The Lectionary is nothing if not insistent...
Here, for the 3rd week running, we find ourselves offered a diet of solid carbohydrate, if you've failed to engage with it so far. Or perhaps you'd prefer to work with the uncomfortable contradiction of Jesus's words
"No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father..." - which seem at first glance to gainsay "When I am lifted up from the earth I will draw ALL MEN to myself".
"No one" versus "all". What's going on here?
But then a second look, and of course God's will is to draw all of us to Jesus, so that we can all share in the final resurrection.
I'm inclined to dig about here a bit, I think...to try and explore images of drawing...maybe like a fish being caught? or a broken-down car relying on another for a tow?
I might invite the congregation to consider what drew them to church (recognising that this isn't the same as drawing them to God by any means, but can be a stage on the journey)...and, as we're beginning a period of preparation for Back to Church Sunday, I might ask them to think about the ways in which our lives and our welcome can be attractional, drawing others to explore faith for themselves.
At that point, of course, it would make sense to refer to the template of perfection that Paul offers for the Christian community in Ephesus. If our churches really exuded even the faintest scent of the divine fragrance of Christ, then surely
we would draw others to see for themselves...
Or perhaps, if you're feeling weary and wondering when that lengendary "quieter month" might actually arrive, you'd like to work with Elijah - clearly suffering burn out and wonderfully restored by the God who gives him space to sleep, and refreshment for his ministry...As we contemplate new directions, new terms, new initiatives,that need to pause and be fed seems very real too.
That's where I am today. How about you?