children's time.

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  10. I spent this day reflecting on ideas for All Saints. We are actually going to celebrate All Saints and All Souls in one. I've invited folks to bring photos of loved one's who have left this world, so we can put them around the altar and chancel area. I'm preaching on this theme, using images of jigsaw puzzles, pieces of life coming together, the way we all intersect, and focusing on life's blessings (beatitudes in the Gospel)...a merger of blessings, saints, and ordinary folk. Inspired by a poem by Lawrence Kushner. It may be that my sermon for Sunday is done...yikes could that be???

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  11. I'm not preaching again this week. I'll be up in the mountains helping to run 2 back to back women's spiritual growth retreats. Our guest preacher is using the All Saints lectionary selection from Wisdom of Solomon and somehow melding All Saints with stewardship. Wish I could be there to hear how he does that.

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  12. I am planning to preach the Ruth text, since it is the focus text for the Sunday School curriculum and I have a commitment to be in step with them. I've been mulling over what made Ruth choose differently than Orpah, and what in life prepares us or moves to act from the heart rather than following the rules.
    I'll be using the Mark passage on our "journey through the liturgical year" service on Nov. 26th as the final reflection in that service, so I'm appreciative of the thoughts being shared on that passage, too!

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  13. I love the Ruth passage and any excuse to go the narrative route is wonderful... but I'm not preaching this weekend... so I can't do either.. a very odd feeling! Not a bulletin deadline in sight... truly strange!

    It is cold here too now with strong winds blowing branches down...

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  14. Songbird,
    Love the Ruth image and pondering movements of the heart...makes me also wonder about what causes some of us to be brave, strong, to take risks...it was a very brave and risky thing for Ruth to follow Naomi. How does love stir us to strength and bravery (perhaps especially women)? How does God's love stir us to do things we never thought we would, could?

    Good food for thought!Thanks.

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  15. I'll be going with the Ruth text and I'm leaning towards how her willingness to take an unnecessary leap in love opened the door for God's power to come seeping in - tying it to her great great grandson David and then on to Jesus. I'll probably babble a bit about how our willingness to love someone that passionately opens the door to God. Still have work to do!

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  16. "our willingness to love someone that passionately opens the door to God." Chilly Fingers (great name) I love what you wrote. Passion, love, willingness = changed life = changing others :)

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  19. Well, I didn't say this to begin with, but, its my birthday on the 6th. And for my birthday present Bob is going to preach. But what we are going to do is still being cooked up. Its a surprise to the congregation. I am going to begin and Bob is going to take over. He chose the Ruth passage, so that is what we are going with. He is sort of stuck. So I am going to offer for him to read your comments to further the ideas he has.

    We also have communion Sunday.

    Good thoughts everyone.

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  20. This week I'm actually farther along in my thought process than I usually am by Wednesday.

    I'm going with Mark, but blending in a little Ruth, too. It's hard to be the "foreigner", and hard to love the foreigner, too. I had a little personal test of that last week. I think I'm going to talk a little about what that was like.

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  21. anyone else talking about the election? i'm ripping off jan at starving artist from a post a while back for my sermon title - Purple People. (get it? red plus blue makes...)
    And somehow talking about Mark, Ruth, All Saints and Covenant, too. (Thus is revealed "the associate who doesnt preach much" problem.)

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  22. I'm acually preaching on the All Saints texts, with the added pleasure of this week being our Confirmation Sunday as well. The text is John 11 - my sermon title is "Unbound and Free."

    No, that's not tongue-in-cheek: why do you ask? :-)

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  23. ...three hours later, having gotten through the rest of her reading, she adds...
    oh, and that purple thing is all over Diana Butler Bass's new book (have you read it?? you gotta read it!!) too.

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  24. I'm using the Gospel and the Psalm. I think the Psalm illuminates the dual command well...talking about a God who liberates the poor and oppressed, offering us a model. And, since it's election day on Tuesday I might throw that in as well...

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  25. so, I just read juniper68's comment above mine...glad to know I'm tracking with some of you experienced preachers.

    I also wanted to add that I have had the song lyrics "One" by U2 in my head all week, particularly the chorus:
    One love, one life,...one love, we've got to share it...we've got to carry each other.

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  26. To the newbies, as you called yourselves, remember you can preach all you want on purple and Bass's new book, but you can not tell anyone who to vote for, that is the law.

    I haven't gotten Bass's book yet, but plan to, she also has a website too.

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