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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings -- Quarrelsome Edition

A Dose of Humour

AS we enter another week of preparation, let us pray (prayer source):
When we think your job
is to listen to our petty quarrels,
you lean over,
put your finger to our lips,
'let me tell you a story.'
Rock Splitter,
we worship you.

Moses Striking the Rock
When we want to ask you
all sorts of questions,
and demand to see
your background check,
you put your arms around us,
gently saying,
'i want you to meet
some friends of mine.'
Self Emptier:
we follow you.

When we are burned out
by our chronic anger,
when our throats are parched
by our litany of laments,
you take us by the hand,
'let's go get a cold drink
down at Rock's cafe.'
Sharing Spirit,
we adore you.

The readings for this week can be read here

Are we like the people of Israel quarreling with Moses and God?  (And really, more whining?  Go back to Egypt if you are so unhappy!!!!)

Are we the people in the temple quarrelling with Jesus and missing the point?  Do we dare ask our friends and family which brother we resemble?

Are we ready to sing with Paul and the Phillipians?  Are we ready to imitate the One about whom he sings?   And where does fear and trembling come in as you work out your salvation?

The longer I am in ministry the more convinced I am that our call is to be not only change agents but change managers (guess which one might be harder!).  I think any of these passages could go that way.  And certainly talking about change is a great way to find out how quarrelsome a group is!

Where are your thoughts heading this week?


  1. I am pretty much using a sustainable sermon this week. I am talking about change management using the Exudos stories about Manna & Quail and this week's Water from teh Rock.

    The title? The Back to Egypt Committee

  2. Working with the Philippians, which seemed like such a good idea several weeks ago. Now, I remember that it's hard for me to preach on a non-narrative text.

    Supply preaching, and the regular preacher used this passage on the 11th. He said he mostly focused on the gospel and it wouldn't hurt them to hear this again. Still, I don't want to be boring.

    Hm. I really don't have much of a direction at this point, so I'm sure my rambling is not very helpful to anyone else!

  3. esperanza, I'm like you and not much of a non-narrative preacher, but I'm trying REALLY HARD this fall not to go back to Exodus since I preached the whole cycle 3 year ago. I know I'll skip the hard work when I have no good reason to (nor a call to those old sermon topics) if I let myself, so I'm trying to do new things this fall.

    I think I'll probably work with Matthew, but I don't have a clear direction or reason yet. Maybe more tomorrow. Trying right now to put together worship for our presbytery Pres. Women gathering in a couple of weeks. I'm going to preach a sustainable sermon there in the midst of day long workshops about prostitution. Using a lot of worship resources from a domestic violence healing packet I have from the denomination. Will preach using a woman wisdom first person narrative. But that's all in like 3.5 weeks.

  4. We're doing Exodus 15 this week (adding to the lectionary :-)) for a special "Sing to the Lord!" service. We've voted on our top 10 favorite hymns and now I'm putting together a service where we sing all of them.

    It's surprising how few of the songs I would have voted for (what's the deal with "How Great Thou Art"? I mean, it's a good song but not in my top 10! And this is a good opportunity to get all of the blood hymns out of the way for the year...). However, I am learning a lot about these congregations, since I've only been here since July 1. And people are really excited about this Sunday!

  5. I'm preaching Philippians - we are looking at the epsitle readings to get clues of how to "put on Jesus" (from the Romans reading on 9/4). This week's theme is humility. I'm really caught up in the Christ hymn and Jesus' self-emptying love.

    I had an idea this morning about using "Undercover Boss" as a cultural connection to the Christ hymn. And then tying it into us being humble enough to serve - thinking of others as better than ourselves (with a caution that this does not mean we should devalue ourselves).

    Just some early thoughts.

  6. I LOVE the idea La Peregrina. I believe I will likely steal that shamelessly later this fall. I'm looking for a few fun things to do, probably in November. I was going to do something similar a while ago with Scripture in way to sort of acknowledge the anniversary of the KJV. The Director of Music and I came up with an idea for a service based on the Lord's Prayer and all sorts of different versions of it. A favorite hymn service would make a sort of trinity of neat things!

    (I'm not getting any closer to sermon inspiration. My last sermon before a week or two off is always the hardest!)

  7. I'm following a new all age curriculum just now, so using the Old Testament grumbling text - even though I only used it back in March. Hereis what I did with it then.
    Can I find a different tack this time - and avoid the temptation to focus on the grumbling that seems to be a feature of church life just now?
    See you Saturday!


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