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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings - the whole armour of God

I'm still officially away (and may actually have finished overdue tlc on the good ship Polyphony and be making progress by now) - though I'll be back in the parish to hear the curate preach on Sunday's readings....

I wonder what he will go with.
Ephesians is wonderful, of course - and he won't necessarily have preached it before...He might perhaps challenge the congregation to check over the state of their armoury.
Were I preaching, I might choose to work on the encouragement to pray "in the Spirit at all times", since there are very few congregations (not to mention ministers) who could not afford to take prayer far more seriously...
I might like to explore what it means to pray "in the Spirit"?
It makes me think of the line in George Herbert's wonderful poem Prayer
"God's breath in man, returning to his birth"

Or there's dear dear Peter, confronted with what feels, momentarily, like a one way street - the only route through. Do you remember those evangelistic stickers that were very popular (in England at least) during the 1970s...There was one that showed the arrow that represents a one way street with the words "One Way - Jesus"...
I'm never sure if Peter is speaking with resignation - there is no escape, - the call of this man on his life is non negotiable
"To whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal life"
Amid the pick and mix of our world, that might be a fruitful line to take...

Wherever you are guided, enjoy the journey with the texts this week.


  1. 'the soul in paraphrase'
    Wow, Kathryn, fantastic poem... thanks for highlighting it.

    Well, my sermon and service is all sorted for Sunday, as I had to clear the decks for Friday dissertation deadline.

    I'm going for Psalm 84, reflecting on the journey to the temple and of pilgrims rejoicing as they come to meet with God.
    We'll be using the Wizard of Oz:
    following the yellow brick road to the Emerald City of God, where our restless, pilgrim hearts find their rest in God.
    End line: we come home when we worship God.

    I'm hoping we aren't attacked by flying monkeys during the service or that a house drops on us unexpectedly, but otherwise... that's the shape of Sunday in 'leafy parish in the burgh' - and also my last Sunday as locum there. A great congregation and a great 2 months. I'll miss 'em.

    Look forward to seeing where you all end up in your sermon musings. Have a good week! :)

  2. Maybe you're okay on the flying monkeys, Nik, but what WILL you do about all those munchkins and talking trees? ;-)

    I love the Wizard of of the best & most richly-populated fables ever outside of...well, that Other Book.

  3. Well MC, the munchkins will be heading off to Sunday club early in the service, so they're kinda sorted...

    that other book?
    Oh, of course, you mean The Chronicles of Narnia... don't you ;)

  4. Nik,
    I think you should get back to that dissertation and stop all this frivolity. Calvin would never approve!
    I'll pop back later when I've thought about sunday.

  5. Meant to say, MaineCelt, I thought that other book was of the HP variety, being a mere muggle.:)

  6. I am concluding an Ephesians marathon with the armor of God. I want to be careful not to make it too cartoonish or hokey. Any suggestions on the Armor of God and especially how we deal with the evil one in today's world?

  7. currently i'm thinking about concentrating on what the armour of God is not and how the language was turning the Roman's weapons into a way of peace. i love that our "weapon" is the WORD of God. trying to go with that, our weapon is not a weapon of war at all--it is one of reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace.

    Nik--love your closing line, beautiful!

  8. ok, after i commented i visited: which is about "waging reconciliation"

    now i'm wondering if i saw the title previously and had inadvertantly thought it was my idea. dunno, either way, i'm going with it. ;)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Sorry about that delete - messed up the link. Given all these "difficult" passages this week, I've decided to go with the gospel where Jesus himself seems to be musing on hard sayings. Did some reflecting here It's a start anyway.

  11. Hi all! It's been AGES since I've worked on weekly lectionary reflection, and I'm so glad to have gotten to this week's. I was just clothed as a Dominican novice this past week, in the Anglican Order of Preachers. And the habit is a clear and definite form of the armor of God! :-)

    My reflection for the week is here.

    Love and blessings,
    (Sr.) Hedwyg, OPA :-D

  12. Since I've been off-lectionary most of the summer (behind many weeks, but completely off this month) I haven't been around much here on Tuesdays. I've also noticed that with out the community to ponder with (horrible floating preposition) my blog has been seriously ignored. Can't wait to rejoin with you all maybe next week, but definitley more consistently in September.

    This week is week three in a requested series on sustainability. Week 1 was on the subject of economics. Week 2 was the environment/creation. This week is Week 3, and it's about society or community or even culture. I'm less sure about what it is, but as the person who is advocating for a sustainability commitment from our congregation has said, "Sustainability is about anything we want to pass on to future generations in good condition." So this last week can be about arts, faith, education.... The other weeks I've taken each topic and sort of preached on "What does God say about what humans are supposed to say/do about this?" or maybe "What does God say our role is in this arena?"

    I think this one will be a harder one, but I'm thinking I'll look at the instructions for the Passover and the importance of telling the coming generations the stories that form our identity. Then go one to tell all the different ways out stories can be told - in art, in music, in education, especially in the faith of the church. I feel an old time hymn coming on!

    I love to tell the story!

    I think I will join you all in the lectionary agagin next week with the middle section of James. A lot of this series has been making a case for why these different areas are important places for Christians to live their faith. Next week should be the synthesis of all that - how we can be doers of these words, not just hearers.

    Woo hoo!

    OK - - off to this week's bulletin and fleshing it all out.

  13. I'm not preaching this week. I said that last week and found out I needed to preach 15 minutes before service. "Vampires, Zombies and Living Bread, O My!" was a hit. I wish I had been able to recreate it as a manuscript after the fact. I think it was taped. We'll see. This week, I'm going visiting.

  14. Might be changing my mind. I think instead of going about "society" in terms of culture and the arts, I'm going to go about "society" in terms of the way the community lives and works together, and how we pass on our greatest values to others and the generations beyond. That might end up touching on the cultural piece and the importance of the Passover celebration still fits, but I'm thinking my main text for preaching will be the role of the friends who bring the man on a mat to Jesus. That, too me, is a sustainable community. Those are people who care about their neighbor and do everything they can to make sure he gets what he needs. They are passing on what they know is important. They are making sure the weakest among them are looked out for, cared for, acknowledged and included in society.

    Lots fits in here - - education, healthcare, especially. I would like to find an arts/cultural angle still because I thought that was a particularly appealing aspect of this particular sustainability framework, but I don't know how to get it in there yet.

    Not sure, but I think this is a better direction. I sort of liked the I had been keeping most of this series in the Pentateuch, but I won't let the hold me back.

  15. Very good stuff in Xian Century on the Eph. text. Reference made to a civil rights era photo of a lunch counter sit in.
    I am using this and not totlaly sure where i am going though. Too tired to think today after a presby meeting.

  16. Congrats, Sr. Hedwyg. I remember my clothing. I am sure you will have something to say.

    I am thinking about the hard sayings of Jesus--that Christianity has gotten so emmeshed with popular culture that it is important to hear what was difficult about Jesus' message about eating and drinking (being a member of the Body of Christ.)

    It is good to be back after a couple of weeks of vacation. I feel so refreshed--I should do that more often!

  17. Nik, I visited an elderly parishioner this morning who is dying. I suggested we had the days ahead to tell stories, laugh, cry and love. He commented that the road behind him is too long to contemplate, especially now that he is looking ahead to the open road.
    We still ascend to the temple, eh? Rejoicing with God along the way and particularly when we get there.

  18. I'm working with the Ephesians passage and the idea that Under Armour, if you will) that matters, but we are too inclined to literalize this passage and make it physical armor.

  19. Great insights! Thank you. :)

    I had never heard that poem before either.

    Terrific blog you've all got going here!

  20. Here is a clip of President Bartlett Speech from West Wing
    20 Hours in America
    I am using part of it for my sermon Sunday in connection with my referece to civil rights photo.
    Not sure if it helps anyone else, but if not, it is an AWESOME speech and gives way to other sermons.
    Goo luck to all.


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