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Monday, January 30, 2012

Tuesday LEctionary LEanings -- Renewing our Strength Edition

On Eagle's Wings
 Let us open our week with prayer:
From the very first tale
told around family tables
to that last word written
in the book of time,
you tell us the story
of your love and joy.
From the foundation
laid in Eden's valleys
to the ever-open gates
of the new Jerusalem,
you build a home for
every single one of your children.
How good it is to sing your glory,
Heart of Creation!
Into the abandoned areas
of our lives, you come -
shushing the little imps
who whisper in our ears
of our failings and foolishness.
When we seem unable
to listen to your hopes for us,
you sit down at the edge of our hearts,
once again retelling the story
of your love and grace.
How good it is to sing your name,
Healer of broken lives.
When our dreams dry up
and turn to dust,
you gather them up
and shape them into
a future which surprises us.
When we would pull shut
the curtains of our compassion,
you yank them open,
so we can see those
we are called to serve.
How good it is to sing your peace,
Spirit of patience.
How good it is to sing your praises,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as Jesus has taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

As I opened links to prepare for TLL this week I was moved to wonder if anyone out there is doing something for the Presentation of the Lord/Candlemas this week (either on Thursday or moving it to Sunday)??  If you are, then the readings for that festival can be found here

However I am guessing that most Lectionary preachers will be working with the readings for Epiphany 5B.  Those readings can be found here.  And what does a quick glance show us this week?
  • Isaiah seems the perfect passage for those who need to be renewed and lifted up.  Which one of us wouldn't like to be recipients of the blessing in the final verse here?  Or then there is a joke about how hard it is to soar like eagles when one is surrounded by....maybe we best not go there.
  • Does anyone ever preach on the Psalm reading?  So often it is seen as a supporting reading only. But this one has such promise of support and protection.   There must be a sermon in there somewhere.
  • Corinthians.  Paul's claims he is free to be "all things to all people".  Modern writers tell us we shouldn't do that, we should be transparently ourselves.  And yet isn't a successful politician or speaker one who can translate her/his message into language and imagery that reaches a particular audience?  Was Paul putting on a mask or translating a message?
  • And then there is Mark.  Following directly on from last week's reading we have more healings.  And then we return to being renewed.  Or at least an attempt at it.  Why do I understand the feeling of going to a quiet place for renewal only to have people come find and interrupt me?????
Abandoning or leading?

Anyone Doing this?

Which way do you feel led this week?  Or are you off-lectionary and doing something else?  It is also Annual Meeting season, how does the Annual Meeting impact your worship planning for that Sunday?  All this and more in the comments!

And of course it is Super Bowl Sunday!


  1. In the lectionary for our Province, we have a reading from Job, not Isaiah, but otherwise it is the same. I think I am being led into speaking on prayer as the foundation for any sort of healing to take place. Also I had an incredible dream the other night that I still remember and seemed to be reminding me that when things seem most hopeless, depressing and beyond redemption, when God seems most absent, we must lift our voices in praise. Even when we can find no reason to praise. That would certainly tie in with the psalm. I am keen to introduce altar calls for healing into this parish, so perhaps I could use this as a springboard. Still rambling in my thoughts.

  2. Great prayer! Is that "yours"? Where did you find it? Can I use it in worship?

  3. I am working early this week as I preach at a neutral pulpit Sunday. I am using Isaiah and Mark; sermon title: The Cruciform Life. ( I HATE sermon titles, and I've had the luxury of not having to use one for three years. ) Anyway, preaching about the life of service and being "raised up" and calling and caring. Not much but a general idea yet.

  4. Cindy, the prayer was written by Thom Shuman. You can find his site here

    TSB, good luck with the neutral pulpit!

    I am going with the Corinthians (second time this month, surprising since I have a mixed feeling about Paul in general) and pondering Paul's claim that he can be all things for all people. My early thoughts for my sermon are <a href=">here</a>

  5. I have preached Psalms before, not a lot, not easily, and not this week. I did a series on praying with the Psalms for Lent my first year in solo ministry. Boy did that stretch my comfort. It was tough, but I did it, and I was proud for challenging myself. I haven't jumped up at too many more opportunities to preach from them since though. :)

    I'm sticking with this first chapter of Mark all the way to T-fig. After getting lost from my original plan at this point last week, I made it back to really focusing on the unclean spirit last week.

    This week I'm going to work mostly with the stuff at the end of the assigned text - -v. 38-39 and bring in what I think "the message" is that Jesus is proclaiming back from 1:15 - the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news. I didn't address that message back 2 weeks ago, so this is my way to get back to it. I want to work with what repent means and the reversal in the world that happens because the kingdom is coming near. I MIGHT speak of the healings as signs of that reversal and turning. Not sure yet, but the proclaiming the message as a part of our discipleship is the crux of what I'm doing. Speaking about the new world, ushering it in with our words. Last week I talked about calling a demon and demon and casting it out. This week might be the more positive side of that same thing. Calling attention to the way the world is supposed to be, and turning ourselves and our lives in that direction to help bring it about.

  6. Bingo! Sarah Henrich at made exactly the connection I was trying to make, but wasn't quite making. It's the restoration of the community that was missing, reversal of being cast out, cast to the side. Proclaiming the message means proclaiming good news that those who were cast out or left out are to be included in the kingdom of God, there's the reversal I'm looking for.

  7. Trying to figure out how to do a relatively short sermon at two services for all ages that also takes note of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, many of whom are not members or even churchgoers, who will be there at the second service. The eagle phrase caught my eye when I read through the texts on Monday, but now I am wondering if it is pushing to take half a line and base the sermon on it. OTOH, it is very tangible, there is some good content to be had, and maybe half of one verse is just right for this situation!

  8. Going with Mark this week and a touch of I Corinth.
    Trying to hit on the inclusive point and the notion of how the Kingdom began in Peter's home with the healing of a woman
    Also, thinking of the reason Jesus choose to heal the Mother-in-Law. Could nobody else serve them and was he realy hungry and wanted her up fixing her special dish?
    What was up with this healing?


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