Saturday, August 23, 2008
The Footprint of God: An 11th Hour Preacher Party
Our readings for Sunday, Proper 16A, take us from midwives creating civil disobedience to Pharaoh's daughter causing another kind of disobedience, and both getting away with it. We have Isaiah reminding the people that God is everywhere - from Abraham and Sarah to the rocks, the coast land, and the heavens. And then the Psalmist who remind us of the awesomeness of God. We have Paul who, in his letter to the Romans, offers phrasing that has become well known in Christian tradition for baptisms and confirmation; of what it means to be Christian. Lastly we have Peter and his sudden awareness of who Jesus is, the Messiah.
With all these options, what's a preacher to do?
I thought I was going to preach on Shiphrah and Puah, that amazing duo who outwitted a Pharaoh and saved the Hebrew babies (at least for awhile). And then I found myself drawn to Romans, and then the Gospel, "Who DO YOU say I am?" And if I had even considered Isaiah I would have completely thrown our Sunday readers who are preparing to read Exodus...
So, now I have pages of notes just waiting for a direction. One thing I am pondering is the way God's footprint shows up in all these readings. In the lives of women who follow their heart rather than be obedient. In Paul's argument to the Romans and his plea for them to see God in Christ. For Peter and the disciples who get it, who figure out who Jesus is, and yet don't fully understand what it means to be the Messiah. In all these, and many other, places God is present.
Where will God show up for us today as we ponder and fret and pray? How will God fill us with words to proclaim?
That's in part what this preacher party is all about - to help us help each other - do you need ideas for children? Are you swamped with other issues to tend too? Is a sermon is the last thing on your mind? Are you actually finished with your sermon and willing to share what you said and where you went with the texts?
What ever the case, pull up a chair, sit awhile. The coffee is on, hot water waiting... I'm posting early for those across the pond and will be back, when morning hits my end of the world, to check on things. In the meantime, help yourself! Let's get this party started...