Visit our new site at

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana" edition of TLL

Okay, that joke doesn't have anything to do with the lectionary--yet. I just saw it on Studio 60 last night and thought it made a funny visual. YMMV.

This is my last sermon to write before Advent, having been graciously given the Sunday after Thanksgiving off. I feel as if I need to cram a whole lot into it. Is anyone else fighting this temptation?

This week's lection has a gospel lesson that I heard pretty consistently in my childhood, growing up in a premillenialist/dispensationalist household. (Say that three times fast!) I never really understood what "wars and rumors of wars" really meant, since I grew up during the tail end of Vietnam, and it seemed as if there was always somebody fighting somewhere.

I'm hoping this week, through prayer and study, to unlock the mystery of this passage and find the hope within. How else can we prepare for Advent without a little hope?

What mysteries are you pondering this week?


  1. I also love "two wrongs don't make a right, but two wright's can make an airplane."
    Since Sunday afternoon's our local holiday parade(!)I am going to preach thanksgiving this week.I have an intergenerational worship format that suggests reading "Stone Soup" for the message...that might work here.

  2. C'Head, I am with you there. It is our Stewardship Sunday as well as the last Sunday I preach before First Advent. On top of that Tim Lahey won't leave my subconscious. Jeezie Pete!

    So, I figured I would do the absurd and try to rescue apocalyptic theology from that particular Christian subculture. I have 17 minutes to do that in such a way that the members also want to give.


  3. I am now remembering the camp song, " Horse Fly" We would sing, Have you ever seen a horse fly, a horse fly, a horse fly? Have you ever seen a horse fly, well, I have, have you?
    it continues with various compund words that can also be a noun and verb. Banana split, bacon strip, etc.
    So, yes, this has nothing to do with the lectioanry text or anythig else for that matter. Just a memory from childhood! Funny, how these camp songs come back to me after more than 25 years.

  4. I am struck by Mark's use of the word birthpangs. I am going to alk about living in the uncertainty of a new thing being born. And remember that however much memory may romanticize labour/childbirth at times it is a messy, loud, painful business much of the time.

    Se my early thoughts here

  5. I'm switching around some lectionary readings. I'm saving this Sunday's Proper for Reign of Christ Sunday, when I'll give my take on the "end of the world" type texts.

    I'm focusing on the readings for Thanksgiving this Sunday and exploring the meaning of Matthew 6 ("Consider the lilies of the field," etc.). In particular, I'm talking about how Jesus' sayings aren't meant to be a burden, but rather are meant to free us to be disciples.

  6. I was thinking of "Time flies while having fun or something silly like that." And to while away the hours do sound fun. But here we are thinking, wracking our brain our thoughts for this apocalyptic literature. Oh goodie. I am with Gord. Something I read struck me about the birth pangs as well. Not sure what it was, maybe the dream I had about being pregnant. BUT I AM NOT!!!

  7. We're going with the Thanksgiving Day texts. Lilies of the field is a powerful life verse, as they say, for me, although I hope the congregation hasn't seen that worried side of me as much as it manifests in my personal life. (Except, perhaps, as regards my knitting-consuming dog...)
    More People Than Cows has a brilliant suggestion for Thanksgiving worship which I am hoping to adapt for use in my congregation. This led to the thought that rather than preaching a sermon, I might invite 5 people to join me in speaking their thanks (to others in the church, to someone not in the church, and to God) aloud, as a model for the writing of notes of thanks that will follow.
    I love the words of Psalm 126, but as a colleague said this morning, would people looking at us think to say them about us?

    When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
    Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
    Psalm 126:1-2

  8. I'm thinking about Jesus encouraging anxiety. That the point of living into the future together is not about feeling less anxious, but is about being more authentic in the here-and-now. I also like this quote from Fred Craddock: "Maybe people are obsessed with the second coming because, deep down, they were really disappointed in the first one." Thank goodness it is only Tuesday...

  9. Songbird, thanks for the compliment and the link. And thanks for your additional thoughts. Maybe I'll see if a few elders want to verbalize thanks along with me before the note writing commences. Good addition!

    I fleshed out the idea a bit more in the comments.

    Blessings on all dealing with the end of world text and trying to do so much this week.

  10. Combining the "birthpangs" from Mark and the story of Hannah from Samuel I find myself thinking of my friends dealing with infertility issues. But that just could be me. Nevertheless, there is a sense of advent hope in both lessons. Things can be bleak, and talk of wars and rumors of wars and things but God reminds us to take care and don't be led astray. The time is not yet ripe. But we do know that advent is coming.

    All of that is a moot point though since it is confirmation weekend here.

  11. I love Hannah. There are good reasons why my bunnyrabbit is named Samuel!

    I'm adding Hannah's song to the lectionary reading to help add to the thanksgiving/gratitude/turn in your pledges atmosphere on Sunday.

    I may even dress like Hannah and talk about my life and my great thankfullness to God. Hmm - haven't played dressup in a while.

    Of course, it is only Tuesday. . .

  12. Maria, you play dress up too?
    :-) It's been a while for me as well, which gives me ideas.

  13. Y'all are on a different lectionary...

    I'm preaching on Joel 2:21-27, in regards to an abundant harvest and God's presence with God's people. I'm debating on including the Matt text, since we're also observing Transgender Day of Remembrance--for all those who have been murdered out of transphobia or because they did not fit gender "norms."

    Oh, and it's still the Stewardship series...

    I can work with Joel on those themes--or maybe I should say Joel can work with me--but I don't know about Matt.

    I'm tired of Stewardship already. Trans issues, yes--very close to my heart. But Stewardship...sigh.

    Somebody was supposed to slap me upside the head to keep me from doing another sermon series. Somebody is falling down on the job...

  14. Well, having read the comments, I am thinking about changing some things around and doing a thanksgiving on this Sunday and moving the Mark passage to next week, but I am not sure.

  15. Rainbow Pastor, I'm always preaching a sermon series. It's called "Look what the lectionary did to Maria this week!"

    Yep, Owl, definitely feel a dress up sermon coming real soon.

  16. I'm going with the two OT passages, but haven't eved started the exegesis etc. yet.

  17. Ah, wonderful comments yet sadly my brain is still mushy. I've got Sunday's sermon and then a Thanksgiving Eve sermon running around in my head and the two bumping into each other - hard to keep them straight!

    For Sunday I'm working with Hannah's song and the Little Apocalypse. Pretty sure I'm going with the whole "nothing lasts but God, put all your eggs in that basket business." BUT I've also thought about going with the whole "bringing the kingdom in ain't easy, birthpangs and all that, but cling to that rock!" or something like that.

    Of course, I'm kingdoming on Wednesday with the Joel and Matthew lilies text. That sermon is more concrete - about being thankful for one of our greatest gifts, the chance to participate in the kingdom of God.

    And that's all folks! Really want Wed to be good in particular because it's a community service and I'll be preaching from the pulpit of a Southern Baptist church!


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.