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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings - Still Small Voice Edition

I was at a family gathering this past weekend, and heard someone describe her son (who likes skiing, but wont try ski jumping) as "like me - he runs more on endorphins than adrenaline." How about you? What do you run on?

That conversation was in the back of my mind as I read this week's lessons. If I put myself there on the mountain with Elijah, I kind of can hear him going for the rush, and expecting to find God in the dramatic bits - earthquake! wind! fire! Really, God, you're not in those? So much for us adrenaline junkies. God instead comes in the calm, after the rush of fear and excitement has passed, when our minds clear and become quiet. Then, God can make the Divine Voice heard.

We can see it in the gospel lesson too. There's Christ, sending the demons into the pigs! There are the pigs, running into the sea! And here's the man he saved, now no longer Legion but a human being, jumping up and down on the shore, going "Woohoo! I'm coming with you, man! Sign me up for some more thrills!" But Jesus sends the man back to his real life and those who know him. Following me, he seems to be saying, is not all adrenaline rushes. Sometimes the Christ life really is just your familiar routines, surrounded by those who know you best.

So much good stuff this week, and Galatians is it's own wonderful sermon, too. Or are you off the lectionary all together? Let us know in the comments.

Links to texts here. Photo here.


  1. I'm preaching on Galatians. On the human tendency to categorize and thus dehumanize. I'll use Ursula LeGuin's short story of Eve unnaming the animals, talk about how we lump people together as dagos, pollacks, gooks, chinks so that we can dehumanize them to kill them. I'll talk about our current tendency to demonize by categorizing: commie, pinko, conservative dummies. And then talk about Paul.

  2. Wow, great readings--hadn't even thought of them as I was just asked to preach the following week at my Episcopalian worshipping community. Readings all about discipleship, which is fitting as the day before I have an appt to "come out of the sacristy closet" and reveal my Independent Catholic ordination to the interim rector now that I am no longer teaching at the RC university in town. I will probably write a sermon that includes coming out to the community and one that doesn't, and let him choose! Tricky process to make it about the readings and the community and not me, but perhaps share that information they need to know and there isn't another natural venue prayers would be much appreciated.

  3. Elijah has my attention this week as do the psalms - although I confess we will only say Ps.43 and later sing Ps.42. I can imagine Elijah as he runs away saying the first few verses of 43 over and over again. And then his journey takes him to the holy hill where he will encounter God.
    But it isn't the still small voice that draws my attention but God's question to Elijah asked before and after the still small voice bit. "What are you doing here?"

    And poor Elijah only has one answer, even after being in God's presence. He still doesn't get it.

    That's where I am today. Who knows what Saturday and Sunday will bring!

  4. Galatians and I'm thinking immigation... BUT, it's only Tuesday and only the Spirit knows...

  5. Searching for a title. What is the opposite of label maker?

  6. I'm preaching for the first time in my home congregation. I'll probably preach from the gospel reading, but it's just too early to tell.

    I'm a little afraid. These are the folks who backed my going to seminary and who supported me through it. I feel like the sermon has to be good - to show them that their support was well placed. On the other hand, when I think about this weekend all I come up with is Jesus preaching in Nazareth...

    I'll just have to wait on the spirit and listen for that still small voice.

  7. Ramona, listen to the podcast at and put yourself in the place of the man formerly called legion who is sent by Jesus to work at home.

  8. I have a sermon topic I have wanted to preach for over a year now. Since I have 2 services left here it seemed to be now or never. The sermon is based on a workshop from a resource pack a couple of our conference staff put togeether. It asks if we are Anchored or Adrift?

  9. Ramona,
    I remember overworking my sermon to the home congregation to the point that I'm pretty sure it didn't say much of anything at all and was too long. Mostly remember that these people love you and know you. I suppose you *could* preach a bad sermon but I rather doubt it, given their love for you. Preach what the Spirit sends you and you will do just fine.

  10. Ramona, I agree with anon - working preacher podcast has just what you need.

    All these good galatians ideas make me wish I was going that direction - but I am actually starting a little series on The Life of Faith with little exercises they can try during the week . This week is on doubt.

    So, not sure I am even sticking with lectionary. Have a little more reading to do, then I have to decide pretty soon!

    Keep up the good ideas, folks. I think we had a little thread going about Mothers Day last month, and I'm curious if fathers day raises the same spectors?

  11. I am with Elijah and talking about Silence

  12. I've been thinking about the Luke and Galatians texts. Who did the labeling in the Luke? The town folk who chain and bound and ignored the man with the demons. What if Jesus had "healed" the townfolk so that they treated one of their own decently? Still, the demonic was in hell, so better heal him first - then the rest of us.

  13. I'm preaching on the paradoxes found in both 1 Kings and in Galatians: emptiness and fullness, alone and 7000 souls, loud nature and God's silence, Jew and Greek, male and female, slave and free. I was thinking of the title "Thinking Out of the Paradox"--how we tend to get stuck in "black and white" thinking but we are called to oneness in Christ.

  14. Thanks for all the encouragement. Actually, I regularly listen to the podcast at workingpreacher - it's the last thing I do before I start writing - and I really like the image of the man being send home to do his work!

    Juniper - someone once pointed out that on Mother's day, we take Mom out to eat, but on Father's day, we expect Dad to grill. So it seems we honor mom but give dad space to do 'dad' things. I don't know what that means for Sunday and Father's Day - just thought it was an interesting observation.


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