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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Church 101 Edition

Lectionary readings for this coming Sunday are here .

"We are the Church together." And our lessons for the coming Sunday give us some insight into being the Church. We are called to be, to borrow a phrase from the Ezekiel lesson, God's sentinels, bringing God's message to the people. We help remind ourselves who we are and whose we are through Word and Sacrament, making the past present, as we see in the alternate Exodus reading. Paul exhorts members of the church in Rome to "live in the light" of love as a testimony to the transformative power of the Gospel. And in the Gospel lesson, the author of Matthew tackles the difficult subject of church discipline and conflict resolution.

What lessons speak to you? Do any lessons resonate with you as you and your people navigate a particular time or issue in your life together as a faith community? Peruse, ponder, pray...and share, right here.


  1. I can't believe I'm first in!

    I'm planning to focus on the Matthew text with a look at the Romans text, too. This week and next seem to make up a mini-series on conflict resolution - Confrontation this week, and forgiveness next week.

    We started a new lectionary study group at one of my churches this morning, and the one common thread we found was how each of the texts had something to do with living together in community. We talked about how the Romans text recaps the ten commandments, but then suggests that loving your neighbor as yourself really makes the other commandments obsolete, since any of the others could fall under it.

    We spent quite a lot of time talking about how Jesus' instructions in Matthew really function in real life, being direct as opposed to triangulating. We talked about how harmful triangulation can be, and how being wronged by another is really in the eye the person who feels wronged. One person suggested that perhaps the recipient of the "wronging" could be incorrect, and that might be discovered at the second step when the witnesses get involved.

    I was quite pleased with our new study group - a good turn-out and some great conversation.

  2. I am going with Exodus. I think that the Passover story needs some exploration.

    Why celebrate this highly ritualized meal to remember the past so much? I think we do it because it is more than just the past--it is the future too.

    Check out my early thoughts

  3. Hey Gord...I thinkI have a title, " Remembering the Future"
    Great thoguths...I have been stuck in this passage so far this week. I think you have given me the mcuh needed jump start.
    Good stuff!

  4. I'm doing Exodus, too, and that title might just get lovingly stolen! It's exactly what I was trying to express. We're having a Scottish Heritage Festival this Sunday so I'm talking something about the importance of knowing where we come from (our stories and our shared salvation history) as that carries us into the future. Knowing how God has saved God's people in the past is the promise for the future.

    My brain isn't functioning too well today after a LONG FUN holiday weekend. It's more thoughtout elsewhere and maybe tomorrow I'll blog it into better existence.

  5. I'm doing Matthew. Interestingly enough I had a huge blow up in Alaska with a friend. We got to work through (though the guy did walk out but came back the next day).

  6. It's children's homily week for me, one of those times when I get to talk to the adults through the kids. Conflict resolution and/or de-escalation are the topic. There was a program started in the Franklin County TN schools helping kids to talk out problems rather than striking out. Since the last vestry meeting was the worst verbal fisticuffs I've experienced here, my homily will definitely be aimed at more than kids. And, of course, I have a regular homily at 8:00. I keep forgetting that! This week, everything has taken a back seat to evacuee ministry. We are, I hope, building ties with our Methodist neighbors that will extend beyond this week.

  7. I'm foregoing the lectionary this month and preaching a series on Jonah. I'll take a chapter each Sunday and focus on a different aspect of the story. This week is Jonah running away from his call and God not letting him.

    I was going to explore his reasons for running, but it occurred to me that in chapter 1, those reasons haven't been revealed yet.

  8. I'm running with the whole, "then let them be like Gentiles and tax collectors to you" theme.

    And just who was it that Jesus hung out with? Um . . . Gentiles and tax collectors.

  9. Reverend Ref: That is exactly what our pastor points out whenever this text rolls around in the lectionary.;-)

    I am not preaching or assisting this week. Actually...I'm going to be out of town this Sunday. But in my behind-the-scenes life in the church we are having some real growing pains as a faith community -- people not communicating with one another, people circling the wagons instead of reaching out, people being ungracious toward one another, etc. -- I suspect our pastor will be using the Gospel lesson as his sermon text.;-)

  10. I found these readings really tough this week. It can be very easy, even tempting, to try to whitewash over some of the hard parts of the bible, but (dangit!) we have to grapple with them. In my reflection this week, I ended up meandering through the three readings, and then focusing on that lovely image of the armor of light from Romans.

  11. I'm doing the reverse of Kim in KCK - focusing on Romans with a look at Matthew. Sermon title is "What We Owe." Am thinking about the nuts and bolts of loving relationships, and the cost implied if we are faithful. I'm reading a book right now called "What We Were Made For: Christian Reflections on Love" by Sondra Wheeler - it's got some good stuff in it. Don't know much more than that right now.

  12. I so don't have a clue!
    I am trying hard, but the Gamecocks play in like 30 mins.
    Maybe i will get inspired....
    Passover, football, remembering...


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