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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: The Story Begins Again

(photo by Mr. Mompriest, cresent moon at sunset)

I love when Advent comes and the church year begins anew. For practical reasons, as a preacher I appreciate that the lectionary returns to only four readings instead of the multiple choices we have during the Season after Pentecost. You can find the text this week here.

As a preacher I look forward to the Advent season and it's opportunity to tell the Christian story of mystery, hope, and anticipation as we await the coming of Christ anew. I relish the darkness, the soft light of candles, and invitation to prayer that seems to come naturally with short days and long nights.

I am reminded of this from Taize:

Within our darkest night,
you kindle the fire that
never dies away, never dies away

or this

Our darkness is never darkness in your sight;
the deepest night is as clear as the daylight.

These songs from Taize immediately take me back to a cold winter night, a chilly candle lit church, icons, and an hour of song and silent prayer...a time out to appreciate Advent and leave behind the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas.

What are your thoughts for this Sunday? How will you begin to tell the Christian story anew? Will you lean into Jeremiah's promise from God? Or jump right into the parables in Luke and tell stories about figs and stars?


  1. THis year my Advent theme is Birth Means.... THis week is Birth Means Tearing Down the Old. I am using a different JEremiah passage (the visit to the potters house) in conjunction with the Luke passage.

    My early thoughts are here

  2. Thank you, Mompriest, for stepping in...I got completely sidetracked this morning by something that came up and forgot all about TLL!

  3. No problem LutheranChik, happy to step in - gotta have each other's backs, ya know!

  4. my sermon is titled 'where the sidewalk ends,' want to talk about the many voices which testify to the reality of endings (scripture, science, literature, even good children's poems). Life as we know it will end--yet, many of us are able to live as though this is not true--avoiding thoughts of death, taking whatever actions are necessary to preserve and maintain our comfortable lives. Luke reminds us again that all things are passing away--that The apocalypse may happen in our lifetime, but AN apocalypse certainly will occur in all our lives. There will be a time when all things fall apart--and when that comes we know how to respond. We need not be afraid and captive to fear and sin, we can continue to stand and await redemption. This world may pass away, but Christ's faithfulness will not. And knowing our lives & world will end, we can sing hallelujah in preparation for the King.. and this is an especially bold and beautiful statement of faith for those of us who experience material prosperity--we love our lives, but we love Christ more: even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come. Life is good--but we want the Kingdom.
    this is a lot--but, some thoughts to get the ball rolling

  5. I am doing "What Child Is This?
    Each week I am bolding a word/words.
    Using OT and Luke scrips:
    IS This-III
    Week 3 has to be combined due to choir cantata on 20th.
    I want to come to Gord's church though!

  6. I'm talking about Luke - have some notes written up and hope to get a manuscript mostly done tomorrow, so I'll know more.

    I know I quote Feasting On the Word pretty much every single week, which must get tiresome, but this week, someone described Van Gogh's Starry Night as a good picture of the moon and stars described in Luke - I like that.

    I'm also thinking about that thing about the fig tree and how that happens every year, so isnt Jesus really telling us to watch for signs of the kingdom happening right here and now and all the time?

    that's all I got so far, but I swear by tomorrow it will be Mostly A Sermon :)

  7. In her book God in Pain, Barbara Brown Taylor has a sermon on part of Sunday's gospel (p.81). There's some good stuff in there but then you already knew that. ;-)

  8. Because of a special service led by the Search Committee, and then a Thanksgiving-themed service, we didn't get the apocalyptic texts over the past couple of weeks. I'm looking particularly at the first section of Luke and the signs of things ending that are really signs of things beginning. As our family transitions into having an adult child, for instance, it's painful not to have him home but also an inevitable step on the journey for all of us. What new things will come from it? Something like that, with a word of hope in the end.
    Earlier in the service we'll have my four-voice Advent Readers Theatre piece, now adapted for Year C, so some of the unpacking of what Advent is about will have occurred already. I can build from there. Both the sermon and the dramatic reading (which includes humor, since I wrote it!) will focus on Luke with notes of Jeremiah.

  9. Songbird,

    I'd be interested in the Advent Readers Theatre piece, if you don't mind sharing.

  10. I don't mind at all, Patty. Shoot me an email at and I'll send it to you!


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