Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: "With Authority" Edition
The lectionary readings for the coming Sunday can be found here .
Bech's Mustard, a favorite northern Michigan regional condiment, markets itself as "Mustard With Authority!"
You've got to love that. And you know what the Bech's people mean: This is mustard that makes you sit up and take notice; that has a sting to it; that you'll remember, and appreciate (even as your eyes and tongue are smarting).
Sunday's lessons are about that kind of authority in the faith community -- authority that startles and astonishes us, both because it's neither whingeing and equivocating nor arbitrary and bossy. It's an authority that reflects that of the One who has delegated it.
Our Deuteronomy reading promises the people of God a prophet who speaks and acts with this kind of divinely appointed authority (interestingly, because a direct encounter with the holiness of the Divine Presence is considered too hard for us humans to handle). Our lesson from the Gospel of Mark shows this type of authority in action, exercised in service to healing and wholeness. And our Epistle lesson provides a caution to those tempted to exercise "Do this/don't do that" authority in adiaphoric matters of Christian life where, to borrow a phrase from Kelly Fryer, we're called to lead with our love foot.
Some good stuff here. How will you be preaching, praying and otherwise engaging this theme in worship this Sunday?