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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Earthquakes and Famines and Plagues -- Oh, My!

Texts for Sunday can be found here.

Perhaps today's blog post title is a bit flippant. But it hints at some of the alternative responses our people may have to our texts. (And if your congregation is like mine, we have people all across the theological spectrum in terms of church background and biblical fluency.) Will Jesus' predictions about the trials and tribulations of God's people elicit end-times anxiety? Or will there be some surreptitious sighing and eye-rolling among people jaded by a relatively affluent and comfortable society, and/or by irritation with more lurid/fanciful/politicized interpretations of biblical eschatology in parts of Christian pop culture?

Are our other texts any help? Or will one of them actually provide the focal point of your message this Sunday? Or are you going off the lectionary altogether?

As always, the rest of us are interested in your impressions of the texts and your plans for engaging them in worship this week. Please share your thoughts right here!


  1. Everyone who knows anything about the faith story knows taht it names God as the Creator. But we are not as willing to admit that it also names God as the Destroyer.

    I am combining Luke's destruction and hardship with Isaiah's promise of re-creation. And there, IMO, is the secret of eschatological thought.

    We can't re-create without destruction, much as we might like to. We can't be transformed without allowing for real change to happen. It is sort of like wanting to jump from Palms on the highway to an empty tomb in the garden. You have to get there via the cross.

    And so my sermon title is Destruction and Re-Creation. My early thoughts can be found here

  2. We're a quiet bunch so far this week. I'm not totally sure where I'm going this last week of my Reformed theology trek. I do know I'll be glad to get back on the lectionary again, whenever I do get there. This time off hasn't been as hard as some times, probably since I've had a solid plan. What has been hard is preaching more topically than biblically. That's not AT ALL to say I'm not preaching from the text. I'm just saying I've been going at it a different way from my normal, and I'm ready to get back to my comfort zone. (Although I really like the idea of someone's to preach through the membership vows. Tuck that one away for another off-lectionary season.)

    Anyway, this one is a strange sort of one about faith and salvation. At the center I think is the declaration that God saves, people do not save (themselves or other). Faith doesn't even save (debatable in some traditions and probably also even among some members of my own). God saves and our faith is a gift from God, whereby we can live out our salvation, grow in our knowledge and understanding of it, and make others aware of God's saving acts in the world and their lives. All pretty heady right now, but where I think I'll end up is how we do that "making aware" part. How do we show and share our faith? A youth ministry researcher talked about nearness and directness - - showing our faith through our actions in front of people over and over again (in a nutshell) and directly telling people about what we believe. I'll use the story of the friends who lower their friend in to the house where Jesus is as nearness; it says that he could see their faith. Then I'll also use one of Paul's statements of his own faith from Galatians are directness.

    Somehow I'll try not to make it boring.

  3. It will be interesting, for sure. This is the Sunday of our Pledge Campaign Ingathering and our Congregational Meeting. I'll be talking mostly about the Thessalonians passage, turning it from something that sounds like Paul CrankyPants hectoring the people again into a call for us all to get our hands dirty doing the work that Christ calls us to do. Not sure how I'm gonna get there, and how much pretzel-twisting of the text will be involved, but it will get there.


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