Visit our new site at

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: The What!? Edition

The Revised Common Lectionary for this Sunday can be found here. (Edited to reflect the ACTUAL and CORRECT lectionary! Thanks to my friends for the help!)

In my tradition, the Episcopal, we have collects for each Sunday which sum up the Scriptures for the week. (As a child I thought of it as "collecting" the scriptures.)

Here is the collect for: Proper 22 The Sunday closest to October 5

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and theHoly Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

I share this with you a layperson, I am not sure how in the world these disparate scriptures go together (or how the collect in any way addresses them). This is why I hang out with you folks!

I am always a reader of this feature, and it helps me prepare for Sunday worship to consider the scriptures along with those of you who are working on how you will use them to proclaim the Good News to your people.

With no ideas to offer, I instead offer you some good Dunkin' Donuts coffee (I just made a BIG fresh pot) and ask:

So! what are you going to preach on this Sunday? What is speaking to you out of these scriptures? What is God saying to your hearts?


  1. Aha! Mary Beth, when I read through the lections for Sunday, I first felt rather hammered over the head by them. Then I read the Collect again, and it illuminated a thread that runs through the readings. It was all about what we deserve (and don't deserve), and how there is so much God has to give us.

    My reflection for this week is here, and maybe it will shed some light for you, as it did for me.

    Peace and blessings!
    hedwyg / warriormare

  2. Mary Beth, I think the link you have is for the passages for Year B, not Year A.

    (Just trying to be a helpy-helperton.)

  3. I am sort of off lectionary this week. I am using the "big 10" for Children's time but for sermon focus I am returning to the parable of the workers from 2 weeks ago (since I didm't preach it then).

    It seems a wonderful link to communion to talk about the economy of GOd, an economy based on justic, an economy where all get what they need for survival. Not sure how (of even if) I may reference the meltdown in the US financial system.

    Liturgy bits here

    My opening reflection here

  4. Here are the readings for this year.

  5. Not preaching this week but being "preached at" as we have Diocesan Convention (DIoCon for those in fandom) from Thursday eve until Sunday morning.

  6. I am not preaching this Sunday, but I love the Psalm 19 as a response to the Exodus passage.

    I will never forget Phyllis Trible asking my OT 101 class, "How many of you think of the Ten Commandments as a negative document?" Pretty much the whole class raised their hands.

    She raised her eyebrows and said, "These are only ten rules. Just think of all the things you can do!"

    and then proceeded in her way to unwrap these commandments in her elegant, enlightening way.

  7. Well, I must say I like the REAL scriptures better than the ones I originally posted!

    Sorry for that error. That's why you need a professional for this, I guess. :)

  8. Thanks for the description of "collecting" the scriptures. I've heard the word "collect" from a few traditions, but really never could understand why they are called that. I love your image!

  9. I've chosen the Ten Commandments passage too. Hmm. The title is "The Big Ten," but I'm not sure where I'm going with that. I'm not sure of much, so I'm sure this comment is enlightening to everyone. I do like the idea of the commandments being a manifestation of God's grace. Much thinking will have to come sometime this week.

  10. I've posted my thoughts here: Wife, Mother, Pastor A day later, I'm still not certain exactly where the sermon's headed but it is going to center on cornerstones.

  11. I'm breaking from the lectionary this week. I'm concentrating on giving our burdens to God. I have this idea of giving the congregation rocks to represent their burdens and then before they come up for communion they will lay them down at the altar. Still working on how it will work logistically.

    I also want to lift up World Communion Sunday. I have a sermon title based on one of my favorite songs--Float On by Modest Mouse. It will be fun to see if anyone notices.

  12. I think I'm skirting the gospel, for the most part, and going with a bit from Philippians, about "gain and loss." With so much focus on economic news lately, and so much encouragement that we all ought to BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID, I think it might be a good time to wonder about what "gain and loss" mean in the kingdom of God. The gospel might come in a bit at the end. But hey - it's only Tuesday...

  13. I stole the 10 commandments from this Sunday and preached on them at the beginning of September...FWIW, here. This week I'm off lectionary, focusing on World Communion and using Isaiah 55. No idea where that's going yet, but somewhere...I hope!

  14. Evening yall!
    I'm looking at the 10 commandments as a picture of what faithful life together looks like. Karlajean, I'd love to hear how Phyllis Trible enlightened your class in seminary that day! Somehow I'll weave in World Communion Sunday and the table being an already/not yet enactment of that kingdom living we read about from Exodus. not sure how this is all going to come together though.

  15. I'm really interested in the notion of the law being a fence or a hedge in a more Jewish understanding and the idea of there being a hedge around the vineyard in Matthew.

    What are the boundaries of our kingdom and how does the law free us to live/work within it? and so bear fruit.

    That's where I am headed... but i haven't done my own blogging yet for the day.

  16. I picked up a thread from Clergy Journal and am going with the gospel and 'we are they' we don't have any sympathy for the "wicked tenants" and can't wait for them to get what they deserve. (I like the collect reference.) but then we realize we are they, then what?

    so far i think the sermon is too sedate, it needs a challenging ending to mix challenge and hope, not be finger pointing.. ideas?

  17. Hi all, and I hang with people like Mary Beth, just cause I do.

    Thanks for the collect also.

    I am preaching on the Matthew passage focusing on the rejection that goes on in the passage. Now how I am going to tie in world communion is a whole other story.

    Any ideas?

  18. Vacation starts at 6:30 this evening so I'm not preaching this week. Katie Z. I think you are headed in the right direction. The fence became almost as important as what it surrounded and anyone who tried to breach it got stomped on even if they were within their rights.
    Pharisees aren't the only ones who build those fences, of course. The Episcopal Church has had boundary disputes for several years now and for the same reason that many denominations are guarding their own fences. We've never done it that way before. We have no room for a new interpretation or understanding of the words of Christ.
    I think my sermon three years ago quoted a really great hymn: We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind, to notions of our day and place, crude, partial and confined; no, let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred; the Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from his word. - George Rawson to Halifax by Handel (629 in Hymnal 1982 and I think it is on Oremus, too).

  19. Hey there, gang. I posted my initial thoughts as well. The sermon title is "Produce."

    It's a noun and a verb.

  20. In regards to Nutella's question to Karlajean, Marty Stevens wrote an essay, "The Obedience of Trust." It's in The Ten Commandments: The Reciprocity of Faithfulness edited by William P. Brown, WJK, 2004. He talks about the commands as an imperative in response to the declaration of what God has done. Since God has done this...saved you from the Egyptians...You shall not do this...You shall have no other Gods before me. It's the gift and the task idea.
    I have given you the gift of intimacy, sacrificial love, and abiding trust...You shall not commit adultery.

    Very though provoking.

  21. Just popping in for ideas!
    I have a title ( A World of Difference), scriptures (Gospel and the BIG 10) and eveerythign else done except a communion meditation....It is world communion Sunday and the service is already too long.
    SO, help me....please.....
    Oh, word verf. is "texct" so it is like see in the text....

  22. I'm a little late to the leanings since I got back from my vacation Tuesday night. I hope someone stops in here again. I've got a bit of a question.

    I'm working with the 10 Commandments for my preaching with a focus on grace-then-law, along with law as gift, and saved for the law/relationship with God and others. All sort of rolled into one. By grace we are freed to live in relationship with God and others, and the law tells us how to do that most effectively as God's people. I'll also be able to make tie-ins to World Communion Sunday and Presby Peacemaking Sunday/offering.

    Here's my dilemma: I don't want to be unfaithful to the text, but I also don't want the congregation to get hung up on pieces that are central to this instance of preaching.

    Can I cut out the jealous and angry God part for the reading (actually responsive reading) of the Scripture and still be faithful to the text?

    I wish I had another venue in the same day to take up those issues, but it's too much and off track to try to tackle it in the sermon that's going another direction.

    This is the struggle I blogged about quickly this morning.


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.