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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Quick as a bunny edition


I apologize in advance for the briefness of this edition of TLL. Yesterday turned out to be one of those 14-hour days that we all have from time to time, and today I am literally squeezing this in between obligations in another ~10 hour day. I know you all understand, because you have these too.

So, here are the lectionary passages.

Here is a one-word prompt:hospitality.

Here is a possible sermon title that might show up in the St Stoic bulletin: Jesus' Not-So-Common-Sense Guide to Entertaining



  1. Hi, Cheesehead. Hope y'all don't mind if I join in this week. I preach only once or twice a week, and this is one of those weeks for me.

    So far, I'm looking at the Gospel reading from two perspectives: Each of us, and together as the church, is called to gather as honored guests those who cannot repay us; and each of us is, ourselves, a guest at the table of the Host whose hospitality we can never repay.

    My title is "Honored Guests" and we're launching an Open House month. Glad we're observing the Lord's Supper this week.

    Anyway, I'll look forward to interacting with all you faithful preachers this week.

  2. Once or twice a WEEK? Ack! Make that "once or twice a YEAR"!!


  3. This coming Weekend is Labour Day. ANd we are marking it in worship--sort of. LAbour Day as a holiday has its roots in the union movement. But we are talking about the labours of our lives and whether they are simply exhausting or if there is something more as we ask For What Do You Labour?

    I am matching the Jeremiah with Isaiah 55 and Luke 12:22-32

    If you want some LAbour Day inspired liturgy pieces you can check them out here

  4. Psalmist,
    Once or twice a week should never be prefaced with "only". Well for preaching at least. I suspected you meant something different.

  5. I said, that SHOULD have been "only once or twice a YEAR"! I have a secular day job and am my church's "psalmist" (music minister).

    We'll mark Labor Day as well, and I may refer to Jesus-style hospitality as a major item in our church's "job description." Still thinking about that one.

  6. Hello all -
    I'm on Hebrews and Luke and hospitality and love too this week - especially as we're discerning new outreach to the community right now.

    Some had mentioned a hope to do liturgy sharing too? I actually met with my musician for a change, so I can share our music plans: People of the Word, and There's a Spirit in the Air for gathering music; Jesus the Joy of Loving Hearts for communion hymn, and Won't You Let Me Be Your Servant for the closer.

    I'm going with how we share love humbly, I think? Humility is so countercultural... don't exactly know where that will lead me yet. And Labor Day, thanks for reminding me - will need a mention too.

  7. Rev. Zookeeper if you want some good theologizing on humility, you might want to check out Graham Standish's "Humble Leadership." Some of what I found compelling that he said inlcuded: "Humility is the recognition that we are made of the same stuff as the rest of the universe. We are nothing but carbon molecules strung together in a human matrix. We are distinct and special not because of any qualities or abilities we ourselves possess. Our unique qualities are gifts from God that come from God’s Spirit breathed into us. This is the second part of understanding humility – that what makes us unique has nothing to do with our own power, but only what God has given us through the gift of the Holy Spirit..... Humans are endowed with a spirit that allows them to transcend their created nature. Transcendence is a gift from God and it alone sets us apart from the rest of creation." (pp. 12-13)and: "Throughout the Gospels Jesus teaches others how to live in humility by loving others, especially enemies, giving generously, praying regularly, refusing to let anxiety rule their lives, respecting others rather than judging them, relying on God’s grace, seeking the narrow way of surrender to Christ."(p.14)

  8. Wow, revdrkate - thank you! Very helpful stuff!

    And from the Anne Lamott discussion thanks to you all for pulling out both "Only one six-billionth of this is about me. (Or you.)" and also "I prayed impatiently for patience, and to stop feeling disgusted by myself, and to believe for a few moments that God, just a bit busy with other suffering in the world, actually cared about one menopausal white woman on a binge."

    You are all awesome, thank you!

  9. I am reentering work this afternoon after a day-and-a-half off on personal retreat. Trying to get my head (and heart) on straight following our crazy summer before the new church program year starts next week. It was a great time away, but now, of course, I am behind for the week.

    I am going with the Psalm, but am using all of it, not just the lectionary-appointed parts. Have no idea where I'm headed yet, but am particularly drawn to God's summons to: open wide your mouth and fill it. And: I would feed you with the finest wheat, and with honey from the rock.

  10. I used the Luke text in one of the first sermons I preached here 9 years ago. I might post it later today... if you want to check it out, it's called "Be Present at Our Table, Lord"
    I'm also thinking hospitality, but obviously from a different angle than I used 9 years ago. I loved your comments about humility, RevDrKate!

  11. I'm definitely going with the gospel and the theme of hospitality and how it stretches us. Hospitality is #2 on the list of 4 Big Things Main Street Church wants to enhance, so it's a perfect kickoff to fall. Of course, it's a three day weekend, so relatively few will attend...

  12. I do think that the key is, whatever else we do with the texts, that Jesus is in reality, our host, not us... so controlling the guest list is, in the end, to no avail.

    I'd like to know what others think the key is.

  13. And of course I just checked the Text this Week website and there's nothing there for my text. Or next-to-nothing. Bleh. Figures.

    The last time this Sunday rolled around I did the Luke text (title: Etiquette Lessons). I ended up drawing on a short story by Flannery O'Connor, who wrote so luminously of the ridiculous reversals and shocking revelations grace can bring. For this text, I used the story "Revelation." If you haven't read it, or if it's been awhile, I would highly recommend checking it out and seeing how it might fit with the text.

  14. I don't know, earthchick, if there's nothing on textweek about your text, doesn't that mean that you're charting new ground and exploring the unexplored? Which sounds very impressive :).

    I'm in need of help - our new seminary intern starts Sunday (hurray!) and I wanted to have a liturgical covenanting time between her and the congregation but realized that may mean I have to write it myself. Anyone else have a litany/prayer of welcome/covenant for a student intern? Otherwise I'll start adapting the new pastor service or the installation of lay leaders, although both really will need a lot of changing. Thanks!

  15. I, too, went to textweek and found a sermon on the Jeremiah text - I liked the idea behind's ok to ask questions like "where is the Lord?" In fact, we get into trouble when we forget to ask.

    Anyway, that's where I'm going and I'm hoping for quick inspiration as I am moving on Thursday and Friday. YIKES!

  16. I am currently torn between Jeremiah and Luke, I might just preach on both.... easing my way back in to the world of work after an exhausting Summer School- exhausting but challenging!

  17. I like the idea on the reversals and also, I'll be looking up the story Revelation. Thanks!

  18. has nothing to do with the lectionary this week... but an idea some asked more info on...
    back pack blessing here

  19. Is no one preaching Hebrews?
    Am I alone in this one?

    I'm using Hebrews, Luke and the Psalms. We NEVER use three readings and I'm wondering how this is going to go over, but change is the only constant in life, right?

    My focus is also on hospitality and what it means to be the church - Hebrews points out that we are called to show love to the stranger and guest . . . I'm early in the process. I had so hoped to finish early in the week so that I can start on next week's sermon. I am rushing off to NC (1000 miles from me) to visit my dad who has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. I will be preaching on Sunday after a week of family and travel. Oh, t is not going to be good. I'm setting myself up for SO much stress. But, it has got to be done!

    Nonetheless, Hebrews and hospitality.

  20. revdari, I'm thinking about using Hebrews. Or maybe Hebrews and Luke. Don't know yet. I'm preparing for a big meeting tonight so I won't really do much work on the text until tomorrow. Some really great thoughts going on around here, though, which I appreciate.

  21. I'm off lectionary for the next six weeks. I'm diving headlong into a stewardship campaign and developing sermons from the themes in the book our campaign is based on Treasures of the Transformed Life. The themes are all water related, and the first week is very much about being in relationship with God and one another. I chose Isaiah 55:1-11 (come to the party and seek God first...) and John 4:1-18(?) (Woman at the well - my favorite Bible story) as my texts. After this first week, I hope it will be more structured from the campaign materials (that, ARRRGH! haven't come in yet even though it has now been three weeks since I ordered them!) The second week actually has a named theme - that of prayer.

    Happy leanings and gleanings to all!

  22. I'm switching lectionary readings between this Sunday and the following Sunday, since on the 9th we have our big combined worship, combined choir, combined potluck picnic, combined service project, etc. and the readings for the 2nd just seemed to work better.

    I suppose this means I'll be up a creek this week, but able to glean a ton from all of your insightful posts come next week. :)

  23. Rev. Zookeeper - if you're Lutheran, I'd bet you could modify the service for installation of a pastor from the Occasional Services book. If you're not Lutheran, I can't help you (not because I don't want to!) :-)

    I'm curious if anyone is going to use the option for Sirach this week - what do your denominations do vis a vis the Apocrypha?

    Labor Day and a hospitality text: surely I can come up with something in between the funeral, wedding and visit from my brother and his SO all planned for this weekend, right?

    Having said that, I'm feeling the need for a breather - time to go out for a run. Blessings!

  24. thanks Gord for the liturgy ideas! I am crossing our altar or maybe our altar railing with yellow caution tape and constructing a "God at Work" sign for Sunday... the sermon is taking the direction of God is at work at this table; around this meal... and b/c God is at work here... God works in us and thru as as we go into the world and work.

    I tie it all into Luke - where Jesus is at work; at a meal and knows those who are watching him carefully will never be able to repay him for what he will do for them... just as we cannot repay him poor; crippled; lame; blind in our faith as we are.

    a different track...but who knows only tuesday right?

  25. Kim in KCK, we did treasures last year. Email me if you want help.

    Three years ago Don Hoffman pastor of Creston Christian Church, Creston, WA posted a sermon with the title "Heaven's Pecking Order" on a public sermon email list. He gave permission for anyone to use it. It's based on the gospel lesson for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost, year C, Luke 14:1, 7-14. check it out on my blog

  26. Hot Cup Lutheran, I like that direction. I am aiming that way, too, though I had given less thought to the work/job aspect than you described.

    I've learned so much about the nature of God by looking at Jesus' parables and illustrations and really digging into how Jesus is present as one or more of the characters. Some of Jesus' hearers were undoubtedly the sort who'd rather have gone hungry than to sit at table with the "lowest" ones. A kind of "I'd rather die of hunger than feast at your kind of banquet, Jesus." And at the same time, we're reminded that when we throw a feast for the "least," we're entertaining the Lord himself.

  27. hotcup, I really like this! I don't think I can put it all together with the yellow tape and everything where I am, but I really like where you are going with everything...

  28. Reading Leonard Sweet's Out of the Question...Into the Mystery for a class; he reinforces my conviction that our faith is all about relationships. What does it say about us when we choose to set others over ourselves, when we model Christ's openness to others? What do we teach people when we jockey for position in the church or in line at the grocery store? Radical hospitality is a challenge and an act of faith in Christ and in's risky stuff, and the rewards may not be visible to us. It's hard work...but God has been so hospitable to God's people, culminating in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that when we really strive to live in relationship with God, we can't do anything else. At least not well.

  29. thanks rev scott - I'm not Lutheran, I'm UCC, but I did find something from someone who has had an intern and am adapting it for our setting.
    Regarding Sirach - it's an optional choice for us and I like using the Apocyrpha when we can - but I like Luke and Hebrews together and may refer to Sirach in the sermon but not read it separately? Don't know yet.

    And I like the caution tape - and the connection of God's work to our work - thanks hotcup!

  30. I'm late to this party (being on vacation and all) but here's what I know is happening for this Sunday (when I will in fact be back at work):
    We are using Luke and talking about honor and hospitality and "the best place"--then for communion we will have three round tables and will invite people to come take a place at a table where they will serve one another. There's no place of honor because that's just the way it is. Or something.

    I am so glad not to be preaching. But a little freaked out that I have to preside at communion and the fact that there will be three round tables in addition to the regular communion table is all I know.

    Happy sermonizing friends!

  31. Rev Zookeeper--just a thought--when I was an intern, we had a service of installation/covenant/welcome/however you want you call it printed in our internship manual from the seminary. You might check with your intern to see if s/he has anything already. :)

    If not, it sounds like you're in good shape regardless.

  32. I'm joining the conversation late but this starts my weekly preaching. I did three weeks in a row this summer but this is our last combined worship service so it's now up to me from now on. This week I am using the gospel and maybe Hebrews. I wan to talk about humility and hospitality. Some of my examples are going to people pushing forward at a rock concert and planning seating for a wedding.


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