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Monday, July 09, 2012

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Celebrate!?!? Edition

 Let us pray (prayer source):
O God,
sustain us in the complexity of our humanity
as you sustained David--
playing the harp of youth,
throwing stones at giant problems,
loving our friends beyond wisdom,
dancing worship,
mourning children,
breaking our hearts in psalms, and
longing for warmth in our old bones. Amen.

David Dancing
Salome and John
As a new week dawns we (or at least those of us using the Lectionary) find ourselves looking at the readings for Proper 10B.  My what a contrast.  AS you scan down the page you start with David dancing (and exposing himself?) before the Lord and end with Salome asking for a rather odd thank-you present following her dance.

In between those we also have Amos (one of my favourite prophets) confronting the king.  Or one could go with what I am seeing as almost a hymn of praise from Ephesians.

So whither would you go?  Nearly naked dancing or severed heads or...?


25 comments:

  1. Alison-in-FranceJuly 10, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    I seem to be first. I'm going with Ephesians - its one of my all time favourite texts. The minister who confirmed me wrote verse 4 on a card for me the day of my confirmation, and its been an important text for me ever since. I'm using a suggestion from Eugene Peterson's "Practice Resurrection" and focusing on the verbs, while trying to avoid the trap of writing an exegetical paper about verb tenses ! (I seem to be turning into a Greek nerd...)

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  2. Much appreciation for the prayer in today's post. And gratitude that the summer intern is preaching (off-lectionary) this Sunday!

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  3. I'm thinking along the lines of David dancing before the Lord - a dance of life and joy. Salome dancing before Herod - a dance of death and broken lives. Banquet of death is followed on just afterwards by the banquet of life. No idea where this will lead but it's a start I suppose!

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  4. No preaching this week. (as much as I enjoy the craft of preaching...having a break is stupendous). We have a guest who will be sharing in worship on missionary work in the Dominican Republic. Worshiping in our Fellowship Hall so we can use technology/visual (another yay). Of course all that to be followed by a salad potluck.

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  5. The seminarian will be preaching this coming weekend. I am glad. The Gospel is too gory to preach on except for the mistaken identity of Jesus as Elijah. Pat, sounds like you have a good thing going for you. Allison, if I were preaching, I would go with Ephesians too.

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  6. I am most likely going with Ephesians, and quite possibly making use of as much of a sustainable sermon as possible. My 17yo daughter is providing the special music, singing "His Eye is On the Sparrow," and I think it would be unfortunate to go straight from that to the Mark text.
    I like the Ephesians text, too, because it gives me the chance to talk about my own experience of being adopted and also the first century understanding of adoption, that you truly became part of the family and entitled to all the rights thereof. How wonderful to have that assurance from God! (Something like that.) The last time I preached this, I used as an illustration the quote from Paris Jackson at her father's memorial service (about what kind of daddy he was), but that was topical and I'll be looking for another "way in." And I'll probably end up writing something new, but still using some of the basics. It's also one of the reflections I wrote for RevGalBlogPals' Ordinary Time book back in 2006, so I've gotten a couple of sermons on this topic from it already!

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  7. I also am building on a reflection I wrote for the Ordinary Time book. Mine is on David dancing before the Lord. And teh key word, for me, is PASSION. I intend to challenge folks about what their passion is and how they live that out. My early thoughts are here

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  8. We have several good friends with adopted children and I need to get permission from one of them to share a story: basically they needed some official document or other (France is truly the happy home of bureaucracy) anyway, when they got it their son was described as "born to" them (_né de_ in French). I think its a great illustration for this passage.

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  9. Alison, that reminds me of a great story from a time I applied for a new passport. The vital records office in my home state apparently looked at both my original birth certificate and my legal/adopted one, and conflated the names of my two mothers. I happened to know the name of my birth mother anyway, but imagine if I had not? It was a very strange occurrence and pointed up for me how fully I identified as a child of the Spongs and not of anyone else. That has some traction for this passage, too. I realize that might not play for some people who have experienced a more open form of adoption, but it's my story, nevertheless, and I hope it can point to the Good News that we are fully God's children, no matter our human family tree.

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  10. I am already dreading the five weeks of John 6. I'd love to talk about strategies to avoid repetition. Thanks.

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    1. I am avoiding it by going on holidays. Mind you if I were still around this summer I would be continuing in sermons following the David saga. SO maybe preach on other passages instead of the GOspel?

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    2. I'm practicing avoidance and preaching Ephesians all through August. :-)

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    3. I am practicing avoidance and doing a sermon series on "Why do we do what we do?"

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  11. I'm playing with a sermon on the gospel, starting with David Lose's idea (workingpreacher.com) about this being a story of the way the world is, to be compared to the story that gives hope to Christians. I may play with the plumb line from Amos (in addition or instead?), with the idea that the plumb line is used before the building, to guide, rather than after, to judge.

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  12. Leaning into the text of terror that is Mark 6:14-29. I'm playing with the concept of speaking truth to power, and the consequences. Trying to figure out how to bridge into God's faithfulness in the midst of those broken places. The context of J Bap's beheading immediately following the commissioning of the 12 disciples has me intrigued, as does the paralleling of J. Bap. and Jesus throughout the Gospel.

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  13. Wednesday morning here, and I have only just looked at the readings - and none really grab me. I quite like the Amos reading, but can't think of where to go with it in this context.
    Mid winter holidays here, and a number of people sick or in hospital.
    Three years ago I preached on the 2 dances, and i guess I could do a repeat, but I don't feel like I have it in me this week, so I am thinking of going with the psalm [48], and focusing on the first verse.

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  14. oops! make that psalm 24 - maybe I should just go back to bed :)

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  15. Finding myself captivated by the Gospel in the context of the entire chapter in Mark. What a chapter--Jesus rejected by his hometown folk and impotent in the face of the rejection, the disciples sent out to heal, Herod confused by Jesus and intimidated by his oath and his guests, and then the feeding of the 5000. Still not certain where I am going with all of this. Intrigued by the question of ultimate loyalties and essential orientations and cannot ignore the work of the Spirit in the Episcopal Church. A good week to sit with it all, pray and wait until Saturday. (BTW the Episcopal Church has approved a liturgy for same-sex blessings. Now it's up to the individual dioceses. We in the Rio Grande will begin in 2013. Yahoo!!!)

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  16. When I read over the text for Mark I was captivated by this sense of how we've just heard about Jesus being rejected and dusting our feet-- we've been told ministry will not be easy... John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus- and his life fore-tells the kind of life Jesus too will have... accused, death, etc. I started thinking of how risky it is to follow- to be a disciple- to really do what Christ calls. I'm new in my appointment and it all feel risky and exciting here.... My title is "Risky Ministry"

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  17. I was asked to preach on the connections between science and the bible. Last week we looked at Genesis 1 in terms of order and the big bang. This week I am doing creation in Genesis 2 and using the work of my McCormick seminary Professor Ted Heibert in which he talks about adam (dirt) coming from a farmers understanding of life growing from the ground (adamah). He does a great analysis of how in this creations story everything comes from the same beginning, so in the modern world when we see how closely our dna matches the dna of creation there is this interesting fit.

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  18. I am on vaycay from all the cray cray in Ft. Lauderdale and finished my temporary assignment as a (supply) parish priest. Blessings to all! I think I'm glad I'm not preaching. But I do get to bless the 40 year anniversary of my favorite MCC church and ministry.

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  19. Coming back from a week of vacation, and thinking about speaking the truth to power as well...with a little Amos and prophetic voices. The Episcopal Church approved a rite for same gender blessings this week and I might bring that up--I think it is wonderful but some in my congregation will not be pleased.

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  20. Like Rev Dr Mom, I'm coming back from vacay this week (tomorrow, actually) and will be preaching for the first time in awhile (was away for Cont Ed before vacay). Had considered revising a sustainable sermon on the gospel text, but it just seemed too heavy a sermon for my first Sunday back. So I am going with Ephesians. I really liked the reflections on it on workingpreacher. We'll be singing Amazing Grace to go with it, as well as an old hymn we're not familiar with (but set to a familiar tune) called "He Giveth More Grace" by Annie Flint. I liked it because the last line piled up in a way that reminded me of the Ephesians text - "he giveth and giveth and giveth again." I found a story online about a missionary in the 40s who was feeling very down about her work and she put an LP of that song on her phonograph, and the record got stuck on that line - so it just kept saying "he giveth and giveth and giveth and giveth and giveth."

    Nevermind the masculine imagery for God. That'll preach!

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  21. Alison-in-FranceJuly 12, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I have a draft on Ephesians (I also listened to and loved Working Preacher) but I'm really unhappy with it. Thing is the kids are away so DH and I are going away for Friday night and all day Saturday, so I really need it to be done now and its not. I suspect I might be setting the bar too high because its one of my favourite texts. At the moment I'm sorely tempted to just read the passage, then say "what he said" and sit down again. Preaching on it feels like trying to dissect a rainbow to find out why its beautiful. Sigh. Time to stop I think.

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    1. "trying to dissect a rainbow" - !!! what a great image, and so true.

      Hope you can get to a place of feeling better about it, so that you can enjoy your time away with DH!

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