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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Under New Management edition


This will be my last "at bat" for this feature for a while. I am taking a break from contributing, in order to refresh both myself and the Tuesday lectionary post. The good news is that you will have wonderful new contributors in this space: Listing Straight and LutheranChik, among others who will fill in from time to time.

It has been a joy to prompt here, and I have loved the lively exchange of ideas that have sprouted. However, I have begun an in-person lectionary discussion group among my presbyterian colleagues, and must devote some of my Tuesday morning energy to that effort for now.

Now, on to this week: I am going with a Reformation Sunday focus, since I am doing a pulpit exchange on Nov 4 and the preacher who is filling in for me that day at St Stoic doesn't "do" Reformation Sunday. (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God? What's not to like about that?) I have many, many former Lutherans in my congregation, so it is a meaningful Sunday for many of them.

Text Week lists several specific texts for Reformation Sunday. However, I am using the texts for this week. Specifically I am looking at the Luke passage and how the Pharisee lifts himself up as the example of piety. When we compare ourselves to others, in other traditions, are we guilty of this? For those of us who claim a Reformation heritage, it is clear that we should boast not on ourselves, but on Christ.

Some of you may be focusing on All Saint's Sunday. Tell us about your plans!

It has been a pleasure, friends. See you soon!

And don't forget to submit a nomination for the RGBP board if you haven"t already! Deadline is midnight tonight!


  1. Cheesehead- we will miss your prompts! Good luck with your lectionary group.
    Hubbie has both services this sunday, as I will be participating in the instillation of a fellow CP Sunday night. I am however preaching during a vespers service at our fall festival. Not really sure how that will work yet, I've never preached by a bonfire before!

  2. We'll be post-diocesan convention here in Michigan, so I'm sure I'll get to hear a sermon about that event.

    Thanks for all your work on this Cheesehead! Even though I'm only preaching occasionally these days, I love the Tuesday column!

  3. I add my thanks to Cheesehead for the great work offered here each week.
    I going with Joel--my title will be "The Day of the Lord" not terribly original, but this text is calling to me this week.

  4. Going with Abundance here, using Joel but changing to verses 18-27. This is part of a sort-of stewardship series. One of the local mills has just gone into receivership and so the Joel passage of moving into the promise of abundance to come may resonate quite well. I think. When doing my opening thoughts yesterday I was having trouble finding my way in to it.

    THere are some liturgy pieces (that I am not crazy about myself) at my place

  5. I have tough shoes to help fill! Thank you, Cheesehead, and good luck with your lectionary group.

    What strikes me about the Luke reading, in the context of the Sunday, is the fact that the Pharisees were the religious reformers of their day; they wanted to integrate holiness into every aspect of everyday life. I think that speaks to me about the importance of humility in our spiritual lives -- acknowledging that, while we may be saints of God by virtue of God's grace, we are also sinners by virtue of our human being-ness, and prone to all the failings that that implies, including those of self-absorption and self-righteousness. It's about getting real with ourselves...which is what the publican does in this story.

  6. I, too, am using the gospel lesson to explore the idea of reforming, forming and re-forming. It feels appropriate for a church in transition and certainly feels timely for me as I ponder a different ministry path.
    My mind is on these lines from Eliot's Little Gidding, which really have been on my mind ever since I took my son to boarding school last month:
    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.

    Sermon Title: The End of All Our Reforming
    And take a look at the last verse of the gospel lesson as found in "The Message."
    Cheese, you are the best! We will miss you in this role!

  7. What jumped out at me first this week was the fact the the pharisee compares himself to someone else, while the tax collector does not.

    That seems like an important part of this to me right now. We're not to be comparing ourselves, for better or worse, to those around us. That muddies the waters, it turns our focus outward instead of inward where growth can occur. If we're forever saying "at least I'm not XX like YY" then where is the motivation to grow?

    I admit though that the Joel passage really caught me up with its poetry. I love the imagery, I love the idea of trusting in that kind of abundance in the midst of a very lean time.

  8. yes, echos of appreciation. I have loved your Tuesday prompts.

    I'm not preaching this Sunday. We do Reformation this week, and all saints next week. I'll be taking that task.

    The Luke passage would work very well (I've preached on that) as would any of the set texts for Reformation. I particularly like the John 8 (the truth will set you free).

  9. Oh, and when I preached on Luke last (not for Reformation) I told a personal embarrassing worship story, bookended by this statement: "Some people are born humble. Others have humility thrust upon them."

  10. Cheeshead, your Tuesday leadership will be missed, but I just know you'll be peeking in and contributing no matter how busy you are. You'd better - some of my best ideas come from your comments! :-)

    This week I'm going with 2 Timothy, focusing on "16At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. "
    As a multi-racial, Open and Affirming, Progressive church we find most of our visitors do not return - too many have a problem with "the homosexual issue" and worshipping with folks who look and believe differently. We are shrinking in size and aging . . . but we ARE doing what we believe God has called us to do, no matter what others may think of us. I will preach encouragement and hopefully even fire up some folks (including me!)- the depression is getting thick enough to cut with a knife.

    Please, all pray for the folks affected by and fighting in the fires here in Southern California.

  11. Cheesehead, thank you for your leadership in this Tuesday sermon prep ministry. It's one of the things I look forward too.

    And, I'm excited about our new leadership, we're in good hands!

    Me. I am not preaching this Sunday. My last Sunday off for the foreseeable know sometime next Spring...sigh...

    This Sunday we are doing a "Reflected Eucharist." The reflection component of the service will take up the time of the sermon, even as the reflection will be woven in and around the "action" of the service.

    Prayers for those who are preparing to preach.

  12. Many thanks, Cheesehead. I am doing my first Reformation Sunday, the day after my installation as pastor of a Lutheran Church. Being decidedly anglo-catholic, it is kinda funny.

    Songbird, thanks for reminding me of the Eliot poem. It will add much.

    I want to talk about the New Reformation that is going on in the churches today. New covenant written on the heart.

  13. Thanks Cheesehead... even though I am a nonliturgical, nonlectionary church, I still tend to click over and read, just so that I can absorb ideas, etc...


  14. Thanks for you leadership, Cheesehead.

    I'm going with Joel. I've always like the dreams, visions, prophecies piece, and I threw in "prayers" at the end to touch on Luke. Nothing isdone on it yet, but I should have plenty of time now. I got laid off from my engineering job yesterday. I was planning to leave in June, anyway, but I still need an income. That's why I'm a little late in checking in on this...Tuesday I was just a little overwhelmed and overwrought.

  15. Thanks for all you've done cheese. I've enjoyed these Tuesday thoughts :)

  16. I am going with Luke and have been struggling to hear it with fresh ears. Thanks for the note about comparing ourselves with others tandaina. That will help. I have been thinking about how we say, "Thank God I am a Christian" "Thank God my life is so Good" Etc. There has to be some way to blend this and make it fresh for the listener.

  17. Cheesehead, thanks. You've done a great job casting a wide net for the array of folks here.

    Tandaina, that's a good point about comparison. It solidified the direction in which I'm working, with a possible sermon title of "Self-centered Sinners, Christ-centered Christians" or something similar.

  18. I've never posted here, but I've read several times as I have followed the link from Quick intro - - Presbyterian pastor, left my first call as associate pastor in June when I had my second child. This weekend I am preaching at the church I anticipate to begin serving as a solo pastor Jan. 1. Big Sunday!

    I'm going with Joel, too. I've been drawn to it since I first checked out the passages. The visions and dreams and forward-looking is just too much to pass up as I am meeting my new congregation and we are preparing for the future. I will tie into the Reformation Sunday stuff with the idea of God-led change (always being reformed). We reform in Godly directions when we recognize that God is in our midst. God has brought us out of the plague of locusts, blessed us, and, in showing us God's own faithfulness in times of struggle, gives us the courage to be faithful in return, calling on God's name when times get tough again. We are changed and God's people are reformed each time we go through this cycle.

    I will also speak to God's inclusive vision of ministry (young/old, men/women, slave/free) to say that all of us have calls within the Body of Christ. God's vision of ministry must become our vision of ministry. I am titling my sermon "One of These Days" based on the spiritual "The Welcome Table", particularly a verse that says "All of God's children gonna sit together, one of these days".

    I'm writing tonight since I'm packing Thursday and flying Friday. Prayers to other preparing for this week. I expect I'll be around even more in the future!


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