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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Holy cow, where did the day go? edition


So sorry for this late post. Pastoral life got in the way today. This morning at my lectionary discussion group we were all about the lepers. That seemed to be the prevalent passage for some of us from among this week's texts.

I am trying to jump-start the Stewardship emphasis this coming Sunday, and I think that this passage might just work out well. A friend was taking about the "power of ten". What would it have been like if all ten lepers would have been thanking Jesus and openly displaying gratitude for the blessing of wholeness? Isn't that what our stewardship is about?

Hmm...good thought to chew on a while. I think if I went that direction, a great sermon title would be "Would It Kill You To Send A Thank-You Note?"

I'm thinking abut the real-life implications of healing on those ten, and wondering what it must have been like for them to return to society as if nothing had happened, when clearly they had been dramatically transformed. So often we take church community for granted, returning to our ordinary life on Monday (or even Sunday afternoon) acting as though we hadn't been in the presence of the Holy in Sunday worship.

Hmm...another thought to chew on. No catchy sermon title yet.

What are you chewing on this week?


  1. I'm preaching from Luke. It is also our Sunday to celebrate Children's Sabbath so I'm trying to work that it too. busy week ahead. Blessings y'all!

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  3. mm, spam.

    We are doing Jeremiah here. Thankfully I'm not preaching this week..."just" children's message, prayers, admitting new members, introducing a Marine we've been supporting with care packages to Anbar for a couple of years....yeah, "just."

    anyway, the theme is something like "we're all in this together"--seeking the welfare of our community, not only of our individual selves, etc. We actually discussed whether we could use the song from High School musical.

    We decided against it, thankfully, but that doesn't stop it from running through my head....

  4. I was supposed to be at a meeting in Winnipeg this week so I had planned to use a service designed by Poor Mad Peter (he wrote about it here and here)

    Good thing too since I ended up staying in town for a 3 funeral week...

  5. We're having Children's Sabbath this Sunday, too. The struggle that is bigger than the sermon is getting The Entertainer to play the piano. She has perfectly fine pieces prepared for competition on Saturday but is not so thrilled with a Sunday gig.

  6. Preaching for a nearby church and using Jeremiah. Looking at the broader picture of being open to God doing a new thing. Since the text is part of a letter Jeremiah wrote to the exiles I am toying with the idea doing the sermon as "Dear Jeremiah...."

  7. I think the whole thing with Luke is the ten percent rule.

    The rule is only ten percent will be extremely good or bad depending on the context. The rest will fall in that "gray" area.

    When ever we talk about the good people out of a collection of people, this group will end up being ten percent of the whole. So knowing this, the job of the leader is try to increase the larger portion of people to be like that ten percent that we embrace.

    (Then again, I didn't go to college for this stuff, so I am probably completely wrong.)

  8. It's my first time preaching this week, and I've been chewing on these texts for a month now. (and eagerly awaiting this tuesday lectionary leanings edition!) I'm thinking about the call of Jesus to be authentic and real with him--the vulnerability of the Samaritan in breaking the rules--and the resulting transformation. I have a draft done, but am still not quite happy with it... I would love any comments you all more experienced, and much better preachers might have for a newbie...

  9. I'm preaching from the Timothy passage and concentrating on the verse that says "but the Word of God is not chained." I figure this is a good opportunity to talk about how we use (or don't use) the Bible. I don't think I've ever preached on the beauty and the gift of the Bible.

    For those of you going with the Lepers, Barbara Brown Taylor does a nice job with a sermon printed in "The Preaching Life." She calls it "The Tenth Leper."

  10. I think that a key to this text is the difference between being healed and being made well. If you're into Greek study, this is the week to check it out.

    Another piece I love about this passage is the idea of what the other nine missed. They all got healed, but only one was made well. They all got healed, but only one got to have a real relationship with Jesus. And go figure! it was the one the folks from home would least suspect.

  11. I'm finishing up this student sermon. The problem I have been having is that I naturally tend towards the pomo style of my home church, and here I'm stuck with the Haddon Robinson 3 point dealy. So yeah. ALmost done. Preachin' it on Thursday afternoon sometime...


  12. Hi, it's Wednesday already. Where did Tuesday go?
    I'm going with Timothy - the question of how the Bible is used keeps coming up in Bible study so, hey, maybe other people care. :-)

    Last time these passages came up I played dress-up and was the 10th leper. Of course, right now I don't remember what the message was and I can't find the sermon. Must be in that big notebook in my office. :-)

  13. Deb:
    What's the "pomo" style?

    I"m focusing on Luke with Seasons of the Spirit as my guide. I really don't know where I'm going with it yet. A member died yesterday morning and I'm more into the memorial service than Sunday service at this point.

    Can I be honest and reveal a secret? . . . this is my first solo memorial service. Almost 5 years in ministry and this is my first. What do you include in a memorial service "message" or sermon? I'm anxious about this whole deal. I know God will take care of it all, but I need to have a little preparation and attempt to have some material!

    Help would be greatly appreciated.

  14. revdari: I try to keep the focus on the hope of the resurrection, while at the same time acknowleging the feelings of loss, shock, grief, that those of us left behind are experiencing.

    If it is someone I have ministered to/beside (and so far it always has been), I include at least one example of how that person's life reflected God's grace, mercy, or mystery. Also at least one thing that the person taught me.

    This helps me to point back to the resurrection.

  15. "Would It Kill You To Send A Thank-You Note?"


    What I really value about Americans is that you do appreciate each other and say it. We're not so hot on that over in Europe - and in Finland it kills me sometimes ...

  16. oh and Li hope it goes well :)

  17. revdari: The best advice I ever got for funeral/memorial service preaching was this simple:

    1. Talk about the guy or gal.
    2. Talk about God.
    (and ideally, talk about how the two intertwine.)

    I still repeat it to myself whenever I sit down to write a homily for something like this.

    Cheesehead's advice was much more eloquent and theological, and you should listen to her too, and always include the resurrection. :)

    Oh, as far as Sunday goes...I'm probably going with Luke, and was planning to check out the BBT that chilly fingers mentions. Guess I should get on that since I'll be away Thursday and Friday and part of Saturday.

  18. RevHRod - I like the whole idea of being healed/being made well - gets me thinking. I'm preaching on the gospel because I'm sticking with the gospel all year. It's challenging, but I have been learning great things. I'll be focusing on thankfulness, thanking - we're coming into our stewardship focus soon, so thanking is a good thing to do right now.

  19. I preach every Sunday so this week I am taking a week off of sermon writing and am doing story telling instead. I plan to sit on a stool and read Martin Bell's "Where are the Nine?" directly out of his book "The Way of the Wolf" I figure they get enough of my voice every week.

  20. I'm preaching as a guest at the Sisters' parish here in London. I'm focusing on gratitude for God's healing presence, and suggesting that genuine gratitude leads us to some sort of outward action - like the 10th leper running back to say thank you.

    This will be my first time preaching in a parish setting and I'm on at all 5 weekend services!


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