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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: "Supersize It" Edition

Readings for the coming Sunday can be found here .

What are we to make of God's abundant love and extravagant grace? That's the question this Sunday as Jesus demonstrates these things in a very tangible, tasteable way to a hungry crowd.

What are your thoughts as you prepare to talk to your congregation about Jesus' feeding of the 5,000? Or are you going to address the walking-on-water miracle, tacked on almost as an afterthought to the text? Or are you preaching on another text this Sunday? As always, share your thoughts here.


  1. I have looked at trying to combie the David text alongside the feeding of the multitudes, but it is not going so well.
    sigh. wish I had a shread of brillance to share. Looking forward to seeing others' thoguths

  2. well i think i'll be extemping this weekend instead of preaching from the pulpit...

    anyway thinking of the little boy & his lunch.. and wondering what is it exactly that we bring to the table... what do you bring? what do i have to bring? whatever it is we bring, will be more than enough for Jesus to work with... but we must bring it first - and be like Andrew with one another - encouraging one another to step forward with our gifts... even when we might doubt their quality...

    er something like that...

  3. I'm not preaching, but we're doing something about scarcity and abundance...and there's another stewardship talk this Sunday. :-)

  4. I read a thought-provoking sermon on this text by Rev. Grace Imathiu. She talks about the process many churches go through as they try to respond to need...first they come up with a solution, then they act like Philip and start calculating costs, then they act like Andrew and come up with a fundraising plan, and everyone ends up stressed, maybe even suggesting the problem is too big to handle. Great thoughts on how easily we forget that God works with whatever we have to contribute.

    My congregation has certainly used this kind of logic in assessing responses! Fortunately, I can use her illustration rather than blatantly pointing fingers at us.

    I also planned in advance (wow, that's rare!) and scheduled a picnic lunch following worship. Now to just come up with a sermon as opposed to the collection of random thoughts I have running through my head!

  5. I'm talking about miracles - do we believe in them? how do we talk about them? how does considering miracle stories increase our faith or get us closer to god?

    yeah, that's all. and I'm sort of a 12 minute preacher too....

    Anyway, found this in a new book The Essential REference Book for Biblical Metaphors (btw, if you havent been to Pilgrim Press lately - check them out - they are having a kickin' sale right now!)

    "Today's readers are apt to think of miracles as events in which the laws of nature are temporarily suspended, but that could not have been the understanding of the Biblical authors. The laws of nature had not yet been discovered. A miracle was a wonder, a surprise that pointed beyond itself to a particular realization."

  6. I am doing a "Jesus and Bathsheba" sermon. It is a critique of monarchy and hierarchies based on monarchy. The emphasis is not the feeding of the five thousand, but Jesus running away rather than being crowned king. David is an exemplar of the Ancient Near Eastern king. Jesus was not and didn't want to be. Contrasting their respective uses of power and relationships exposes the irony of imperialist Christian constructions like "Christ the King." The intersection of these texts is a good place to expose the fallacy of hierarchy (kyriarchy) as divine will. And I'll be sure to include the last portrait of Bat Sheva in the scriptures when is enthroned as Solomon's right hand wo/man after David's impotence and death.

  7. Wil, I wish I could hear it.
    I'll be on vacation this week, but here's the verse that grabbed me this morning:
    "When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself."
    I'll be pondering that one.

  8. Due to a scramble of days, and the mission trip group needing another week to prepare, I preached this one last week.

    I played with the text in the context of this congregation all week, then scrapped and rewrote Saturday night. it went a direction I never intended: More stewardship than anything else.

  9. @ Songbird, that's the verse I'm using from the gospel. It is intriguing.

  10. I'm on track with you, Wil. I'll probably talk about power and its misuse in there, too.
    Having been out of the pulpit for two weeks, I'm looking forward to getting back to preaching. I heard some great sermons at General Convention and I confess to falling asleep during two of them. ;-)

  11. Doing the scarcity and abundance thing with the gospel lesson, but having that lead into a discussion of time and Sabbath.

  12. Hot Cup, your example rang true with me and I may pick up on that. I've recently read Barbara Taylor Brown's sermon on the same subject and think the two might mix if I get time to stop chasing baby, conflicts with husbnd and actually write it. Regular prodigal summer.

  13. Having just prayed two weeks ago at the church of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in Tabgha,Galilee...I think I will preach on this.
    I love what one person wrote about what it is like to have your fill and still have more than enough to give away.....
    and Wil, wish I could hear that sermon too.....

  14. If I were preaching this Sunday, I think I'd pick up on Jesus sending his disciples among the people with the baskets - I imagine them distributing the fish and loaves - then returning to collect what is left. Going out from Jesus with good(s) and returning with the abundance after all have been fed.

    We are called to go out with the Good News in as many forms as we can create. And, we are called to receive the abundance of others offerings after the feeding.

    As always, we go out filled and return with more than we began.

  15. I'm preaching on this text on Sunday - lopping off the last five verses and concentrating on the feeding of the 5,000 - or rather, its aftermath. The leftovers are what caught my eye in this passage, and Jesus' mindfulness in having the diciples gather up the fragments of bread "so that nothing may be wasted."

    I think Jesus performs that same gathering-up role in our lives (if we let him). gathers up our broken pieces and the parts of us we thought we'd never use, and USES them, just the way that we take leftover bread and turn it into bread pudding or "pain perdu" - lost bread, or French toast.

    Think that'll preach?

  16. Today is my first Sunday at my new parish, so I will be preaching a "new pastor" kind of sermon, which I think actually ties in very well with what Paul is writing to the Ephesians this week. Will probably refer a tiny bit to the Gospel lesson, but will mostly be in the Epistle this week.

  17. This will be my first Sunday back in the pulpit following three weeks off. I have no idea what I am going to say. None.

  18. Good stuff in Xian Century on the two texts(Samuel and John).
    Intersting thoughts about a comparison i had not thought about.
    Sermon title: A king by any other name


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