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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Partly Scattered Edition

Hello Friends!

I am struck this morning by the images we have in the Revised Common Lectionary. Some scattered thoughts for a wintry Tuesday:

The people standing outside listening to Ezra reading to them from the law, worshipping God with their heads pressed to the ground, as found in Nehemiah.
How daunting it is sometimes for me to read to the congregation, and then to preach. What if my words are not the right words?

"The heavens are telling the glory of God"
I have seen some beautiful sunsets/sunrises this winter, even in the midst of the strange weather. They always make me think of this Psalm.

Paul's various discussion of body parts--that wonderful passage that is so descriptive of the work of the church.
I knew someone once who did ministry with the aged crowd at a larger church. She used to tell me about how the members would launch into what she called "the organ recital", complaining about knees, back, kidneys, heart, etc. when she visited them in their homes. I still smile when I think of that.

Jesus reading in the synagogue and declaring himself the fulfillment of the hope expressed in Isaiah.
What was it like for Jesus to read those familiar words, then turn to the crowd and say "Yep, That's me. That hope you're waiting for? Me. Jospeh and Mary's kid."

Those are my scattered thoughts. What are yours?


  1. So... nobody's preaching this Sunday?

    I am preaching at the UCC congregation around the corner (practically). They have had much strife, much discord, have run preacher after preacher out on a rail.

    So... 1 Corinthians it is for me! Focus: our need for each other. Absolute need for each other.

  2. Magdalene, I love what you are doing and why.

    I'm going with Luke. Some months back at our Jubilee everyone was asked to put their dream for the church in the offering basket. One dream said "help me believe in Jesus." I've been struggling with this plea ever since and feeling inadequate. I am praying that this passage will help me engage the congregation in this struggle.

  3. I am going with Nehemiah, and saving Luke for next week when we will read both halves of the story.

    I am remembering that the Jewssee the LAw not as a weight but as a gift. What would that mean today? Does the Law have to mean legalism?

    I am also struck by a comment about how these stories are about two sermons--the long one in Nehemiah that brings on tears and a command to celebrate and Jesus' sermon which has a less useful response.

    But I think the response to the LAw is where I will go...

  4. I'm using 1 Corinthians and Luke both, since this is the Sunday we install our Board, and also our anniversary Sunday. So needing all our members and the beginning of ministry work very well!

    Gord, from what I remember of my classes on Jewish spirituality (and seminary is getting longer ago everyday), you are right. Read the psalms about the law, and see how it is described as sweeter than honey, to be delighted in, and so on.

    In fact, there is a tradition that the first day of Hebrew school, the children are given honey to help them associate learning and sweetness--I think even dribbled on the book for them to lick off.

  5. Wow magdalene hope it goes well.

    I too am doing the Luke thing rev maria. i am doing an imagine that this happens today, and here. Well, at least that is the way I am being led.

  6. I am going to focus on the Nehemiah passage...and the Gospel. I am wondering about what kind of courage it takes to proclaim our own faith in public. Some of us are terrified to do so even in the midst of worship.

    Can we stand and say "I am a Christian" in the pews much less on the street corner?

  7. My opening thoughts ended up being cross posted this week at both the church blog and at my place (you can also find a comissioning/benediction I wrote to go with the Nehemiah passage at my blog)

  8. My opening thoughts ended up being cross posted this week at both the church blog and at my place (you can also find a comissioning/benediction I wrote to go with the Nehemiah passage at my blog)

  9. BLOGGER!!!!!

    sorry for the double post folks


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