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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Baptism of Christ Year A

The lectionary readings for this week can be found at Textweek.

Is the Baptism of Christ your focus, or something else?

I love how the poetry of Isaiah points to Jesus' desire in the Gospel to "fulfill all righteousness." I wonder what will that look like in the world?

Draw up a keyboard (or your device of choice) and share with us your direction for opening the Word this Sunday. I have lots of Christmas Blend coffee and someone has brought donuts!

I also love the above image from the Catacomb of Peter and Marcellinus, titled "Baptism" and found at the Vanderbilt Divinty Library.


  1. Good morning!

    I'm excited about this coming week, as we are having some long-time attenders and active participants join the church as members. So, I think it will be a great day to talk about deepening all of our faith walk, and what might that mean for us. How do you re-affirm your baptism daily is a question on my mind this week.

    Also, allowing every day to be an opportunity to start over, make resolutions, be re-born, etc. Evidently, I'm starting today. Gratitude for Mary Beth, who covered bases this morning! :)

  2. I'm going to try to feed off of Juniper's enthusiasm. I was less than excited about BotL at first, but found a little. Juniper, maybe you can share some of yours and I can be completley on board?

    I did a LITTLE (emphasis on the little) musing over here this morning. I definitely need to do more before I get to writing, but it's a start.

    I am VERY excited to be back on lectionary. It was my choice to go off for a while, and I think it was good for the church and for me, but I'm THRILLED to be back in the community of preachers preparing together. I am literally giddy about the thought of listening to the Sermon Brainwave later today. Such a dork!

  3. Hey Sherev - have you looked at the psalm at all? I dont often preach from them, but this one has some amazing imagery of the "put on your crash helmets ala Annie Dillard" variety. I think I'm excited to talk about the psalm in conjunction with the gospel as both being God's work, that sometimes sends (or pushes! whirls!) us into new ways of being.

  4. Baptism here. Intrigued by the tension between John and Jesus...over who should baptize who.

    Let is be so...NOW! may play into my musings as well.

  5. Awesome: "put on your crash helmets ala Annie Dillard."

    Wish I could be in your church on Sunday, Juniper!

  6. I am "sort of" doing the Baptism.
    I didn't do anything with John during Advent this year. Instead I deferred him to this week. And so I am pondering the relationship between John and Jesus.

    My early thoughts are here

    And a discussion I started to help me pull thoughts together is here

  7. I am combining Jesus' baptism with the gospel reading from last week, John 1:10-18. Headed down the path of us all having a 'word' that we flesh out...and if we can't think of one, we do have the same starter word, the same starter word as Jesus: beloved. So, what does it mean for us to grow that word in our flesh? That's my initial direction anyway.

  8. I am doing a two-week supply stint with a church in which I preached in December, so I'm doing a mini (ie, two-part) series on sacrament and scripture, starting this week with Jesus' baptism and our identity as God's beloved sons and daughters.

  9. Due to some liturgical confusion in a music staff transition, I'm going at Epiphany and the Baptism of Christ together, with a theme of moments of recognition, recognizing being something we do both in the form of having a realization and in the form of marking something we already know is true. (Or something like that.) For those of us who chose baptism rather than having it chosen for us by parents, there is a rite of passage to recognize; but do we ever really choose it ourselves? See where I'm going? I hope so.
    Mostly, I don't want the choir to look/feel silly for singing about the manger again on January 9.

  10. And Juniper, part of what got me to this point is thinking about the word "Ascribe" in the Psalm. The KJV asks us to "Give unto God glory and strength," an old fashioned cadence that sounds to modern ears like it's within our power to give those things to God! Ascribe is a great word for members of P.O.E.M., but what are we really saying? Give the credit where it's due--to God. Acknowledge the power that is beyond human understanding and control--in God.

  11. Songbird, another P.O.E.M. member here to say that "ascribe" always makes me think of writing words down...if words have power, written words have that much more power. If you ascribe to the Lord, it's a big deal.

  12. I'm back in the pulpit this week, although on Saturday and in a non-traditional format. I'll be preaching in the second annual Festival of Young Preachers in Louisville, KY on Saturday (the festival is Thursday through Saturday--any of you near Louisville ought to consider coming!)

    All sermons have to be related SOMEHOW to the Ten Commandments. As a liturgical person, I really wanted to preach on the Baptism of the Lord. I think I've found a way to tie the covenant of baptism together with the covenant of the Ten Commandments--in both God offers God's people true liberation. The Hebrews were liberated from the political and religious oppression of the Pharaoh and we, those baptized into Christ, are liberated from the sin and darkness that separates us from God.

    I'm still working on it and hope to have it posted to the blog before tonight. I'll be back here when it's up.

  13. Hey Cody- Congratulations on your preaching gig - that is really exciting! When I first read your comment (fast) I thought you meant that ALL sermons ALL the time must relate back to the 10 commandments, and I had a little moment of panic - ha!

    And to you P O E Ts -- I like "ascribe" too - lovely psalm all around :)

  14. I'll be preaching on the Acts passage this week while my supervisor preaches at another church. I've done some study, but haven't written a thing yet.

  15. I'm back in the pulpit this week and playing with the Isaiah text and the NT reading - -what kind of servant in described in Isaiah, how would that have sounded to Jesus as he was beginning his ministry, and how does it sound to us?

    Or, to quote Songbird, something like that :)

  16. I'm preaching (guest stint) at a church that has been rocked by the departure of pastor related to behavior unbecoming....
    They have done the hard work of being the body of Christ in difficult circumstances and are about to form a pastor search committee. I find myself lingering on the questions raised about God's voice breaking through... what does God's voice sound like? Who was listening? How do we listen? How do we begin new chapters of our lives?

  17. Those of you interested in Psalm 29, have you seen the message translation?

    1-2 Bravo, God, bravo! Gods and all angels shout, "Encore!"
    In awe before the glory,
    in awe before God's visible power.
    Stand at attention!
    Dress your best to honor him!

    3 God thunders across the waters,
    Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
    God, across the flood waters.

    4 God's thunder tympanic,
    God's thunder symphonic.

    5 God's thunder smashes cedars,
    God topples the northern cedars.

    6 The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
    The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.

    7-8 God's thunder spits fire.
    God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
    He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.

    9 God's thunder sets the oak trees dancing
    A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
    We fall to our knees—we call out, "Glory!"

    10 Above the floodwaters is God's throne
    from which his power flows,
    from which he rules the world.

    11 God makes his people strong.
    God gives his people peace.

  18. It's going to be an interesting Sunday. I'm looking at righteousness again. Perhaps a righteous person is one who knows they need John's baptism. They know that the only way through the trials and tribulations of life is forgiveness. Jesus, who proclaims repentance and forgiveness in the form of justice knows that he too must enter this cycle...So he gets in the water.

    Well...I think that's where I'm going anyway.


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