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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings - God Is Still Calling Edition

How you doing, everybody? An extremely informal Facebook poll of my friend's status updates tells me that maybe you are a little tired. Not quite rested up from Christmas, and looking ahead a couple of long winter months ahead? I know that, for whatever reason, I come to this week's scriptures feeling a little more worn out than I'd like.

Alas, these are not words for the weary reader, friends. The gospel plunges us into a context of danger and political intrigue before calling us out of our everyday routines and into a new life. In Corinthians, we are chastened to get along with everyone better (no small job, either, in my experience). What is rising to the surface for you this week?

Maybe you are preaching on Isaiah? The Psalm? Or going off lectionary all together? Let us know in the comments.

Texts for this week found here. Art found here.


  1. No IDEA. I am preaching in an African-American church in the city for the next two weeks and I'm about as WASPy as you can get. I'm going down there this afternoon to try and get a feel for the place -- it's only ten minutes from my house.

  2. In looking over old notes on this gospel text, I notice that Jesus calls fishermen to fish for people. Jesus doesn't tell others (tax collectors for example) that they will fish for people. But to all, he says, "Follow me." I think there's something in there about being who we are and using those gifts and talents in following and serving. What, if anything, will I do with that this year? No idea.

  3. The story of the first disciples being called always fascinates me. Why did they do it? Would we do the same, leave everything and follow at the drop of a word?

    My early thoughts are here

    ANd either the choir will sing this or it will be read as poetry.

  4. I'm painfully aware that I'm too likely to read Matthew only in lectionary snippets. I think I need to be looking at the bigger picture this year, especially since a late Easter means a long Epiphany season and a lot of Matthew.
    In my preacher group this morning we concluded that Matthew's emphasis on tying Jesus to Hebrew Bible prophecy creates a sort of exhaustive and exhausting overlay on (mostly) Mark's version of the story. I think I have tended to overlook the tie-backs and to cleave too much to my Markan Jesus (FULLY!HUMAN!) while reading Matthew in the past.
    So I'm issuing a challenge to myself to seek a fresh approach to Matthew, both this week and in the weeks to come.

  5. Songbird, I appreciate your comments on Matthew. I feel that I am frequently using Matthew's approach in my congregation. "see this is traditional, this is what we have done in the past, it is not such a radically new idea..."
    I wish I could delve into the rich texts for this week--but not yet--I have a funeral tomorrow, the various family factions are warring, arguing over the goods already, and the mother of the deceased wants to use a dreadful 60's song in the funeral service. I am desperately trying to tie it into the resurrection...
    Pray for me!

  6. I'm leaning toward Corinthians and unity this week with the Psalm for God is enough and if we focus on God, we don't have so much time for the little differences.

    But it's only Tuesday :)

  7. Hi preachers - Robin, if you have the Feasting on the Word commentary, it may help - it has some ideas from Taylor Branch and the civil rights movement around the gospel text. And, I would argue that considering where you have lived for the past howevermany years, you aren't as WASPy as you think! I'll bet you get a few Amen's and Preach it Sister's out of the congregation, which I find enormously helpful at my own home church.
    I am going with the idea of following - how do we know whom to follow? Who is real, who are the charlatans, where do we end up when we do follow? Not much, but it's only Tuesday, right? This week I vow not to finish the sermon a mere 4 hours before I preach it though!

  8. Silent and Gord - great early thoughts -thanks. I like thinking about how we are called too but lately wonder if I've actually done a little too much of that. So, Songbird - you are inspiring me to think about this from another direction than usual. Not so much what is Jesus doing for US but who is jesus anyway? Also thanks for the heads up to look ahead in Mt. I think I mentioned last weekthat I'm usually not much good at looking ahead so this is a great reminder to step back and survey the whole meal before taking this weeks bite.

  9. back from 2 weeks leave.
    this week, mainly Matthew, though liked all the readings.

    a few early thoughts: what light do we follow?
    where do we shine in the darkness - because shining in the light doesn't make much difference. not sure where all this will go. Maybe a children's talk with a torch.

  10. I'm preaching on Matthew this week. I admit at first I was a little dismayed by the first three weeks in Ephiphany: 1) baptism of Jesus, 2) baptims revisited and calling of first disciples) 3) calling of disciples - again.

    And then I got to thinking about the levels of committment and relationship in the way Jesus called the disciples. Part of my thinking was fostered by the way the gospels are harmonized in the chronological bible.

    I'm preaching on call this week and am toying with the differences between 'come and see' come and follow' and the later choosing of the 12, which I call 'come and serve.'

    My early thoughts are here. I don't know if I'll end up going there, but it's been fun to muse on!

  11. Silent, I have the family service this week, and I think your idea might be just the ticket for me. Kids can get the idea of what jobs go with what people, and I think it's reassuring to adults to hear that God will (probably) ask them to use the gifts they have, not expect them to suddenly have ones that are totally foreign (we know that could happen, but I'm dealing with the generalities here!).

    I also like the idea of seeing being different from following; I might be able to bring that alive in appropriately tangible ways, too.

    Thanks, friends, and blessings on your ruminating!

  12. I'm going with Corinthians. I did the Matthew "as it was said" thing the first week of the year and am done with that.
    I'm going to talk about the "I belong to" idea, bringing in my electronic day off on Monday and the idea that, when we are called to follow, we have to understand that we aren't going to lead or set the direction but need to be united in that following.
    At least, that's what I think at the moment.

  13. Well, since my plan is to choose a sustainable sermon for next week when I have family visiting for a long weekend, I've decided to take next week's lectionary for this weekend. I've somehow never preached the Beatitudes and Micah 6 sounds fun, too. In addition to all that I feel like I've done "fishers of people" a gazillion times. (However, I was reading something somewhere, a link from text week that focused on the repent part, that really tempted me.)

    Anyway, last week the children's time volunteer talked about "going to the next level" and I think I want to use her thought as a jumping off point. From Micah, worship is central and at the root of what we do, but God calls us to take it to the next level, do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God. I think I'll look at the Beatitudes as the next level, too. I think?


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