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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Do-Right Edition

Sunday's texts can be found here.

Doing right: It's the connective tissue of our lessons this week, whether in the words of the prophets calling out their erring societies, the 1 Timothy lesson exhorting the Christian community to respect and pray for those outside (and even hostile to) the community, or Jesus' parable of the unjust manager and his canny servant -- even though trying to get our minds around what Jesus really means in this story has been a challenge for readers from the beginning.

Are you going to take a few deep cleansing breaths and tackle the Gospel lesson in your sermon? Use the evocative words and images in our Old Testament lessons to craft your message? Use the epistle lesson as a springboard for discussion of how we Christians live and move in an alien/indifferent/hostile dominant ,culture? Or are you going in another direction -- celebrating another Creation Sunday or going off the calendar altogether? In any event, we enjoy and appreciate your comments and concerns as you pray, ponder and write your way toward Sunday.


  1. I wrestled - A LOT - with what to preach this Sunday. I dislike all the lectionary texts and gave strong consideration to moving off lectionary for this Sunday. But I don't like to do that unless I have a really compelling idea for a text or topic I'd like to preach instead. Which I didn't. So after much angst, I went with Luke.

    I've preached it once before, 12 years ago, and though my old sermon ain't that great, the core idea still resonates with me - that the guy in the parable actually does what Jesus does: forgive debts. Robert Farrar Capon takes the parable in this direction, and I find it compelling. Sarah Dylan Brauer also has an excellent piece going in a similar direction on her blog from 2007.

    My husband's book The Parables: A Preaching Commentary (by Paul Simpson Duke, published by Abingdon Press) has a chapter on this parable that I think is excellent. He takes a different tack than I am going to, but I mention it in case others might want to take a look.

    Vowing to myself that I'm going to get a significant portion of my sermon written before Saturday!!

  2. Thanks for your comments Earthchick. I'm stuck and need to create worship by tomorrow night. BUt since I'm 'off' today I'll try not to stress over it. I think I'm using Timothy and Luke but have NO IDEA of how. Not a good way to begin worship planning, is it?
    I shall return here in search of your ideas later.

  3. Did not preach the Prodigal during Lent and so I am tagging it in this Sunday after doing the lost/sheep/coin.

    Last week we about rejoicing.

    This week I am using material Craig Barnes shared at FOH on preaching to the elder brother.

    word verf: spines

  4. I'm doing a covenant renewal service since we are doing a Saturday night service due to scheduling issues. So the focus is on our relationship of trust and promise with God. Looking forward to doing something a little different!

  5. Just started considering the texts for the week, and I noted this morning that the psalm in the "complimentary" lectionary is 113, which Rich Mullins used as the basis for his song "Sing Your Praise To The Lord." If you search it on YouTube, you'll find some videos which might provide a new window into this particular psalm. I've always preferred Rich's version to the one Amy Grant recorded, particularly for the bridge ("from the rising of the sun...")

    As to preaching, I'm going to wrestle with Luke 16 this week. Not sure where I'm going just yet, though. Blessings, all!

  6. We have an esteemed and just retired seminary professor of theology in our congregation who volunteered a few months ago to preach on this week's gospel selection. He later said he'd been thinking about the passage for 24 years, so I can't wait to hear what he has to say!

    In the meantime, with three baptisms and communion which need to be fit into 45 minutes at our family service, the sermon is out the window; it is more like an instructed baptism. All of this means an easy Saturday for me :-) I will not neglect, however, to be praying for those of you wrestling with texts and ideas.

  7. I'm *considering* using the story about the corny movie The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. Even in her (and his) dishonesty, their hearts were transformed and relationships developed that otherwise would not have. Emphasis on forgiveness and transformation - which is what prayer is about - "something changes."
    Considering referencing the Jeremiah piece - as grieving with God in prayer also changes one's outlook.
    I'm a bit scattered at this point - going to sermonate a lot more before Sunday.
    blessings to all

  8. wow, Betsy! Lucky!

    I'm going to look for your hubbies Parables book, earthchick. Thanks for the suggestion.

    I'm following the lead of the podcast at working preacher re Luke: that the rich man praises the manager exactly becuase he's gone from "squandering" the riches to making a plan and carrying it out. In other words, he begins to understand the power that money and systems have, so that he doesnt get duped by them. We're following Jesus, but that doesnt mean we can be dopes about how the rest of world works.

    All this inspired by a rather appalling memorial I attended this week that was so spiritualized it neglected to rejoice in the actual life of the person being remembered at all.

  9. Stewardship sermon on Luke

    That's about all I know thus far although I scrawled some notes on my ministry blog last week (scroll down past the Presbytery report)

  10. Aaagh! Parable of the unjust steward is messing with my mind - I was at a ministers' gathering this week & asked the person sitting next to me at almost every meal 'how are you getting on with the unjust steward for this Sunday?'. No wonder I ended up dining alone : )

    Found this helpful:

    and will try to focus my own thoughts tomorrow - when I'm back from having a new heating system commissioned in one of my churches. My, how I love the variety of ministry.

    Prayers for all my fellow-sufferers x

  11. Wondering what folks don't like about the Timothy passage?

    (word verf is "comakit" - maybe it's boring?)

  12. DOH!

    I just realized I mistyped the blog address in yesterday's comment.

    You can find my thoughts of last week here Now if I was just sure where my thoughts were headed.....

  13. I'm preaching the "How long" of the Psalm with the "we still are not saved" of Jeremiah. And putting the cry for vengeance at the end of the psalm back in the conversation.

  14. Friends - childrens time on the gospel anyone?


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