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Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings -- Changed World Edition

Shall we begin with prayer? (prayer source)
You raise up the poor,
to give them the best rooms in your house;
you pull the broken
from the dust of the world,
brushing them off and clothing them with joy;
you exalt those we have pushed aside,
and let them say grace at the feast in heaven.
You are our God, and we worship you.

When we are tempted to wander off after
the rumors of sin,
you guard our feet so we can walk
as faithful people;
when we think we need to pay attention
to all the gossip around us,
you give us a double portion
of good news, so we will not fear.
You are the Christ, and we will listen to you.

When no one else will listen to us,
we can pour out our soul to you;
when no one notices us,
you see our misery, and fill us with joy;
when everyone else forgets who we are,
you remember us and call us by name.
You are our Spirit of Love, and we welcome you into our hearts.

God in Community, Holy in One, we raise our prayers to you,
even as we speak the words of Jesus,
Our Father . . .

Is tomorrow the Day?
The end of the liturgical year is fast approaching, and so it is time to talk about the world being changed.  Then again, as people of faith who regularly pray the words "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done..." shouldn't we be talking about the world being changed every Sunday???

At any rate there are all sorts of changed being discussed in the RCL readings for Proper 28B.  Maybe it is Hannah's prayer for a child.  OR her song of a world being turned upside down (which of course is so similar to a song we will revisit in a month or so).  OR Daniel's announcement that Micheal will come -- to the betterment of some and the ruin of others. OR the teaching we find in Hebrews about preparing for the Day that is coming.  OR Mark's Jesus warning of turmoil to come.  Any of our passages could be preparing us to be changed.

And is that change a cause for fear or hope?  The combination of passages (and 2 millennia of Christian theology) could answer with either option.

Of course some of our USan sisters and brothers may be ignoring these passages altogether since this is the Sunday before Black Friday (and US Thanksgiving but I am unsure which is the bigger news day anymore).  And so they may be looking at these passages.  Or do y'all have Thanksgiving worship on Wednesday/Thursday?  Or even next Sunday? [So much easier in Canada where Thanksgiving Day is the Monday and so it is obvious which Sunday to have Thanksgiving weekend]

Back to the Day of the Lord stuff (and why are so many of these images so disturbing?).  How does preaching that topic go over in your context?  Is it about scaring folks into changing their ways in preparation?  Is it about gentle encouragement?  Are you going to talk about the Mayans?

Wherever your sermonic thoughts are headed, or stalled, this early in the week let us know in the comments.
The eternal problem of reading the signs...


  1. I had started writing my sermon having been inspired by this one; however, this morning I woke to the wonderful news that an author friend has, at the age of almost 60, become a Christian, and I think that will probably inform my sermon more than anything else! Joy and change and love!

  2. I'm using the Thanksgiving texts. I think it's pretty typical to do them the Sunday before if you do them at all, since most years it's Advent by the next Sunday. Not true this year, though, so who knows? The lilies of the field text in Matthew is a special one for me, so I am looking forward to preaching it. It's not in the lectionary often (some Matthew years it is skipped in ordinary time), so I will seize the day.

  3. I'm on vacation this Sunday to celebrate my "baby" son's 21st birthday. SO ready for vacation. I was thinking about doing Thanksgiving the next Sunday since it's NOT Advent 1, but I used that gospel for a stewardship sermon, so I guess I won't, even though I love it. And I typically have a service on the Eve of Thanksgiving but I'm not doing that this year either because 1) attendance has been abysmal and 2) I'll still be on vacation...

  4. I had planned on doing the assigned texts for the day, somewhat reluctantly because I get bored (gasp) with end of the year/beginning of the year focus on the end times. By the time I get to the first Sunday in Advent, I have trouble presenting a fresh take.

    I'm not preaching on Thanksgiving, so I may just change to the Thanksgiving texts this year. There's been so much grumbling in my congregations after the election, that I think we may need to stop and take stock of our blessings.

    But it will have to wait. Today I'm writing a funeral sermon and tomorrow I'm preaching. Right now all that's going through my head is a scripture mash-up: Jesus has a place prepared for us, but for now we have lots to be thankful for and how do we experience the life abundant in the end times.

  5. "Do not fear, O soil"...Joel 2:21

    Therefore sermon title...Thank God for Dirt. This Thanksgiving the focus will be on thanks for the gift of the earth in which we live...and how to live as thankful people on this gift.

    1. Purple-- Wheee, that's where I aim to go, too! Can't help it, I get all excited when the Bible talks about dirt.

      This Sunday is a neutral pulpit for me, so the so-called anonymous search committee is gonna show up in the pews and (hopefully) see me at my pastor/farmer finest, plowing right into this earthiest of metaphors. That said, I've got about six different angles of approach scribbled out, and I'm not at all sure which one is best...

  6. I am pondering the Day of the Lord and timing thereof. My sermon title is The Day is When? And I really want a way to work the Mayan calendar into the sermon...

    My early thoughts are here


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