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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: "Long Live the King" Edition

Texts for Sunday can be found here .

Christ the King Sunday -- some of us may find it an easy, "out-of-the-ballpark" Sunday for preaching, while others may find it a challenge. How do we describe Christ's kingship if we live in a country where the idea of monarchy is either unknown or something evoking highly ambivalent feelings, to say the least? -- or where Christian values and piety are too often conflated with feel-good nationalism?  Is there an issue of gender equity/exclusion inherent in the theme of the day? And how do we adequately explain a monarchy whose hallmarks are service, humility and a radical identification with the least powerful, least "worthy" people of all?

The good news is that we have three great texts with which to work -- lots of grist for preaching here.

Some of us in the may also be planning a midweek Thanksgiving service next week, perhaps in conjunction with other churches; a task with its own challenges and opportunities. Is this a part of your worship planning this week? Is there any kind of thematic connection -- or tension -- between Christ the King Sunday and a national day of Thanksgiving?

Or perhaps your people are taking you in an entirely different direction.

Whatever the case, we love to hear what you're up to this week as you pray, ponder and plan. Please share your ponderments right here.


  1. I am asking Is This a King???

    Yes, a king enthroned on a cross. It just seems nonsense on the face of it right?

    I am expecting that Paul's words about weakness and foolishness from 1 Corinthians will appear in the sermon. As will some discussion of what it might mean to talk about Christ as King or Lord or Master.

    A prayer I wrote for the service (and some other bits of liturgy as well) can be found here and my early thoughts for the week are posted here

  2. Here in the UK, where we are familiar with a monarchy, the engagement of our future king has just been announced - Methinks a gift for Christ the King sunday - prob contrasting the proposed pomp and circumstance of a Royal Wedding with our King Jesus - I'll try not to make too much of the obscenity of the extravagance of the celebrations in the current economic climate both nationally and globally. Want folk to focus on our servant king rather than on my anti- royalist views!

  3. Yes. That's my answer to most of your questions! :)

    Yes, I'm working a bit with Christ the King Sunday. Yes, I'm preaching for the community Thanksgiving Eve service next week. Yes, my people are taking me in a different direction (stewardship).

    Oh, and yes, I have a funeral on Saturday, but you didn't ask that.

    I was supposed to take this week, including Sunday, off to spend a reading week, but that got thrown into a tailspin by a stewardship team that couldn't get their act together. I need to preach stewardship this week since the pledge cards went out last week, and we're collecting them in 2 weeks.

    I decided to repreach an old stewardship sermon from my former church, but make it even a little more pointed about the stewardship of money/treasures. It was more generic the last time (since I was the associate and not really on to preach THE stewardship sermon). I've never done a money one straight, but it's time. I think I can tweak my old one enough, and throw in some Christ the King at the same time. We are stewards for Christ the King, etc. I think it will actually work well. I'm working with 1 Peter 4:8-11 (from the old sermon) and think I'll throw in the CtK Colossians passage, too.

    For the community Tgiving service I'm reworking one I preached in this church a few weeks ago (none of my folks go to the cmty service, and even if they did, I'm OK with them hearing one they've heard). It's about the sovereignty of God leading us to lives of worship (thanksgiving in particular for the purposes of this holiday/occasion).

    The funeral? I think I might preach from the call of the disciples to be fishers of people. I think it's a neat fit for this particular saint - - an avid hunter/fisherman and strong disciples of Christ.

  4. I just looked at the text after getting a late start and having too many other things this week. But, the talk about monarchy (THE engagement) and the differences will be my theme though before reading this blog my inclination was to avoid, at all costs, this text of Luke's. THANKS

  5. A late start this week.

    Gord, love the liturgy.

    I am thinking of starting with asking what is a king like, then looking at OT kings, then what kind of King is Jesus.
    reading Jeremiah, Luke and Colossians.

  6. I think I'll do some looking back as it is the end of the church year. Maybe reprise some of the gospel readings that have surely led to this place. Given the myriad ways Jesus has already stood people on their ear, how could we expect anything other than the cross.
    But I also read Daniel Clendenon's "Journey with Jesus" and like his talk of religious vs. political.

    SheRev, on the stewardship sermon, several people involved with The Episcopal Network of Stewardship recommend talking about our own level of giving. Greg Rickels says he always told his congregation numbers even. I haven't tried it - other than to say that I tithe - but it is an idea that has stuck with me.

  7. Thanks, Margaret, for the challenge. I've sort of incorporated it into my sermon. No, I definitely have, at the level I feel comfortable anyway. I'm not sure what purpose would be served by me divulging that information at this point, particularly in the sermon. However, since I am talking about how many of our mainstream churches have gone silent on the issue of money, where Scripture definitely isn't silent, and it is definitely a taboo subject, it didn't feel authentic to say all that then just move on. My husband and I are not yet tithers, but we are year by year making a move that direction. I have included in my sermon our commitment to figuring our pledge as a specific percentage of our income and increasing that percentage each year. I see the value of leading by example in this one, if not with our dollar amount or even giving the percentage we're on right now, showing how people of faith can even start navigating the stewardship waters if they never have before.

    Anyway, thanks for that nudge. It's weird for me to do this kind of personal example, but HOPEFULLY this is an appropriate and called place. I'm feeling it is.


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