Visit our new site at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings - All You Need Is Love Edition

I suggested to my Bible study yesterday that the 13th chapter of Paul's letter to the Corinthians
is possibly the scripture passage best known to the average non-church-goer.
If that's true (and in a room full of church-goers that was pure speculation), why do you think it is?
Could be the remarkably beautiful and poetic language. Could be the powerful claims made.
Could be that the language itself transcends any particular belief system, and so resonates
for many.

Whatever the reason, are you going to try and bring this remarkable passage
to your congregation this week in a worship instead of a wedding context?

Or will you continue the story of the prophet in his home town, who certainly seems to NOT be feeling the love this week?

Maybe you will focus on young Jeremiah and his call from God. Or, maybe you are going a different direction all together.

Whatever you are planning for this week, let us know in comments. We're looking forward to hearing from you.

Links to the texts and more resources here.


  1. I am using the whole Luke pericope this week. THe focus is on questions of vision--Jesus certainly has one and is willing to stick to it even if it is less than popular. Can we as a church say the same things?

    THe hope is that it will set the stage for a discussion of questions like "why are we here" during the Annual Meeting that follows worship and lunch.

    My early thoughts are here

  2. I love the Luke passage and may mention it, but we are going with Jeremiah. 2 weeks ago we had a Church Board retreat on designing worship. A small group was formed around 7 areas of worship. We are taking the ideas, skits, hymns, from our work then and putting together this Sunday's worship. I am very excited to see this come together. My message will just pull together some ideas on our call as Christians to receive and give comfort as we are called to proclaim God's way and call others into God's embrace.

  3. Gord - like your early thoughts, and especially this question "what cliff are we willing to be dragged to..." good food for thought!

    Nancy - cool idea to have everyone involved in worship in that way. It sounds like a very blessed Sunday.

    My first idea, based on conversations I've ahd this week with people NOT in Hallmark or Hollywood romantic relationships is to talk about Corinthians as a Valentine from God, and the love/faith/hope described being God's feelings for US instead of other way around. Then pull in the Jesus story - our love for him is less than perfect, but he does not give up on us. That's all I got so far, so we'll see.

    Sorry the formatting of this post is so weird - I'm going to try and change that now, so we might be down for a minute.

  4. OK, couldnt fix it quickly - but maybe someone else can? Or, maybe it can just be a Post In Code.

  5. We are installing elders at our worship service (and my own installation in the afternoon). I am using the Corinthians text...the part about being a mirror.

    Our installation vows say "will you serve with energy, imagination, intelligence, and love"...that's the title. I am using illustrations from Randy Paush's book/DVD "The Last Lecture" for each of those 4 topics.

    Each elder (new and currently serving) will receive a DVD of "The Last Lecture".

  6. I'm going with "That Can't Be Joseph's Son!" Wrestling with questions of identity and confession and contextual ministry.

  7. purple - sounds like a full day - many blessings on your installation!

  8. I'm preaching on 1 Corinthians. In answer to the question of why this is such a well-known passage, I'm going with a much simpler explanation: it is read at nearly every Christian wedding that people have ever attended.

    In that light, I'm going to preach sort of a "reclaiming" sermon...people have perhaps heard this text so often that they don't really "hear" it any more, and there's so much more to it than celebrating an abstract ideal of love. I'll talk about the situation in Corinth at the time; how Paul was talking about love not being boastful or envious or rude precisely because people in the Corinthian church were being boastful and envious and rude, and how Paul talks about love transcending spiritual gifts because some Corinthians were acting so arrogantly out of the spiritual gifts that they had.

    Ultimately, I'm going to play off of the final verse, "The greatest of these is love," and ask what sorts of things we as Christians tend to slide into that "greatest" spot instead.

  9. I doubled up on Corinthians last Sunday and have promised to do the whole Nazareth story this week. As it is only Tuesday and yesterday was about the most useless day of my life, I haven't figured out exactly where I'm going with it, though. Maybe it will come to me during NCIS tonight. ;-) It certainly wasn't illumined by my Commission on Ministry meeting this morning.

    And now for something completely different. I finally signed onto Facebook. Does someone want to tell me why?

  10. Gord, I like your ideas.

    I'm preaching on Luke and following up from last week -- I focused Jesus' 'mission statement' found in the passage he read from Isaiah. I know that made some people uncomfortable, so talking about how Jesus' audience didn't like it so much and what that has to say to us and our reactions.....something along those lines.

  11. Margaret
    Because you need a new and creative way to waste time!

  12. Hi all.
    I have a Sunday off. I will still be in worship but we will hear from 2 members who went to Bolivia during December.
    I scheduled them to speak this week as I am off to a conference for denominiational stuff.
    Anyhow, best of luck to you all

  13. I'm preaching on Jeremiah and Luke - I think - because it is the beginning of the year, I am looking at how God calls people, young, old, even those we think we know and have pigeon holed.
    It is the first Sunday of the school year, and 2 of our children are starting Kinder [big school] this year - and one going to high school - so looking for some way of recognising that in the service. I remember that some of you have special services at the start of the school year. any ideas?

    Margaret - I'm with you. I joined Facebook because a friend went overseas and puts photos etc on Facebook. But I don’t see the attraction.

  14. I've focused primarily on the Luke passage, but I was struck by how all of the lectionary readings this week speak of knowing and being known by God and by one another. This knowing/being known is both a gift and a challenge, and this fact really comes to a head in the Luke passage, where Jesus' hearers (and, so often, we ourselves!) are caught in the tension between thinking they know Jesus, the hometown boy, and finding themselves so disturbed by his words about how God works through those outside "our" community.

    So I've been pondering how I form my impressions both about strangers and also about people whom I think I know, and how in both cases my assumptions can sometimes blind me to who they really are, and how God is working in them.

    And some words from the writer Stephen King have given me some food for thought while pondering all this...more at The Painted Prayerbook.

    Blessings to everyone as you ponder the Word this week!


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.