Visit our new site at

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings - What makes you well? Edition

What makes you well? If today's readings suggest anything, it is perhaps that what makes you well is turning your face toward God, no matter what else is going on.

Either of the Hebrew Scripture readings are rich and worth exploring. Jeremiah explores how your wellness as a community is tied into the wellness of your particular time and place, whether that place feels like home or not. The reading from 2 Kings is not only a fun one from a drama perspective, but also explores the ways in which we seem to want to complicate the road to wellness. Maybe it's not as tricky as we thought.

In that vein, the gospel reading really spoke to me this week. In a time of diminishing mainline denominations, I think it might have a lot to say about our own health, as individual people and also as congregations. I notice that Jesus did not try to create new programs for the 9 who ran off, he did not form a committee to think about adding praise music to his repertoir, he did not try adding flash to his website. Instead, he noticed their absence and then lavished his healing love on the one who followed him. How might this be a model for us? It might be a long shot, but I think it's worth exploring, anyway, so that's where I think I'm headed. Of course, it's early days yet.

Maybe you are you focussing on 2 Timothy this time? Or something else altogether? See you in the comments!

Links to this week's texts are found here. Picture of Jesus here.


  1. Up here North of the 49th it is Thanksgiving weekend. And I am looking at the linkages between memory, thanksgiving, and hope/optimism/positive outlook in Memory and Hope

  2. Juniper, as I struggle with declining membership and wonder what to do next, your post (and the picture) really spoke to me. Thank you!

  3. Has anyone seen
    This Washington Post Open Letter to Religious Leaders and a similar article at
    The Episcopal Cafe they encourage us to show support for LGBT youth and adults as Oct 11 is National Coming Out Day.

    Don't know if I'm going there... but if so, 1 possibility would be to use the experience of the exiles in Jeremiah, or perhaps the mercy shown by Jesus as jump off points.

    Also just learned that 10-10-10 is World Day Against the Death Penalty.

  4. Also, there's this climate change project on 10/10/10 - a busy day and not hard to figure out why, since it's such an interesting date and so easy to remember!

    Ok, I'm headed over to read those letters, bythesea...

  5. bts - I appreciate the wa post letter, but goodness - the comments are a walk down an unhelpful road, did you notice?

    and gord and all canadian friends - happy thanksgiving!

  6. Yes Juniper, I noticed. And I blogged some about whether to preach and the comments here: Preaching on LGBT Suicides?

    and in terms of options, I ran across something this morning that said 10-10-10 is World Day Against the Death Penalty too.

  7. Also, just remembered we are blessing our prayer shawl ministry that day, too. This is a first for us, as it is a new ministry to us - anyone have any good litanys for use in worship to bless prayer shawls?

  8. Juniper, I don't have a liturgy, but I do have a prayer I wrote for our quarterly blessing of prayer shawls. If you would like it, email me dianne.covault at gmail dot com (this is AKA Mumpastor)

  9. I'm preaching on Luke 17 but with my focus on the fact that it's Harvest Thanksgiving this weekend (thankfully - ha - our gospel this week is one of the recommended Harvest Thanksgiving readings, so I'm keeping the lectionnary but thinking about harvest). My community is suburban-but-once-rural, and I'm thinking about how time changes, how we dwell in our place, etc. I preached on Lamentations last week, so the Jeremiah reading is quite appropriate.

    I'm thinking about Thanksgiving and offering to God our first fruits (pre-tax tithe? heh). Not sure where that will go by Saturday...

  10. So many threads to tie together (or clip off!)

    I saw somewhere that William Tyndale is traditionally remembered on 10/6 as someone who lost his life for translating the Bible into English. As we are giving our 3rd graders bibles, that may tie in.

    Read where 9 lepers obeyed and followed the law (they were Jewish) and one showed his love (Samaritan).

    Got me thinking about "radical love" and what that looks like....takes me right into the LGBT bully crisis.


  11. I am grateful for my RGBP friends this week. I am preaching (this Sunday) @ a church where I am in early conversation with regarding a call.
    I am also interviewing with another congregation (where I am in later stages)and am one of three interviewed this week.
    Feels odd, almost like I am two-timing, but I need a job and know all to well that plans fall through or the unexpected happens.
    So, busy this week as I travel to interview, but also need a sermon to really be good...just in case.
    Sigh. Loving the comments and looking forward to a 11th hour party, but if you have ideas before(esp with Luke text), post here...please.\
    Love the idea of Jesus loving the one and proably what that church needs to hear. They are small, and in a small town. I want to be encouraging.
    BUt, totally love that Jesus did not start a contemp service, add flash drive, etc for the nine!

  12. What would make me well is someone in my life to walk in faith with, to pray and worship with, to walk life's path with...that would make me well.

  13. I will speak to the LGBT young people who have recently lost their lives through an exploration of the social isolation, despair and implications of the disease of leperosy (which was not what we now call Hansen's disease). I will segue into an exploration of the power of unconditional love (the Samaritan's gratitude and faithfulness being that of the excluded towards the one who offers love).

  14. In my lectionary group, we talked about the ways the tenth leper is a "double loser," with reference to BBT's sermon in "The Preaching Life." (Interesting to read her thoughts about church when she hadn't "left" it yet, too.) He's not just visibly, contagiously ill; he's also a foreigner.
    And I think we all have times when we feel like the double loser, don't we? But look at him, giving thanks in the midst, dropping everything to offer praise. It's a powerful image for me right now, as I grapple with being a two-time loser at marriage and yet feel the consolation of a loving community of friends and other Christians that makes me inclined to drop right where I am and praise God.
    But that's a little personal for a sermon. So I'm not sure what I'm doing except to say the bulletin reports I'm preaching on Luke and Psalm 66.

  15. Remarkably, the sermon is done. Jeremiah. Theme is "bloom where you're planted." Even more remarkably, it links to the kickoff of the stewardship campaign, because our folks tend to live in a place of scarcity rather than abundance, and Jeremiah's call to live fully in the place you are, even if you didn't think it was where you wanted to be, and to live it with grace and hope, is important. Our folks tend to think of all the things they are not instead of celebrating and building on all the things they are, finding their shalom. Sermon illustration is about the brilliant singer Thomas Quasthoff, who has sever physical disabilities because he was a thalidomide baby, and who is yet one of the most gifted bass-baritones in the world. Hoping this will work!


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.