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Monday, January 16, 2012

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings -- Gone Fishin' Edition

CHristian Unity 1

Christian Unity 2

In this week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 18-25) let us pray together [prayer source]:
Almighty God,
Through Jesus you say to us
that whoever wishes to be first must become the least and the servant of all.
We enter into your presence,
knowing that your victory is won through the powerlessness of the cross.
We come to pray that your church may be one.
Teach us to accept humbly that this unity is a gift of your Spirit;
Through this gift, change and transform us
and make us more like your Son Jesus Christ.   AMEN

SO this is yet another week with multiple options.  Is there a tradition of acknowledging the Week of PRayer in your congregation, in your area?  If so, how do you generally do that?

Or then there is the Lectionary.  The readings for Epiphany 3B can be found here

Calling the Fishers
The story by the seashore always fascinates me.  I can't help but wonder what would make me jump up and leave everything behind at the spur of the moment.  So far I haven't come up with anything.  But in Mark's version there is also a "passing of the torch" feel to the story since it follows right on the arrest of John.  And yet "the time is nigh" for change, for a new world -- as both Jesus and Paul point out.  Two millenia later is the time still nigh?

Or then there is Jonah.  What DOES one do with Jonah: his reluctance, the fish episode, his preaching, his bitterness at being a successsful preacher...?  Can you in fact preach on Jonah without telling the whole story?

And so, where are you going this week?  What will people be talking about in your congregations?


  1. As much as I would like to preach Jonah, the Mark passage fits better. Our annual meeting in Sunday and I'll be doing something new (again) and weaving that annual act into the worship service.

    Right now the direction is to celebrate the ministry of the last year and an invitation to continue.

    I have a small fishing net which I have used for in the past for people to tie ribbons on as prayer requests. I used it during Lent at my internship church, at my ordination, and at my installation. Those ribbons are still I just might invite people to tie a ribbon on the net to signify their own fears about reaching out beyond out walls or to offer up a dream for the church in the coming year.

  2. I am reading both the Jonah and the Mark. Still a toss up as to which one will be preached, but it will likely focus on Mark as well. It is also our congregational meeting this week (which means I will really be ready for the cruise!)

  3. I am reading both the Jonah and the Mark. Still a toss up as to which one will be preached, but it will likely focus on Mark as well. It is also our congregational meeting this week (which means I will really be ready for the cruise!)

  4. I am skipping this week altogether as there were two sermons that leapt out at me from teh Epiphany 4B readings.

    This week I am going with 1 Corinthians 8 on eating meat offered to idols. I think the main point out of this passage is that we are to act in ways that support the growth/faith of our sisters and brothers. Then today I learned that for some people the issue still exists as this article shows

    My early thoughts on the matter can be found here

  5. I am still leading Covenant Services, but appreciated these thoughts.

  6. I'm going with Mark the rest of the season until Lent. I've got a sort of theme of God is on the loose and .... This one is going to be about being disicples/discipleship but in a different way than I originally thought. I've been in the middle of discussions this week with our synod and executive presbyters (upper Midwest of the US area and regional leaders within it, for non-Pres folks). I've been in a session meeting. I was at a presbytery meeting. I've been talking to individual people of faith. My head is spinning at the different scopes of ministry with which I have been in conversation this week. As much as I LOVE (maybe sinfully) our denomination, the thought came into my head at 11:30 p.m. last night, after the light had been turned out and I was trying to get my eyes to close is that Jesus didn't call an institution. Jesus called disciples. Jesus called people, one by one, by name to be, as one women in one meeting said "agents for the kingdom of God." The goal of all that we do can NOT be to build an institution, but to be agents for the kingdom of God. Church, the community of faith, denominations, whatever you want to call any of them can be tools we use in doing that, but they can't be the place we hide out to avoid doing the real work which is following Jesus and joining his mission on earth.

    I gotta do it. Our church, including me as a part of it - - we have got to be about something other than creating ourself for ourself.

  7. purple! love that fishing net idea. If only I could get my hands on one between now and Sunday...

    I like this commentary that says, ala Sherev that this passage is really more about God on the loose than the disciples frame of mind.

    I find myself drawn to the Corin passage, also. I think because I've been doing some pastoral care this week with people whose world is coming to an end, and a new world is coming, but they can't see it yet. how to BE in the in-between times?

  8. Oh my goodness! Gord - that article is so upsetting. Of all the trouble in our world, to focus on this issue....

  9. Hi, RevGals--

    Thanks for these words. Especially love the notion of God on the loose--thanks, She Rev.

    I have nets on my mind this week, and the challenge and invitation involved in letting go of the familiar things we have relied on to bring sustenance. But I've also been pondering the threads that link the lectionary readings, intrigued by how they connect and illuminate each other; how they speak together of what abides--what refuge and home appears--in the letting go.

    More thoughts, and new art, at Epiphany 3: Blessing the Nets.

    Blessings to you!


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