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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Crazy Quilt Edition

Readings for the coming Sunday can be found here .

What a wealth of preaching possibilities we have for Sunday! In addition to the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, it's also World Communion Sunday...and it's also St. Francis' feast day.

What theme, or themes, do you plan to address in your worship and preaching? Does one stand out in your mind? Or, like a quilter, are you crafting something out of many bits of Scriptural fabric that is unique, meaningful and that holds together conceptually? As always, share your thoughts here.


  1. I be preaching Sunday and leading the worship for world communion
    Sunday. I am preaching the Mark passage with the title of "Marriage, Divorce and Children". I don't relish preaching on it, but I have some thoughts that have to do with the pharisees tried to trap Jesus, The law was written as a concession to their hard hearts, bringing the children to Jesus and the disciples scolding the persons. Third Sunday in a row we have had something about Jesus and children. Only this time he says For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” It will be interesting how this all ends up.

  2. I am supply preaching this week and I was given the Mark text to work with. I don't have a whole lot of experience in preaching from these hard texts, so I am VERY nervous about what to preach - I don't have any context to frame my sermon around.

    There are bound to be divorced and remarried people in the congregation, so how am I to preach on this in a way that is compassionate to them. What about those in abusive relationships that need to get out of them?

    UGH - I just don't know yet!

  3. all in all, it seems like Job is the far easier text!
    there's a special addition of sermon brainwave podcast on the mark passage that I recommend to anyone tackling it.
    There was a huge article in the local paper about the neighborhood surrounding my church entitled 'A cluster of desperation' (about how our neighborhood is disproportionately poor/underemployed/gang activity and crime/murder hub)so I think I need to preach about that.
    I'm intrigued by Job's line 'shall we accept good and not evil from the hand of the Lord.' When our churches and communities we disciples just want to 'curse God and die' out of spite, or do we want to search bravely like Job for purpose and answers.
    I want to make some sort of connection with World Communion Sunday by linking Jesus' life giving presence/suffering on the cross as the sign that God is not 'inflicting' pain upon us--but suffering with us and working through us to bring hope/new life out of reveal the glory...
    I think, but it's only tuesday--would love to hear how anyone else is linking world communion with Job...

  4. I won't be "on" this Sunday, but I do think this gospel lesson would be a great way in to talking about marriage in a more general way, since our state is voting on a marriage equality ballot issue in November. That gospel lesson is all about context. How do we understand the leading of the Spirit in ours?

  5. So far I don't want to touch the Gospel text with a 39 1/2 foot pole, our seminary student is preaching on Job text later this month and so I am leaving it open.
    I am left with Hebrews and Psalm.
    Actually, I am using an alt. text based on our denomination's theme for World Communion Sunday.
    Still thinking, but I have to make my mind up by tomorrow AM.
    Our wonderful Admin Asst is on vacation Friday.

  6. i don't want to touch mark either... i'm diving right in... mulling over the idea of again how jesus brings power to the powerless... ie, the child who was to be seen & not heard or the woman, whose sexuality was considered the property of others... and jesus reframes that... heading into how all persons are created in the image of god... young, old, single, married, divorced...

  7. Uh, Hot Cup.
    I think you might be changing my mind

  8. I'm going with Job as well. Last week, at the end of the sermon (James and prayer), I had everyone get into groups and share things about their life that they would like the others to pray for on their behalf. The sense afterwards was that many folks are dealing with all kinds of difficulties.

    I'm seeing in Job an opportunity to re-frame the belief that bad things arise as a punishment for personal sin. I'm looking forward to wrestling with this as I have fallen into the trap of trying to figure out what I've done wrong that has led to the difficulties my family and my church is facing.

  9. i had edited the lectionary mark text to only be the verses about the children, but Hot Cup is making me want to edit back in the divorced, remarried stuff ...

    will have to decide by tomorrow morning when i finish up the bulletin and give it the admin asst.

  10. Hebrews for me, its on our bulletin cover. We're going to do a bit "higher" worship than normal for us so I may follow the great thanksgiving as much as I can. I'll still use our language for the actual communion. I still have a lot to work out and energy is low. But I too have to have it worked out tomorrow, but I have till evening.

  11. I'm preaching on Mark, with the added excitement that it also has to be "about" stewardship (stewardship emphasis all month). sigh. a little hotcup, we're all in the image of God....

  12. I am ignoring the lectionary readings altogether. Instead I am using a couple of texts about communion and preaching about the sacrament as a Banquet of Hope. My early thoughts are on the church blog

  13. I found this week's podcast at particularly helpful. They do a special edition on Mark itself, for October 4. I commend it to each of you.

    I will be preaching on a theology of blessing, but considering all of the hard words too-the entire pericope of Mark 10:2-16.

  14. I actually have decided to let myself off the hook for preaching this Sunday after being referred to this resource from Global Ministries (DOC & UCC joint missions ministry) by our own Juniper.

    I have modified it slightly, but have still decided that because of the length, I will not do a sermon. I'll have some words at the beginning, but that's about it. Right now, I'm feeling generally overwhelmed and a little crazy, so this is a welcome relief; plus, I was clueless as to how to tie these scriptures in to the theme of World Communion, which I really wanted to lift up. So, I think I've found my solution!

  15. Preaching the Mark text this week and thinking that the focus will be on right relationship. There are too many relationships in the gospel text to focus solely on the comparison of divorce from one context to the next. Instead, I'll use the relationships between Pharisees, Jesus, Men, Women, Spouses, Parents, Children, Orphans, Widows, Writers, Readers - everyone to focus on how we begin to define boundaries for right relationships. I think this will lend nicely to how we view World Communion day.
    Does anyone have good anecdotes that illustrate right relationships? or wrong relationships for that matter?

  16. I tend to think there are some texts that just have to be preached on and this divorce text is one of them. To read it and then ignore it isn't fair because it will just hang there in the air while the preacher moves on to another more pleasant text. So like it or not I will be preaching on Mark this week.

    I would recommend to anyone anytime but this week maybe in particular. Every week they have great short commentaries on each text written by pastors and professors. But my favorite part is the weekly podcasts called Sermon Brainwave where 3 great professors from Luther Seminary discuss the week's texts. This week they have two podcasts, one for just Mark and one for the other lessons in light of Mark.

  17. My mind got made up on the Mark text, thanks in part to Hot Cup and then the news reports staying: 1. My state is #8 in deaths of women by husbands or boyfriends(as oppossed to strangers).
    2. A high school in my state had 26 students involved in a fight over rival neighborhoods. many were arrested, as the police had to be called.
    My whole point is God's desire(through Jesus' teaching) for us to live together as a family.
    In Xian Century,it states we can't choose our family, but we must love, support one another in a family.
    Church family is the same way.
    I amy be kicking myself by Saturday. But, my mind is made up

  18. I almost NEVER go off lectionary, but this week I am using the propers for the Feast of St. Franicis. Let's me off the hook for Mark, and we're having a blessing of the animals that afternoon, so it's appropriate--and it is St. Francis' Day.

  19. I expected my reflection to be with Jesus' teaching on divorce, but instead I got caught up in the children. There's some really important stuff packed into those short lines, big lessons that we tend to forget when we get all grown-up and responsible.

    You can find my reflection on receiving the kingdom as a little child here.

    Love and blessings,
    Sr. Hedwyg

  20. Day1 has a sermon by Will Willimon on the Mark 10:2-6 passage. fwiw

  21. Day1 has a sermon by Will Willimon on the Mark 10:2-6 passage. fwiw

  22. Ugh. I am up to 570 words and still not "there" or getting there yet.
    I dont need to go over 1000 due to the link of time for communion by intinction. I have a good many elderly folks.
    Oh, and due to H1N1 fears, we have communion my intinciton and also the shot glass on the hub cap option.
    Actually, no hubcaps, I pulled out the lovely trays with handles that date back before WWII. They are wonderful. But most Sundays we have the normal silver trays.
    Anyhow, the front of the church is beautiful with beautiful fabrics and dangly down stuff.
    The bread I am doinng is close to being done(Russian Black), but we also have sourdough, pita, and a challah. I love WCS!!!!!


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