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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lectionary Leanings~~Is it Tuesday again ALREADY?

Here we go again, starting with an apology from your host for forgetting what day of the week it is. But better late than never, right?

Let's begin with prayer:

Holy and righteous God,
you raised Christ from the dead
and glorified him at your right hand.
Let the words of scripture,
fulfilled in Jesus your Son,
burn within our hearts
and open our minds to recognize him
in the breaking of bread. Amen.

Our readings this week continue the themes of Eastertide: In Acts we hear more about the early church in Jerusalem, focusing on Peter's teaching and admonition to the crowds who have witnessed him healing a lame man in Jesus' name. Our epistle from 1 John reminds us that we are beloved children of God, something I find very comforting.

Luke's gospel features another post-resurrection visit by Jesus. In the penultimate verses of the Gospel Jesus comes reassuring his followers with peace, and reaffirming the reality of his presence by eating with the disciples and allowing them to touch him, reminding them that they are witnesses not only to his life and ministry but also to his death and resurrection.

Where are you headed this week, preachers? Are you in Jerusalem with Peter? Gathered with the disciples waiting for Jesus to appear? Are you going off lectionary for a special observance or "just because?" We're open for your questions, your inspirations, your frustrations, whatever you might be bringing to the table as we make our way through Eastertide.


  1. Going off lectionary for an Earth Day centered service. Talking about the garden (which is where the Scripture story starts and ends) and our call to tend the garden.

    It will be the kick-off of a series of stewardship sermons leading up to Pentecost where I will focus on a line from the UCCan Creed -- "We are called to be the church"

  2. I will be in Luke this week. But our nod to Earth Day is that we will have NO printed bulletin or announcements.

  3. I am a week behind as I only preached on the first part of John 20...this week taking up Thomas.

    Looking at having healthy doubt...and will reframe that into healthy questions. One of this congregation's growing edge is to ask those questions of God, Jesus, the Spirit, theology, why ARE we doing this...etc.

    What I have sensed it that if they "doubt" somehow they are not faithful and if they just prayer harder...yada yada yada.

    And next Sunday...I'll do Earth Sunday. It's complicated but it works better with my schedule since I'll be on vacation and a bit of study leave after next Sunday.

  4. I'm on earth day as well. not sure what text I'm doing (sigh) but we also are going paperless. upside: don't need to panic about getting things done before printing deadline. downside: don't need to panic about getting things done before printing deadline.

    Yes, I may be a procrastinator. Hoping to come up with a plan really soon though!

  5. Well, I think I'll go in the direction of Luke and talk about Jesus' resurrected embodiment with a nod to earth day. I'd like to explore how the early Christians picked up on the Greek stoicism and split mind and body, spirit and flesh etc. yet Jesus eating fish is about the most embodied thing one can do after rising from the dead, which begs the, I'm not going to ask it but I can't help but go there. Perhaps there is potential for a children's sermon??

  6. My original plan was to preach Thomas last week (which I did) and then pick up on the first half of last week's reading and combine with the Luke reading which, if I read the times right, are actually the same appearance by Jesus. I think I am going to talk about Jesus' peace, the Holy Spirit and sending.

    Since then we had a lively text study that's got me thinking about preaching John's letter. Do you think the congregations will hear this reading and realize that 'lawlessness' means much more than breaking moral and legal codes? We got into a great discussion on sin, lawlessness as violation of the first commandment, and forgiveness.

    Time to do some commentary study!

  7. I'm working with 1 John and Luke, but this is also our Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance) service.
    I have some vague ideas about Christ's embodiment--he was true flesh, he ate something!--just as the ones lost in the holocaust were real people, not flat historical figures. As we remember Christ in the Communion feast, we need to remember those who were deliberately selected for death (Jews, Roma, gays, Jehovah's Witnesses, the disabled, etc.)--it is in remembering that we ourselves embody what they were, both Christ and the slain of the Shoah. Many of us and/or those we love would have been taken in the Shoah (which is especially true for the congregation I serve)--we are the embodied voice/actions of Christ and of the lost in the Shoah. As you can see, I don't have it clearly articulated yet! Suggestions and thoughts for clarity are welcome! I have also written a prayer we will use at the time when we generally have the prayers of the people--it involves candle lighting and remembering the various groups selected for execution/extermination--a yellow candle for the Jews, a red candle for clergy, pink for gay men, etc. I will post that on my blog, and feel free to use it if it fits for you.

  8. Guess who didn't remember she was preaching until the rector reminded her today about leaving room for the children's sermon?

  9. G_G, you're cracking me up, as usual.

    Preaching on the Luke passage. I'm much further along than is usual for me on a Tuesday, because we have company coming in tomorrow. Ruminating about resurrection appearances and incarnation (my current theological favorite), a little "where two or three are gathered". Hoping it's not too much of a stretch to say this was a worship experience--it included the meal, Scripture, statement of belief, sending out (I'm going all the way to the end of the chapter). We'll see how it all falls together.

  10. I'm thinking about preaching on Good News, how we tell Good News, what we would like Good News to be, and how often the Resurrection moment of awe/tears/giggles is immediately drowned out by the reflex guilt-making, anxiety-stirring things we say: e.g. "Happy Easter and welcome to all those of you we haven't seen since Christmas, snark snark snark." Maybe.

  11. Esperanza, I don't think it's too much of a stretch at all. I think it's great!

  12. Sorry. I was interrupted by a baby with a book insisting, "Read it, Mama!" who can resist?

    I'm going with Luke after our Holy Humor week last week. What I noticed this time and in this story it strikes me even more than in the Thomas story

  13. Is how accommodating and welcoming and non-judgemental Jesus is about their questions and doubts. And the other side of that coin is how they can rejoice and disbelieving at the same time.

  14. I'm working with Luke, wrestling with what it means to believe in an incarnate God, and what it means to be witnesses. We are Episcopalians; we're not comfortable saying "Jesus saves" out loud. But what about telling friends that we have something that has made our lives better, namely membership in a community where wrestling with big questions about meaning is considered OK (as Jesus understood and even seemed to welcome the apostles) and where we believe we still encounter Christ in community.

  15. I just added part of the 1 John reading too (1 JOhn 3:1-4). What made me add that reading is the "when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is".

    As has been mentioned above, these texts tie in well with Earth Day--if we don't pay attention to the embodied lives we are living, we won't have a place to live. And if the resurrection isn't about our embodied lives, I'm not sure what it is about.

  16. I also think the fear in this text (carried over from Thomas last week) is connected to our embodiment. If we were not bodies, we wouldn't have to be afraid of cancer. If my 16 year old son wasn't a body, I wouldn't have to live with that pit in my stomach every time he is out driving a car. So, our very embodiment gives rise to fear. And Jesus' resurrected embodiment brings us peace.

  17. Second half of a 2 part series on Jonah. We are reading the WHOLE BOOK a sort of fun thing to do and a first for me. Anyway, chapters 3-4 are surprisingly pertinent to earth day, and to animal blessing day if you happen to put those 2 together, as we do. And then, immediately after all that, I'm off to a really AWESOME preaching conference, which I am totally looking forward to. And then, some days off. How many not yet exactly determined, but I won't be preaching again until May. And I'm READY for a BREAK! (Goodness, lots of caps, there juniper. Settle down, ok?)

  18. Well, I'm running behind on sermon prep as usual. I'm going to incorporate all three readings: Acts 3:12-19, 1 John3:1-7 and Luke 24:36-48. We're facing a big building repair project in the near future, and we're also holding our Annual Parish Meeting straignt after the service. These are the thoughts on which I'll preach:

    Now we are children of God; what we will be has not yet been made known.
    The future - what does it hold for our parish? We need to be open to the future that God has in store for us.
    The past - what have we been through? How much of our past do we still carry as a burden (personal and corporate)? Memories and scars from the past are important and not to be dismissed. The resurrected Jesus still carries his wounds, but they're signs of triumph/overcoming rather than defeat.
    Peter, in the Acts reading, wants to effect change in the minds and hearts of his listeners - a change of direction towards God (repentance). The future is more important than the past. (then I'll say something about witnessing and mission, I think).


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