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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Fanny-Dragging Edition

Hi friends,

My old friend insomnia is back, so I'm operating on just a couple of hours worth of sleep. I'm not too sure how mnay neurons are firing yet on this week's lectionary. With that in mind, here are some preliminary impressions:

I love this passage. I find enormous comfort in knowing that the prophets of old were just as unsure of themselves as this modern-day pastor. The reassurance that God, who knew us before we were formed, is really the one in charge! We have a baptism of a very small infant (6 weeks) so the imagery of God's call on even a child will fit really nicely, I hope.

"71:5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
71:6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you."

Similar themes here!

1 Corinthians 13:
Ever since I heard this passage preached by Anna Carter Florence at Festival of Homies last year, I smile every time an engaged couple requests it for a wedding homily. But I'm kind of spoiled on this one, having preached it four times in 2006, at four weddings. Pass.

This pericope begins with verse 21--interesting, since that verse was the final verse in last week's lection. Jesus has returned home, has preached, and is about to get tossed out on his ear. Why is it that prophet is least accepted amongst those who know her/him best?

These are the places I am beginning my exegetical work this week. How about you?


  1. Will Willimon has a great article from Christian Century on all these texts. I found it on; it's called "Book 'Em." And it uses a story by Flannery O'Connor, which is always a bonus. Personally, I'm going with the Corinthians text - I haven't preached on it for awhile, and we're undergoing some rumblings which suggest a good sermon on love in congregations might be in order. I actually preached on the whole story in Luke last Sunday, so I wouldn't miss it.

  2. lovely spam. I'm fighting with the 1 Cor 13, myself. I had to commit 2 weeks ago, but I wish I hadn't. I'm wishing I'd picked the Jeremiah.

  3. I am going with talking about the difficulty of being a prophet. Mainly based on Luke but also touching on Jeremiah. My opening thoughts are here

    A commissioning for Sunday is here

  4. I've been trying to delete it, but Blogger was down. I'll fix it now.

  5. I'm working on the connection between how we could be (1 Cor 13) and how we usually are (Luke), with an emphasis on hospitality within the familiar community. We have Annual Meeting after worship, so the way we treat each other seems an important topic to address.

  6. Songbird,
    I like your idea (though I haven't really started to work yet) but it sounds good for my context too. We have Annual Meeting as well, and at our pre-annual meeting conversation last week where the congregation can ask the board questions about the budget and such, I was 'attacked' for lack of a better word. It was clearly a dig and only meant to hurt. If it was a real question, it could have been worded so differently. Thankfully, it is very clear to me (based on previous experience with this person and in conversation with many others) that the only purpose was to attack and the only one who wants to attack me is this person. So, I have to let it go on the one hand, but at the same time take an opportunity to remind her and others that how we treat each other (both within and beyond our walls) is vital to who we are if we claim to follow Jesus.

    Anyway, thanks for helping me start thinking! :)

  7. Silent, I'm sorry that happened. It seems like money discussions bring out the worst behavior in meetings!

  8. I am engaging in some outright theft of BBT's opening for her sermon on this Luke text in Home by Another Way. I'll be talking about how often we see Christ in people who make us feel all warm and fuzzy, but not in people who say the things we don't want to hear. And then, picking up on Jeremiah, going with the idea that our call is not only to see Christ in those people (and treat them accordingly) but also to sometimes be that person who says the hard truth even when people don't want to hear it.

    Something like that, anyway. In theory. It's only Tuesday...

    the sermon title? "Sticks and Stones". As in, they might get thrown at you, but newsflash, words can hurt too? I had to pick it weeks ago....

  9. I am not preaching this week...YAY!
    I do have a meeting about 3 hours away on Saturday and will be meeting and driving back and forth all in one day...UGH! I DO have to preside at worship--but I am mostly prepared for that now....WHEW!
    I asked our Ministry and Counsel to consider inviting someone from the meeting share about their faith journey, and so that's what's in store for us this week. I find these opportunities to hear from folks very inspiring and connecting for our community.

  10. I too have an annual meeting to manage...and I like the connection between Jesus' reception in his home town and how we receive one another in our congregation...will we be able to receive the prophetic word when it is aimed at us? Can we discern the difference between abuse, bitchin' and prophesy?

  11. Teri-
    In my brief tiem as pastor and prior to that (life in general) I have found that words hurt far more than the sticks and stones. Words can cut deep, leave one wounded and at times, even disabled.
    I have met with folks who hurt so deeply from the words said to them.
    I think we recover more quickly of our physical hurts.
    So, for all things, we must turn to the Great Healer of all.


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