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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lectionary Leanings

This week, like its predecessor, is one of almost continual funerals so I'm just dropping in for now, with profuse apologies, to flag up the texts...
I'll hope to be able to engage more fully and fruitfully later today, but for now will leave you with the great question that Jesus poses to Bartimaeus, the one he asks each of us too

"What do you want me to do for you?"

Asking and answering that should provide ample sermon fodder, I think...


  1. This week I'm working with my colleague to do the worship for our Association Meeting, being held at Y1P. We're using the Bartimaeus story for a brief message about vision. We're hoping to strike a balance between realism (things are tough for lots of churches) and hope (let's ask God to make us see what we ought to be doing!). All I know so far is that I'm behind where I hoped to be doing the bulletin...

  2. I am trying to take the folk tale bookends from Job and turn it into a stewardship message on possessions.

    Not sure how it will turn out (or why I decided to do so) but I have started thinking about it

  3. Oh at night when things are quiet
    and our hearts beat on their own
    questions rumble round my head-space
    taking me so far from home

    will the rest come or will I wonder
    what is next and then again
    all the days I work and ponder
    how it is that i am here.

    what dear lord can i do for you
    more the question that i muse
    what dear god is next in this life
    your servant waits i'm here to use

    bring the kin-dom bring the peace
    what is my hand in this story
    may righteousness and grace abound
    and we will bathe in all your glory

    what can i do for you jesus asked
    how in the world would i answer?
    o lord it's peace i so desire
    of heart and hand and head and breath

  4. I'm frustrated because as minister of 4 churches I preach at 2 of each on alternate weeks - so I can't draw a parallel I'd like to draw between last week's gospel & James & John 'Master we want you to do whatever we ask of you!' and Bartimaeus 'Have mercy' - to which Jesus responds 'What do you want me to do'.

    And I'm struggling to work out what I want Jesus to do for me - is that because I'm too rich.. or too blind?

  5. Beautiful words Bobbie. Just perfect for the text.

    I'm preaching at two churches this week - a "staggered service" - I start the service here and leave immediately following the sermon. A lay leader will pick up the rest of the sermon here. In the meantime, lay people at Other Church will have taken their service up to the point of the sermon, which is where I come in... tempted as I am to go with Gord's idea of a solid stewardship message (because we are frightfully behind in our budget), I can't really preach that to a church that isn't my own (for a lot of reasons).

    So, I'll be starting with "What do you want me to do for you?" and going from there. Not sure where yet.

    I've always wondered how the blind man "threw off his cloak and went to Jesus" - how did he find where Jesus was? Did someone help him, point him in the right direction, or did he simply follow the sound of Jesus' voice?

  6. I'm going with "But now I see..." and looking at how we respond to God's acts of restoration and reconciliation. Job had heard but seeing was the new beginning (echoed with Blind Bartimaeus) Holistic stewardship starts with a right relationship and is critical to remaining in right relationship with God and neighbor.

  7. Sue,
    who came up with that scheme? IT sounds rather like the choreography could go all wrong....

  8. Kathryn, Thank you. Even your swift drop in between funerals is so helpful. I pondered JEsus' question
    Sue that schedule sounds exhausting!

  9. I'm still pondering but jumping ahead into Hebrews off-lect. Its our organ dedication so I'm doing a 'Feast of Faithfulness' and using Heb 11-12:2 for a text. will blog on it later.

  10. we're doing Reformation Sunday here...and I'm taking the confirmation class on a field trip to a huge high-church presbyterian church for the occasion. So I get to sit in the pew with teenagers this week!

  11. Well, I'm preaching on Bart. And, there are big issues happening for my community at the moment, so I'm pondering being blind (metaphorically), asking the right questions, healing and gathering into community.

    I havent preached for several weeks, by coincindence, so I really want this one to be an extra good one, if you know what I mean.

    Prayers for those of you juggling many communities (my hands are full with just one at the moment!) - Songbird, Ruth, Sue - I'm lookin at you.

  12. Well, I was planning to preach on Job and perhaps also the Gospel lesson, but I am confused about whether or not I really need to do a Reformation-themed service instead? I need to ask some folks from the church about whether or not they care about this in the context of what the church has done historically.

    Side question -- if you use the non-Reformation scriptures, do you still use red vestments?

    Also, my sermon needs to be super-short this week because we're experimenting with using time in worship for a congregational forum around the issue of adding an expansion onto our building. We really need good communication on the issue, and Sunday morning seems to be the best time to get as many people as possible.

  13. Preaching Mark this week but no idea where I'm going with it. I was startled to discover that I've never preached this text before! (even though this is my 5th time cycling through Year B)

    I love how Jesus asks Bartimaeus the same question he asks James and John in v. 36 - What do you want me to do for you? I'm pondering this question and how Bartimaeus' answer is so different from the disciples. There is so much in this text! - it's hard to know where I want to focus.

    Sarah, we don't observe Reformation Sunday and we keep our vestments and paraments green.

  14. Just found out about you guys and I'm so delighted! It's great to feel so immediately at home and identify so quickly with the comments and prayer requests you make. I'm preaching on the Hebrews passage this Sunday and (as usual at this point) I got nuthin' and am feeling dry and a little anxious. It's like this every week! Will be praying for you and checking back as the days go on. Sunday's coming!

  15. Sarah: I believe the "correct" answer is that you either celebrate the 21st Sunday after Pentecost and use green or celebrate Reformation and use red--the texts and the color depend on which occasion you are celebrating.

    However, unless your denomination has really firm guidelines here, you are always free to do what is appropriate in your context. If red vestments and preaching from Mark 10 is what you discern is appropriate, there are no Liturgical Police to stop you.

    Speaking as a Lutheran, in my context it would be almost unthinkable not to celebrate Reformation. But if it is not so obvious as that to's probably optional.

  16. Sarah, thank you for your comment! Just before I read it, I had actually decided with my music director (and longtime member of the church) that we would not really go whole hog for Reformation Sunday, but that we would use red paraments and mention why as an educational piece! Apparently historically this church is not big on highlighting the Reformation, so we're easing into it and may go a little more wild next year. I have also been in churches where there would have been a serious ruckus (and there WERE some liturgical police -- at least they thought they were!) if we had not gone completely Reformation. So interesting how our churches vary in their practices from place to place!


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