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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: "Happy New Year" Edition

A pastorly friend of mine tells me that one of her favorite bumper stickers proclaims, JESUS IS COMING -- LOOK BUSY!

As the wheel of the liturgical year turns again to Advent, a season of spiritual preparation for the coming of are we "looking busy," being about living God's redeeming, reconciling, transforming love into the world around us? This week's lessons express a yearning for a decisive, dramatic inbreaking of God's Reign into our world...but also remind us that while our eyes may be searching the horizon for the "not yet," our feet are right here in the "now"...and that we need to get to work.

What are your ponderings and inspirations as you study this week's lessons? And how are you inviting your people into the season of Advent in your churches?


  1. I am going in a slightly different direction for Advent. My plan can be found here.

    This week is about waiting and hope. A synopsis is here.

    THere are some prayer pieces and a communion liturgy available at my place


  2. I am spending this day reading and re-reading summaries of the Gospel of Matthew. I like to remember the whole text before I begin to parse into Sunday readings. So. After I remember the big picture I will ponder where to take this segment of it...and of course what it means to enter into Advent...the know God in a new way in our lives.

  3. Challenged by what I heard in a recent seminar called "Proclaiming Matthew", I am preaching Matt 1:1-17 this week...
    title (credit Rick Carlson) "Airing Our Skeleton's Dirty Laundry" The focus will be what we learn about God and Jesus from this "boring" geneology.

  4. Hooray, Quakerpastor! I'm also teaching the geneology this week. So that makes two of us.

    I got my folks to send me a copy of the family tree my great-aunt worked up a long time ago (goes back to the 1630's) and I'll read through that as part of the sermon, leaving out until the end that these are _my_ people. A dry recitation of names becomes pretty fascinating when you think about where you come from and start telling the family stories (an ancestor of mine was a captian in the US Army during the War of 1812, for instance.)

    I hope this connection works for my congregation as well...

  5. anyone else chewing on Romans? This tiny little pericope is packed with metaphors that hold great power as this new church year dawns.

    i'm preaching the epistles the first three weeks of Advent this year.

    i don't think i've done that before.

    i was sort of thinking about getting a recording together of all sorts of different wake up sounds (alarms, coffee percolating, radio, birds, etc.) and some how using that in my sermon or conversation with the children.

    a few weeks ago I discussed this Romans passage with some colleagues and one talked about the idea of wearing light in a dark world. The defense of the armor of light is in the ways it illumines the darkness all around. something like that...

    so many different ideas rumbling around... how hard it is to wake when it is still dark... how hard it is to live alert, engaged christian lives in the midst of the darkness all around us...

    rumble, rumble... others?

  6. more cows-- I'm chewing on Romans as well. I'm thinking about the differences between Paul's saying "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" and the reality of the season we are celebrating (Mary's carrying Jesus in the deepest depths of her being).

    I'm not sure exactly where it's going, but this internal/external presence of God is where it looks like I am headed.

  7. Isaiah and Gospel all through Advent for me. Communion mediation so I am optimistic about packing a good solid - yet quick - Advent punch.

    mmmmmm. Advent Punch. What's in that?

  8. We will begin worship with a dramatic reading about Advent, something I've adapted from its original use two years ago. I hope it will give people a sense of why we observe the season of Advent. The reading uses Romans and Isaiah, and I will later give a Communion meditation on the Matthew passage, focusing on the immediacy and the uncertainty of anticipation. At least I think that's where I'm headed.

  9. I was looking at the whole lectionary and how the pieces tie together with a theme of expectation. I thought of the old hymn: "What a Day that Will Be." We are also doing hanging of the greens. My music director got industrious with the hanging of the greens liturgies we were looking at and put together the whole service. But she just happened to leave out the sermon. When I pointed it out, she was very apologetic. I just thought it was funny (humorous)and not offensive at all. I told her to keep up the good work...maybe I won't have to preach at all this December. (But I will be preaching Sunday...editing of the order of worship is already in progress.) At least I will be able to keep it relatively short.

  10. I am captured by Psalm 122 - Pray for the peace of Jerusalem - along with the conference being held in Annapolis - it may be an opportunity to talk about how the Abrahamic religions have a common stake in peace.

  11. not preaching this week...(or next!) but planning three advent services with the theme, "Advent saints": Nicholas, Lucia, and (for a Lutheran touch) Katherina von Bora. Hoping to connect each saint with a advent/christmas tradition.
    remembering with affection the year we preached on the stories announcent/birth stories in Luke 1.

  12. I am pretty sure I am preaching Romans this week. Talking about what it means to be light in the dark world and pondering are we the light or are we in the dark? If we are in the dark how can we become light.

  13. I'm using Matthew as a jumping-off point, but am really going to reflect on the beginning of Advent in general. My title is the best part so far: "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

    We're having communion, so I won't have to preach as long.

  14. I'm teaching the geneology every Sunday this Advent through the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the wife of Uriah, leading up to Christmas Eve and the story of Mary and the God with whom nothing will be impossible. Our Sunday Cool kids are making a "Nothing Will Be Impossible" quilt with the help of our Quilting Society. And the junior/senior highs are learning that the Bible contains some pretty interesting stories indeed. Should be fun.

  15. I'm off-lectionary again, this time for World AIDS Day. I'm looking at Luke 4:16-21, when Jesus proclaims the "acceptable year of the Lord," and reminds us of just why he's on earth--freedom from oppression, healing, and bringing God's presence to the world.

    All of which fits well with both World AIDS Day ("now is the time to act," not to mention healing, freedom from oppression, and comfort) and Advent 1 (since this passage marks the beginning of Jesus' ministry--why did he come, after all?).

    I love the geneaology angle so many of you are using this Advent! Must remember that for next year!

  16. This Sunday we are having a hanging of the greens service, no sermon! The children's time will be placing the manger scene and retelling the whole narative with the children. It will be good for them to hear it all together, and also good practice for the Christmas play on the 16th!
    I love the idea of the geneology especially the stories of the women!

  17. The ABC has a pretty good message for World AIDS Day. I posted it at my blog.

  18. I will be utilizing the Advent 2007 resources Metropolitan Community Churches is offering this year, "Dare to Dream":
    Advent 1: Dreams That Awaken
    Advent 2: Dreams of Spirit And Fire
    Advent 3: Dreams of Justice
    Advent 4: Dreams of Love and Light.

    You can, if you choose, check these out here.


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