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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Making Foolish the Wisdom of the World Edition

At a sweet little interfaith gathering earlier this week, a couple dozen people talked about the different mission projects we are involved in, with the goal of working together better. I confess that I spent more time than was probably intended comparing my little church's efforts with some others - sometimes finding our congregation to be doing "more" or "better" work, and sometimes finding another one on top.

This week's scriptures remind me that God has no patience at all with this kind of scorekeeping and oneupmanship - or onewomanship for that matter. God doesnt keep score the ways we do, if God keeps score at all. The Christian life is not about more and better at all, in fact. Instead, the scriptures (Each one richer than the last! How will you choose?) remind us that God measures in justice, compassion or even foolishness.

Well, which direction are you heading? Micah? Corinthians? Gospel? Or the Psalm? Or are you going somewhere else all together? Comments are open and ready.

Texts here. Photo found here.


  1. Corinthians and Gospel for me. I am going with the idea that God calls us to embrace a form of Foolish Wisdom.

    Despite the gallons of ink and millions of paged spent trying to prove how logical and rational CChristian faith is we have to eventually admit that, at least in part, it is neither logical or rational.

    My early thoughts are here

  2. I'm going with Corinthians, and comparing the world's self-centeredness in which it's "wisest" to care for oneself and one's family first, with the self-sacrificial foolishness of the cross. God's wisdom is truly beyond our comprehension as is God's love! Thankfully, grace does not require us to comprehend it to receive it.

  3. Juniper, thanks for your hospitality and your good thoughts! I've been pondering the Beatitudes, and here have to admit that sometimes the way I've seen and heard them dealt with has left these amazing and challenging words seeming more like platitudes than beatitudes. So I wasn't sure where they would take me. But once again, the scriptures hold surprises and new doorways into what I think are oh-so-familiar texts.

    I found myself thinking about where the word "blessed" first appears in the story of Jesus: Elizabeth is the first to speak the word, in Luke 1, as she offers her threefold blessing of Mary. It set me to thinking about how Jesus must have absorbed that word in the womb. Blessed will come to be at the heart of his ministry as he says it and proclaims it over and over again, both in the Beatitudes and elsewhere. It occurred to me that with the Beatitudes, he does for the disciples (and for us) what Elizabeth did for Mary (and for him).

    Amazing where a word can take us. More noodling on this over at The Painted Prayerbook, where I always love your company.

    And may you always be blessed indeed!

  4. Juxtaposing Micah 6:8 and the Beatitudes. I've got a fairly conservative congregation, so I'm going to push them a little bit, focusing on what and when we expect our blessing to be, and what we've got to do to get the blessing, and how we've got to be to get it. Don't know how that will play out or how I'll do this, but I'm hoping the Spirit will reveal it to me...

  5. Children's Chapel this week - so pondering from that mindset the BE-Attitudes

  6. Sunday is our annual meeting so I need to keep things short. I'm going to use Micah and the gospel and talk about (one more time) our call to ministry together and how it is rooted in these scriptures. I found what David Lose had to say about the beatitudes over at Working Preacher very helpful, because they often do end up sounding like platitudes.

    It also occurs to me that so often good health, good fortune, etc. were associated with being in God's good favor, but with the beatitudes Jesus is saying that even those who are not experiencing the good things of life are included in God's blessings--maybe even more so--their poorness, mourning etc. is not a sign of God's disfavor. If that makes any sense...

  7. Preaching the last in my sermon series...this week is JOY. Using Philippians 4 text and I think now I'm inspired to work with the Gospel text, too. Thanks for inspiring me, y'all!

  8. Preaching on Corinthians and the Beatitudes and how Christians are called to do things that seem foolish. It's youth Sunday, so I sat with my kids to do sermon rumination. I told them I wanted to talk about the fact that our faith calls us not just to pray for Gabby Giffords, but also Jared Loughner - utter foolishness! They began pondering the nature of the soul and how a soul becomes wounded. Holy Spirit, help me. Should be interesting.

  9. Not sure where to go with the readings this week. There is so much material, that I am tempted to look at these passages for a few weeks.
    My first thought was Corinthians and Matthew - whose definition of foolish and wise do we follow.

    Today is Australia Day, so pondering if/how to tie that in. And this year I am doing a Back to School blessing with the children - not done that before, but got the idea from RGBP. any suggestions gladly received.

  10. It's our annual meeting Sunday. I'm leaning on the Beatitudes (and Ps. 34) pretty heavily to help fashion a vision for what we have been living for in the last year.

  11. It will be understood here, I trust, if I admit that I am sick of the Beatitudes. Maybe that means they are exactly the text into which I should be delving more deeply, but I think I am more likely to go with Corinthians. Thanks for some good ideas here as starters!


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