Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: "Messy Church" Edition
Lessons for Sunday can be found here.
Some of us are acquainted with the hands-on, all-ages program called "Messy Church"...well, this Sunday our lessons point to a different kind of "messy Church": namely, us, the called, gathered and sent people of God, sometimes at our best, sometimes at our worst.
Our first lesson portrays a young Church on the move in the world, empowered by the Holy Spirit to set captives free, whether that be a possessed slave girl, the Apostles themselves or the jailer and his household. That's good news; right? But yet we find a peevish Paul who seems more interested in shutting up the annoying slave than someone demonstrating compassion toward an exploited young girl. (And we never do find out what happens to her in the end -- perhaps telling in itself.) Our Revelation text contains a beautiful, hope-inspiring promise of final victory and life everlasting for Christ's people -- but pairs that with vituperative condemnation not only of "those bad people over there" but of anyone who tampers with this particular text; more ammunition for a contemporary readership convinced that Christians are intolerant "haters." And yet our Gospel lesson takes us back to Jesus' High Priestly prayer, in which he lovingly prays for the entire body of believers -- as imperfect, as messy, as improbable a group to live his message into the world as there could be.
And then there's that thing about Ascension Day, this Thursday, an increasingly forgotten holiday in much of the Church...is anyone going to move those lessons to Sunday, or otherwise incorporate that theme into Sunday?
So...what might your sermon be about this Sunday? As always, share your ideas and insights with us as you pray and plan your way there.