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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lectionary Leanings~~I once was blind but now I see edition

Let us pray.

Eternal One, whose thoughts and ways are not ours,
you alone are God, awesome, holy, and most high.
School us in the ways of faith and wisdom,
that we, like Job and Bartimeus,
may learn to truly see and hear,
and in humility find blessing. Amen.

I don't know where the week has gone, but here we are at Tuesday again, hopefully turning our minds towards Sunday's preaching task. As we close out October we also close out our reading of the book of Job, and we travel with Mark just a bit farther on the road to Jerusalem. 

In this week's readings, Job responds to God's message from the whirlwind with remarkably good grace, and then gets his "fairy tale" ending as his fortunes are restored. Many have found this ending difficult -- how does it resonate with you? If you've been preaching Job, does this lead you to a satisfactory conclusion? 

If you don't have the patience of Job (sorry, couldn't resist) perhaps you're tackling Jeremiah. Here in the midst of a book full of desolation and despair, the prophet offers a message of hope. How does this consolation speak to your congregation?

In our gospel we find Jesus passing through Jericho where he encounters the blind beggar Bartimeus who calls out to him, addressing him as "Son of David." Jesus rewards Bartimeus' seeing him for who he really is with the restoration of his vision. How does seeing Jesus help us better see the world around us? Lots to think about. 

Working Preacher reminds me that this Sunday is also "Reformation Sunday," not something that someone like me with "Episcopal" in her DNA, would have otherwise known. (Sorry, reformed friends!) If your worship focuses on this, you might choose to preach on Romans or John. Check out David Lose's column for some helpful commentary as well as a link to last year's Reformation Sunday column.

So where is the Word calling you this week, preachers? Join the discussion and let us know what you're thinking. 

Readings found here.


  1. I'm going with Jeremiah and those beautiful consolations--"with weeping they shall come and with consolations I will lead them back". Since we are celebrating Dia de los Muertos, I think I will link the weeping that is a part of all our lives with the weeping and consolations those who have gone before us have experienced. Hope to point to and somehow bring to life in our little community the lived experience of the communion of saints with the fullness of suffering and consolation that are a part of every life. Yesterday when I read the first 33 chapters of Jeremiah, I was struck by the consolations that appear scattered throughout the sufferings. Looking forward to working with this.

  2. I am off lectionary with stewardship again ... this week on Luke 12:15-21 and the rich man who wanted to build new barns to store up his treasures. I hope I can find something fresh to say about it and stewardship, especially since I have this feeling that whatever I say on the topic falls on deaf ears. Sigh.

    I love the Jeremiah consolations, too. Another year, perhaps.

  3. LASt month, when planning sermons for this month, I chose the title "Jesus the Healer" for this week. I figured that many of us in the UCCan have difficulty knowing what to do with the (very clear) Scriptural witness that Jesus was a healer -- and are even less comfortable talking about faith healers in the here and now. So we should talk about it sometimes. What do we do with these testimonies in the face of a modern, scientific, skeptical world view?

    I still think it is a good idea. THe only problem is------I have very little idea what I am going to say

  4. Week 3 of Job here. I figure I can just intone God to Catherine of Siena -- "I am Who Am, and You are She Who Is Not" -- and sit down.

  5. I am going with Job also, Robin, and Mark too and my sermon is called Seeing is Believing, so it's something about seeing God, but that's all I got so far.

    BTW, In case you dont know it, and are needing some Bartimus inspiration, here is a favorite song of mine, by Laura Love.


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