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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Lectionary Leanings- Justice through Compassion edition

Readings for Sunday, December 7:

Isaiah 40:1-11

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

2 Peter 3:8-15a

Mark 1:1-8


I’ve said it before and I’ll said it again,  I love me some John the Baptist.


He’s gritty and honest and more than a little bit on the edge.


But to be honest, the Isaiah passage is pulling me this week.

Because even though most of us are still at the top of the economic ladder, I’m not sure how much more battering we can take.


And while we need some social justice, I wonder if social justice sermons are the best way to get to social justice.


Do those listening us need to hear John the Baptist’s call us a Brood of Vipers, or is Isaiah’s message of comfort the more powerful one?


Maybe, the message we really need to hear this week is that even though we are sheep who have hoarded our food, scared the weak away, or wandered on paths of our own creation, we are cared for by a shepherd who does not give up, but searches and calls our names to come and be a community, one with another, together, with concern and care for all.


But that’s just the right passage for me.  What’s God calling you to preach?


  1. I am torn between Isaiah and J the B this week--they are both such pivotal texts. I'll probably try to find some way of bringing them both to the party.

  2. I'm doing Isaiah, but I have no idea what I'm doing with the text. I'm doing Isaiah next week too with the Magnificat. I've been worrying about how I can preach those texts without beating up people. My constant struggle.

  3. I'm thinking of a first person J the B. My 'theme' for Advent, if you can call it that, is preparation. How we do it, what it should look like (no, it doesn't include preparing cookies or wrapping gifts!), how the church can help, etc. So, I may have John tell how he prepared the way. We'll see.

  4. Isaiah for me too....such powerful stuff, though I suspect that J the B will find his way in there somehow... :-)

  5. A plethora of riches indeed! I am not up to preach again till Advent 3, but soaking in these texts as preparation seems fitting. Will be looking forward to seeing what everyone does with these. Rivkah, would you post that one if you do it? Love those 1st persons.

  6. I got J the B and have a visit from the "real" J the B (head included!!!).
    I love him too and jsut enjoy the edginess of his message and the fact that he did "prepare the Way!
    Also, working on a decorate the tree party and a evenign meditation next week

  7. I am doing Isaiah and JtB but using different passages.

    I am looking at prophetic passages and peace and preparation.

  8. I'm going with J the B - but I have NO idea what I'm doing with him yet. He's so interesting in his own right, I worry every year that I don't do him justice, ya know?

    He's sitting pretty heavily on my heart already, and I'm usually not this focused so early in the week, so I"m hoping that it means I'll come up with something good. Or at least better than leash-worthy.

  9. I'm going with Isaiah. It's my first Sunday in a new call and I'm going to talk about the possibilities we anticipate as we wait and watch for Christmas and tie to the possibilities ahead for us.
    One of my favorite JtheB themes is 'we want to rush to Christmas w/o first spending time with John' It's great to play with.

  10. We'll read both. I'm drawn to that idea of the rough places being made plain, of the changes that in theory we desire but in reality resist. I want to build that theme toward preaching the Magnificat next week, so that this week is about preparing and next week is about proclaiming. What do we need to do to prepare for peace? If it really smooths away the rough edges, will we really be happy? And if so, why do we fight so hard against it? (Or maybe that's just me?)
    But I have the additional nauseating anxiety of recording my sermon--yes, again. The guy who offered to help a few weeks ago has been ill and thinks he can finally do it this week. This will make three out of four sermons I've written both for the people I'm serving and for some unknown search committees (and some known ones, too). It's a little confusing!

  11. Make straight the path... It seems that this from both Isaiah and Mark are what a lot of people are searching for just now. A clear way will things turn out... will I find a new job... will I get home for Christmas... how will I live this first Christmas without my dear one being with me...
    Make straight the path to the comfort that has been promised even when the people feel they are in exile in their own homeland.
    This is a message that will be for me very close...


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