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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday Lectionary leanings - picking at the crumbs in search of wisdom.

The RCL texts for the week are here
I'm on my summer holidays for the next fortnight, so am spared the burden of finding yet more to say about bread - which I have to admit is a blessing, even when you are as Eucharistically centred as I am...

So this week I guess I'd move right away from bread, to talk about - umm - wine?!

The wine of debauchery that releases all sorts of things best left enchained, versus that wine that Wisdom offers at her table, the wine that brings not intoxication and wild gibbering (which always seems unaccountably witty at the time) but maturity and insight. I love the imagery of Wisdom's palace (and might play with different interpretations of the seven pillars) her feast, complete with enticing servant girls issuing invitations - not to the wealthy but to the simple.
Perhaps you need to be simple to appreciate what is being offered...

Now where have we met that idea before...?

Or I might (though the Kings option is much longer than my congregation would comfortably endure) explore Solomon's prayer for wisdom - in fact, it seems quite a shame that we can't mix and match and use two Old Testament readings for a change.

I suspect I might struggle rather, - so blessings of wisdom and eloquence on all of you who are preaching this week.


  1. I haven't figured out how, yet, I am going to talk about bread this Sunday. I talked about Ephesians last week so it's not like this is the next round. I do think we need to pay attention to how many times Jesus says, "I am the bread of life." Of all the "I am" statements, this one is the only one repeated so many times. So it's got to be pretty important. Is it because bread is so basic to life, especially at that time? Even though I try not to eat a lot of bread, it still carries a sense of being vital to life for me.
    I haven't a clue how this is going to play out but it is, after all, just Tuesday and all sorts of things might break forth from the Word before Sunday morning. :-)

  2. I am not preaching, we have a Commisioned Lay Pastor in training. She will be preaching on .
    I will be at a wedding, but look forward to seeing you next week.
    The Christian Century lectioanry piece for next wek is good. The author mentions a photo in one Taylor Branch's books on the King Era. Picture is from one of the lunch counter sitins and graphicaly portrays the level of human hatred and its effect on humnas.
    Found the book at the local library and will build from that.
    But that is next week, this is now. Keep thse coming!mincarbs co

  3. I am preaching on the Ephesians text, my last stab at "Seeing God's big picture", and looking at the "do not get drunk with wine/be filled with the Spirit" and exhortation to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

    I don't have much yet, except I did find a great quote by Mahalia Jackson. After her concert at Carnegie Hall, a reporter asked her why so many white people liked her traditional black church songs. She replied:

    "Well honey, maybe they tried drink and they tried psychoanalysis and now they're going to try to rejoice with me a bit."

  4. Last week was our VBS celebration and I was not enticed by the option of bread or wine in this week's lectionary, so I'm using Psalm 130 from last week.

    Will go visit your musings from last Tuesday.

  5. I've got the family service and I'll be doing the story of Solomon, which is a fabulous one for telling (though I agree about the reading itself being too long for most congregations to sit still). So, it's time to put on my imagination cap and dream my way into it...

  6. Going with Bread again this week. Ran across two quotes that will more than likely find their way into the sermon. "Eating together is a profoundly religious act." and "Eat my flesh and drink my blood - better to experience than to understand." Calvin?

    Thinking about what we consume and why? Why is it when we get together with family and friends we usually eat in excess and all the wrong foods?

    Also, wanting to Connect body, mind and soul with food and the many ways we are fed.

    Lots of ideas not much flow.

  7. @ Katheryn, of course you can use two OT readings. The world won't come to an end. You won't even get fired. Some folk will be mad. Maybe. The lectionary is a tool, not a sacrament.
    For those who've asked, some of my sermons are now up at:

  8. I have no idea what I'm preaching on this week. A wise woman preacher once told us to "spend it all" and so I did last week...spent everything I had on bread and there's nothing left. So, I'll be searching for wisdom and insight in another passage, perhaps lectionary and hope God provides yet again. God always does, and yet every week I'm convinced God won't come through...

    For those of you doing bread again, I recommend passing out slices of bread for the congregation to chew on while you preach...a RGBP gave me the idea and it worked beautifully. For once they actually laughed at my jokes. Blessings to you preachers.

  9. anyone know of any good, free, online sermon resources other than textweek? love textweek but would love to find something that has creative ideas for the sermon and possibly illustrations

  10. I covered bread pretty thoroughly this past Sunday...which led to an unexpected perk! I started my sermon inviting them to remember their experiences entering into a home or place where bread is baking, how marvelously that distinctive smell fills the room, how instantly you hope you get to have some warm, lovely bread possibly dripping with butter, and so on. It was such a powerful encounter with all the senses, my folks really got into it, and thus into my sermon. (for many, they have fond memories of mom or grandma baking homemade bread or buns)

    On Monday I got a call from one of my elderly members who said the sermon had inspired her, she hadn't felt up to baking bread in years, but now felt a strong need to do so. So that evening her husband dropped off a big plate of luscious dinner rolls, and thanked me profusely for inspiring his wife! And today I ran into her by the post office, where she told me that she was going to be delivering fresh buns to a number of the shut-ins around the area today. I haven't seen her that energetic and perky in a long time.

    Isn't lovely how God works in all kinds of surprising ways?

  11. No. more. bread.
    Am going to go down the wisdom trail - I just need to find it first!! But I've a great book called 'The Wee Book of Calvin' with various marvellously couthy Scottish proverbs, which I'm thinking of starting the sermon with... such as:

    Self pity never boiled a haddock.

    Or, a little more darkly:
    Let the laddie play with the knife. He’ll learn.

    Hang a thief when he’s young and he’ll not steal when he’s old.

    The devil finds work for idle hands…

    You’re fair away wi yerself the noo, but believe me, ye’ll pay for it

    What’s for you won’t go past you

    Or some wisdom sayings from nature:
    No rainbow without rain

    The bonniest flower oft wilts the quickest

    Fair hair may hide dark roots

    For every summer morning, a winter night to come

    And the cheering thoughts:
    Two can keep a secret if one of them’s deid

    Life’s a sair fecht

    Black. White. No need for anythng in between

    No whip cuts so deep as the lash of guilt

    Swim in sin and drown in sorrow

    Just a gleam, a flicker, the tick of a clock. Then darkness.

    Think my favourite is currently tied between the haddock and the lash of guilt... oooh...actually, wot a great name for a novel!!

  12. Nik,
    I love those Scottish proverbs - lots of them bring back real memories of my gran - no wonder I've turned out the way I did growing up with that little lot!
    Anyway- not preaching this week since we're celebrating our week of holiday club. But last week I set up the bread maker in the sanctuary a couple of hours before the service. By the time the bread was ready - just at children's time - everyone's stomach was gurgling. We shared the bread over coffee along with home made jam. Now I'm a domestic goddess as well as everything else - I wish! I've really enjoyed this summer messing around with more interactive services, ditching the monologue and getting some conversation going. wondering how I can keep some of that going when we get back to "formality". Tempted not to revert to normal but then it would lose the novelty factor for the summer months and probably the freshness. Anyway, mustn't get above myself - "It will all end in tears" - another Scottish proverb! LOL

  13. Liz: absloutely re. grandmother memories - In my mind's eye, I can hear Nan [rather tall, quite imposing Orcadian] looking rather stern and uttering some of these sayings. She never once did the famous 'if I'm spared' comment, however!!

  14. Nik & Liz--

    Thank you so much for your Specifically Scottish posts-- I'm chaplain for our state's Saint Andrew's Society and this is Highland Games weekend, which means my plate is full! This year I need to write prayers in Gaelic & Scots for the "Honored Clan
    Dinner" the night before the Games and the Opening Ceremony of the Games themselves.

    Sunday night I have to do a "Scottish Heritage" evening church service. Not sure exactly how I got saddled with this last gig, or what they expect, but I'm giving it a go...

    So far I have scripture readings in Scots and I'm using Alastair Reid's poem, "Scotland" to open my sermon. Your recollections and the Calvinist aphorisms may, with your permission and proper citation, be featured!

  15. For Pastor Robin
    Online free sermon sites;,, Also just google the sermon text you want and if you want one from your own denomination, include that name. Sometimes you can find good ones from random churches.


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