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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" Edition

Is the only thing we have to fear, fear itself? Sunday's texts lead us into the difficult preaching territory of "fear of the Lord." You're not going to find a huggabunny God in these lessons. And yet in Judges we hear that, even though God's people "do what is evil in the sight of the Lord" (on a serial basis), God delivers them from their enemies. The Psalmist is bold to ask a just and righteous God for mercy. The 1 Thessalonians text reassures us that as God's people we are not destined for wrath And Jesus suggests that, unlike the cowardly steward in his parable, when it comes to managing our resources as representatives of God's Reign, we "feel the fear and do it anyway." Words to live by in these economically and otherwise anxious times? Tell us what you're thinking as you prepare to preach, pray and otherwise live into the lectionary texts this week.

Artwork: Philippe Sommet, Face of Fear


  1. What no comments, I'll comment.
    That's a spooky picture, you sure that didn't scare everyone away?

    Anyway, I have posted my comments on the lectionary passages here.

    I got quite a bit on Judge Deborah who out does our court tv judges anyday. And I wrote what happened at my three point charge when I challenged them with the parable on the talents.

    I will say I am not preaching on Sunday and quite relieved. I have a heavy week of other duties.

  2. Great start LC!!!! Thanks.
    I ma on the Gospel text and trying to go where no man (or woman) has gone before here by actually preaching a stewardship sermon

  3. This will be Stewardship #2 -- both the gospel parables --last week was the bridesmaids, this time the talents. The concept of "investing" seems extremely fraught right now -- and so I want to use the tension/discomfort/energy of that in the sermon.

  4. Speaking as a chronic, pathological procrastinator, I know that unhealthy fear is a debilitating thing that takes its toll on quality of life. What I'm having a hard time juggling in my head as I'm thinking of tying the texts together thematically are the images of a full-tilt boogie wrathful God in both our OT and NT lessons, and the exhortation not to be afriad.

  5. I'm using the Gospel, but leaning to this opinion;at Dylan's Lectionary Blog

    God is not the landowner--but perhaps are we?

    Food for thought!

  6. Wife, Mother, Pastor is the spot where my initial thoughts and reflections are recorded. It's Stewardship Sunday in our congregation, so I'm leaning toward the notion of faithful risk-taking.

  7. Is it possible Jesus, in his full humanity, was wondering how well he had invested his talents in the service of the Master?
    That's the thought on my mind this afternoon.
    I've got someone coming to record this sermon so I'll have a sample to send out as part of a search process, which makes me all the more anxious to make the most of what has been given to me to use on God's behalf. So, my stomach is churned up!

  8. So far, all I have is a title "Talents Show".

    I'm working on a similar theme to yours LC, which will lead nicely into the Advent theme of "Be Not Afraid" (which I shamelessly stole from Gord over at Following Frodo - with his permission, but still....)

    It seems to me that in these fearful times, the church as the body of Christ can either quake in their boots with everyone else, or stand as a model of acknowledging the fear and moving forward despite it.

  9. 1-4 Grace and I are in the same boat. It's time to talk about Stewardship!

  10. I am going with trying to find hope in the wrathful judgement language around the Day of the Lord.

    NOt really sure where it will end up but my opening thoughts can be found here

    Oh and I have a rabbinic story about how we can know it is dawn that I am hoping to use.

  11. Thanks, Revabi, for your comments. I think maybe I will link Deborah/Barak and the parable but talking about how Deborah used the talents given her to go far beyond her "station" and Barak, through lack of faith, didn't use his.
    I read a remarkable piece at which turned on the fact that the men were so corrupt and weak that women had to step in to take over the leadership and that men need to take their rightful place so women can take theirs! Some of what he said about the downward spiral of faithfulness made sense but he lost me toward the end. I wonder why? ;-)

  12. I think I'm going to go somewhere besides stewardship. I've gone there the past two weeks at least, and our dedication Sunday was last week, so I'd like to move on. I'm also fairly certain I've mentioned the economy for at least the last four weeks in a row.

    So all I know is what I'm not saying. And that I'm saying something about the Parable of the Talents. And it's now Wednesday. Yikes.

  13. I know why I'm putting off my sermon this week. You've got a text where the guy who saved his money in the ground did the wrong thing. And we're living a world where that would be the right thing. I'm just saying.


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