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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Cold and Snowy Edition

Sorry this is coming in late--the day just got away from me in this cold and snowy weather.

Our Revised Common Lectionary texts can be found here.

I am concentrating this week on the Isaiah and 1Corinthian texts.

I am always fascinated by the word "tongs" in the Isaiah text. I don't know why. I always picture kitchen tongs or big grill tongs. It seems like such a modern implement for an ancient time. But the idea is this: what the seraph was holding was hot, and scary, and not safe to touch with ordinary flesh. And yet it was pressed to Isaiah's mouth! And then he was told to speak!

In Paul's letter, I'm looking at the second half of the reading, where Paul says "I am what I am, all because of God's grace." We are ordaining and installing officers at St. Stoic this Sunday. It seems to me to be a good time to remember that we are who we are because God touched us with something that we often regard as scary and dangerous--a call to ministry.

Who knows, I might even throw them a bone and we'll sing the song they looooooove, but I find tiresome and overdone: "Here I Am, Lord".

What are your thoughts today/tonight/this week?


  1. We'll read Isaiah and Luke. I'm going at the two call stories with the idea that the first seems too far away from our reality to be possible, but the second is something that could happen to any of us if we're willing to pay attention and take a risk. I love Peter's response to Jesus, and I love the way he follows him anyway. "Be not afraid," indeed! For a church in transition, it's the most important message there is.

  2. We're still with the Common Lectionary, so we have Judges, 1Cor and Luke 5.

    It is also our annual meeting and the kids will be in church the entire, short service, with the annual meeting following. I think I may tell/read the story of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day (or however the title goes, I need to go buy a new copy of the book).

    I think I'll read the story and then connect it to Peter and somehow get us to see that in Jesus God seeks to "catch" us, God wants us caught deep down in the darkness of our beings (deep dark waters)and God wants us brought up to the light and fullness of God. Maybe I'll say something like. "even in our worst of days, in the dark night of the soul, God reaches out to us and pulls up. All we need to do is open ourselves to the possibility of God...??" or something like that. We'll see where the Spirit leads me from today to Sunday...

  3. I'm not preaching this Sunday, hahahaha!

    Sorry, not really trying to gloat, but I have had one Sunday of no preaching since early October, and that one Sunday was during Conference, when I was coordinating worship assistants, so it wasn't a Sunday off by any means...

    I think I'll go visit a friend's church.

  4. Cold and snowy!? My kids would give anything for some snowy. We've got cold and windy, and the threat of sleet. Can't build a snowman with that stuff.

    I am doing the fishing scene in Luke 5. I just might have to bring all my fishing paraphanelia(sp).

    I have done the Isaiah passage before and the Luke passage. I just felt pulled to the Luke passage.

    Stay warm and safe.

  5. Heh, we are singing two hymns this week that were sung at my ordination...

    I'm definitely honing in on Isaiah with a touch of Luke and a touch of 1 Corinthians. I have two verses of the Isaiah text inscribed on the inside of my alb in English and Hebrew, so I have a built-in illustration there.

    Plus, the hot coal on the mouth? Ouch. Speaking the word of God can hurt like hell sometimes.

    And, in order to hand on what was first handed on to us (a phrase I wove into the eucharistic prayer at my ordination), we have to LET GO of it.

  6. I am drawn once again to the fishing story as well...
    On Thursday and Friday I will be attending a seminar on preaching Luke led by Richard Carlson. Hopefully he'll give some insight.
    I like the idea of using the Alexander book!

  7. :)

    semfem - I love what you wrote ... about letting it go

    in our church we're having a children friendly service this week - with a story about not taking time to talk to God ...

    and some fun worship songs. my teenage son's on the tech team and been putting some video clip thingie together. It'll be fun to see :) - I hope.

    Songbird - be not afraid is a really really really important message! For your church and for all of us.

    rainbow pastor - enjoy the sermon-free Sunday. May you NOT have withdrawal symptoms!

  8. Once again the lectionary readings and my church's Year of the Bible readings have passed in the night. I am discerning a text from either 1 Corinthians or 1 Kings.

    And I second your emotion about that hymn. When the governing body has it played at one of their worship services I just want to ask, "et tu - brutal!"

  9. When I read the three texts I was struck by the fact that each one featured someone sayingin essence "I'm not worthy" but anwered the call. Plus - last Sunday's lay preacher spoke about doing service with our hands. Plus - an article in our regional women's newsletter talked about missionaries as being either Goers or Senders.

    These three scriptures and three concepts have gotten somehow tangled up together, and I have lots of "real life" examples of sinners sent, and people who cannot go, but certainly answer God's call by actively sending the goers. This will surely be a "no notes" sermon!

    And yes, we will sing "Here I am Lord" which always makes me cry. Maybe cause I'm one of the ones who cried out "God, what are you, Crazy? Why would you want me?" and went anyway :-)

  10. Here's a thought on how to revive "Here I AM, Lord."

    Have someone sing the verse solo and the congregation only responds with the refrain.

    I have found this highly effective.

  11. I'll be focusing on Luke and thinking of picking up on "they left everything and followed him".
    Will use the origami boats for prayer of confession as we write on them what holds us back, what we need to leave behind in order to more fully follow Jesus.
    Great example, leaving behind need for things to be just so or one way. Funeral luncheon, a younger person who works with little children brings store bought pie as a donation. The old guards make an uncharitable comment about it not being home made. Instead of embracing the donation and giving thanks.
    Maybe that will hit too close to home and I'll get walking papers.
    Well, that's where I'm heading with the lectionary for now.
    Oh, and we'll sing, "You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore!"

  12. I love working with the theme of God using all sorts of people for ministry; even imperfect, snarky ones like myself. As per usual I've got half-ideas for 5 different sermons. More fish than one boat could handle? A call to eccumenism and working together? This nice miracle sure results in a lot of smelly work... What about the different fishing stories in the 4 Gospel?

  13. st. inuksuk, what oragami notes. There you go again being creative on us. I like the idea, how neat.

  14. okay, so the fishnets broke and the boat was about to sink because of the load of fish.
    Were the fisherman upset about having more fish they they could handle?
    Do we get upset over an abundance?
    A few months ago we had a covered dish luncheon after church. I had said during announcments that if somebody did not bring a dish, not to worry I had two dishes and so that would count for them.
    Well, we had a lot of folsk stay and we did start running low on food, but we all got something to eat.
    A few folsk got cranked about us running low on food, but I was pleased with turnout of folks.
    We had abundance of folks (a blessing) that brought stress to others.
    Do we think soem blessings aren't so very good and miss opportunities to rejoice in them?

  15. Dear all- I understand some of you were with us at the Emergent/Mainline Workshop here at Columbia Seminary this week- it was AWESOME....and also leaves me full of questions...
    Ill be preaching on the Luke text- one thing that cracks me up about it- the boys have been fishing ALLL NIGHT- no fish- so, when they get fish, what do they do? Leave it all on the sand and walk off and follow Jesus....Wow! what a lesson for us there! N

  16. "Here I am, Lord" is way too contemporary for my congregation


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