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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: "Change is Coming" Edition

Lectionary readings for this coming Sunday can be found here .

I am writing this as I watch Inauguration coverage on TV. It's a day of profound change on many levels.

How appropriate that Sunday's texts also speak to the process of change. We hear the story of Jonah (one of my very favorite books of the Bible), where the Ninehvites change their ways...and God changes his mind. (Who's up for tackling that concept in a sermon?) Our epistle lesson exhorts us to change our relationship to the world, even to the people closest to us, in the wake of God's inbreaking in these "last days." And our Gospel lesson recounts the calling of the first Apostles; the end of their world, as they'd known it.

What kind of changes will you be preaching and praying this Sunday? And are you also recognizing the Week of Prayer For Chrisitan Unity, and/or remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the context of your worship service? Please share your ideas and inspirations here.


  1. Hi LC and others ...

    I am so into the inaugural that I am having difficulty concentrating on work!

    Anybody else here in the same boat?

  2. Same with me, RDQ!
    Too much else going on today to sermonize.
    I also have to travel to nearby city to pick up floor samples and a new price quote for our fellowhsip hall "change."
    Have not picked text, but leaning towards gospel stuff

  3. I'm thinking about the immediate response of Simon, Andrew, John, and James is compared to Jonah's reluctance.

    Beyond that, nothing yet!

  4. "Hope over Fear," baby! That's the phrase of the day, the week, the era. What did the disciples choose when they left their boats and their nets and their families?

  5. I was struck by the first line in the Mark reading-- Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God

    My sermon title is Out of Crisis, New Hope

  6. Now I'm trying to concentrate on working. I'm going with the gospel, my last in the "Voice of God" series..."The Voice of God Transforms." I think I had in mind that the call of Jesus transformed the lives of the disciples; rather than fish for fish, they would fish for people.

    Eh. Hopefully I can get a little more excited about that.

  7. haven't a clue yet. like rev. dona and 1-4 grace my brain is still in awe from the inauguration!

    just amazing wasn't it?

    i'm thinking i'll go do some pastoral visits instead of working on the sermon.

  8. We're an LBW congregation and are sticking with the Conversion of St. Paul, whose festival is January 25th. Wife, Mother, Pastor is where I've posted my initial--and very scrambled--ponderings!

  9. I have finally managed to get down to business at hand, thanks to you all.

    Jesus invites the fishers to follow him into newness ... Paul tells us to expect that even our closest, most basic relationships will change because the world as they know it is passing away [the fishers leave their father Zebedee behind with the hired people] ... and in Jonah, even God changes Her mind and acts with unexpected grace.

    What are the disciples choosing when they drop their nets is a great question, SB --certainly they chose a new unknown hope over the familiar [and comfortable] "same old, same old" ...

    What a rich time to be preaching these passages!

  10. I preached this Gospel text last week. Two quotations that helped me formulate my thoughts were these:

    “To follow Jesus implies that we enter into a way of life that is given character and shape and direction by the one who calls us. To follow Jesus means picking up rhythms and ways of doing things that are often unsaid but always derrivate from Jesus, formed by the influence of Jesus. Jesus reveals, patiently but insistently, word by word, act by act. Real life, the real world, is a vast theatre of salvation, directed by our wise and totally involved God.” -Eugene Peterson


    “The living Christ still has two hands, one to point the way, and the other held out to help us along. So the Christian ideal lies before us, not as a remote and austere mountain peak, an ethical Everest which we must scale by our own skill and endurance; but as a road on which we may walk with Christ as a guide and friend. And we are assured, as we set out on the journey, that he is with us always, ‘even unto the end of the world.’” - From a sermon in Long & Plantinga's A Chorus of Witnesses.

  11. (in other news, after 3 failed attempts by co-pastor to pass this overture, my local classis voted today to seat women ministers and elders to their classis meetings.)

    A day full of newness and hope!

  12. Anytime Jonah shows up in the lectionary, I'm delighted - and I preach on it. So I'm headed for Jonah this week. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the president gave a damn decent sermon himself this morning, so there may be inspiration there as well.

  13. Meg, what fabulous news! I'm rejoicing for you and yours!

  14. I have only just begun to read while I was in the doctor's office. I like the psalm and think it ties in with the other readings. I've done Jonah and will happily do that book any time, probably this Sunday.
    As I prepare for a day with Barbara Brown Taylor on Saturday, I reread The Preaching Life. In one of those sermons, she says that faith is about doing not saying. That works for both gospel and OT.
    Meanwhile - and probably why the psalm is speaking to me - I am meeting with a cardiologist tomorrow morning to find out if the chest tightness I experienced after Christmas was a heart attack. Prayers, please.

  15. PS As excited as I was all morning and early afternoon, I have to admit that a highlight was finally seeing the University of Delaware Marching Band coming down Pennsylvania Avenue. My dad started that band in 1946, my sister Helen marched in it as did her husband, and even though it is nothing like the band I grew up watching, it still made me cry out loud. What an incredible day!!

  16. Still trying to get my breath back after the glory of Aretha's HAT...

  17. The hat was cool and she is the only one who could pull it off so well.
    Also, Michelle is one of the few folks who can wear that shade of yellow/gold and look good.
    I wouuld look like I was sick and be paled...but that chick glowed!!!!!

  18. Prayers for you, Margaret; I hope some basic tests will come back with good news.

    Hooray, Meg!

    I am not preaching this Sunday; one of our bishops is coming, which is wonderful. But I'm a tiny bit disappointed. We have an architectural oddity in our church, the misguided result of an otherwise excellent re-model 20 years ago. It is what we call the "Jaws" pulpit; the best way to describe it is that it looks like a giant, gaping mouth...and the perfect spot from which to preach about Jonah :-D We never use it, and here I am missing the one best opportunity!

  19. Betsy-
    Picture, please! It sounds . . . incredible.

  20. LuthChik like your intro - a lot.

    Meg, great news.

    Betsy - you have to preach Jonah another day :)

  21. Belated prayers for your good health, Margaret.

  22. Thank you for prayers. They seem to be working as today's ekg was normal and the cardiologist is confident that the echo and stress test next week will not turn up anything untoward.
    I was reading Feasting on the Word today, theological perspective on Mark 1:14-20. What if no one had responded to Jesus proclamation of fulfillment? What if the fishermen had just kept on fishing? What if the man with the withered hand had merely said, "gee thanks" and gone right on living as he had been before Jesus happened to him?
    What if Ninevah hadn't responded to Jonah's one-line prophecy?
    I'm mulling this over.

  23. My title is Stuck in the belly or...
    Talking about Jonah's fear to follow God's call and the difference between the disciples willingness to accept and follow the call to serve. Still needs a lot of fleshing out.
    Blessings to you as you serve. Evie


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