Visit our new site at

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings -- Merry Christmas???? Edition

Well, welcome to the beginning of a new liturgical year!  And as usual the lectionary readings for Advent 1C (read them here) have such a wonderfully Christmassy feel to them.  No wonder folk complain that they don't match the season!!

At any rate, shall we begin our week with Prayer?? (prayer source)
O God of all the prophets,
you herald the coming of the Son of Man
by wondrous signs in the heavens and on the earth.
Guard our hearts from despair so that we,
in the company of the faithful
and by the power of your Holy Spirit,
may be found ready to raise our heads
at the coming near of our redemption,
the day of Jesus Christ. Amen

So where are we this week? We could go with the fairly standard Messianic (at least in Christian terms) passage from Jeremiah.

OR possibly we go with Luke's apocalyptic and the signs we should watch for?

Is this how we start on the road to Bethlehem???????????

please share your early Advent thoughts in the comments.  And if you have a great idea for Advent candles share that too!  Chances are someone somewhere is still looking for that piece this year.

(Sorry for no pictures but my regular machine died tonight (hard drive issue I think) and I am using my partner's [tiny screen and keyboard] netbook)


  1. I'm going with "Preparing for Christmas?" but pointing out that (except for my 2-year-old grandson, who will be in the congregation), Christmas isn't really about eating and drinking too much ("carousing" as the Good News calls it), or about presents, or even about the Baby in the Manger, so much as about God with us, even to the end of the world. Oh good - that's where I'm going is it? I did wonder.... (about 2/3 written and wasn't sure where I was going until I'd posted that summary!).

  2. I'm sticking with traditional themes of hope, peace, joy, love, light this Advent so hope this Sunday. "The baby is coming" - hope of new birth, hope of God with us. That's as far as I've got!

  3. I'm doing "Voices from the Stable" for Advent. This Sunday is Joseph, and the focus is on his "righteousness" and how Jesus' coming redefined that for him. Using Jeremiah for the "righteousness" there, too. I have NOTHING written, but have picked out hymns, so I feel like I'm almost done!

  4. This is an odd Advent in my pulpit. We are having a youth Christmas program 2nd Sunday and a cantata on the 3rd Sunday. I will only be preaching 1st and 4th so an Advent series is out the window. I think I"m going with the gospel with a focus on watching and waiting, but not so much in an apocalyptic manner. The coming is a good thing! That's where I'm swirling my thoughts this morning.

    1. when I first arrived here, that was the pattern, I found it quite difficult. I used Advent 1 to look at the waiting, then Advent 4 on Mary. I did manage to have advent candles and Christmas Bowl each week as part of the program.
      A few changes since then, and I now preach 4 Sundays in Advent. Haven't thought much about this year, which I need to do as it is Wednesday morning here.

    2. pearl - what's a Christmas Bowl?

  5. I went to 2 advent planning retreats, one on general worship and one on preaching and then met with my team. I may sound prepared but have been playing 'catch-up'. Since Epiphany is on a Sunday, we are going with 'visitors from 'afar' every week. A wise 'person' will bring a candle from home and set in the advent wreath rather than lighting the traditional colors. Then I've adapted the litany from Lectern Resource written by Frank Ramirez (A COB pastor) and a poem in our SS curriculum "Gather Round" (which can't get the sundays right for joy and peace because we are so non-liturgical I guess) and I created an intro where the wise person walks in and adds to the theme by representing people from some part of the world (their choice). I'm excited about the concept and am meeting with our creative writer to design a play for Jan. 6 that will incorporate the wisdom and people around the world. Here's hoping it all comes together and isn't as disjointed as I often feel.
    Now for some internal 'hope' to spring that attendance will pick up.... I'm trying to do some more advertising to help.

  6. I am going on the principle that when looking ahead to a major change in life (the birth of a child for example) we generally respond with two things---fear and hope. And that is about all I know at present. Today I am a) trying no to stress about the crashed laptop I dropped off at teh repair place this morning and b) piecing together a devotion for the ministerial meeting in an hour.

    My early sermonic thoughts can be found here

  7. love Advent season--thanks for kicking the liturgical season off!

  8. Tempted to do something around the trimesters of pregnancy...that leaves me short for one week, but since that will be our kids pageant of lessons and carols, I figure I can get away with it...te first trimester is about the mystery of what is to come, before the obvious signs of visible belly and such. Something is coming, we sense it, but what will it be?

  9. I'm still at the grumbling because "we just did 'the end of the world' two weeks ago" phase.

    Seriously, how is this reading of Jesus' apocalyptic speech different from the one two Sunday's ago (beside the different authors)? I preached hope, being aware, watching and waiting, looking for God's presence around us then.

  10. I kind of like the apocalyptic readings this week...I sort of laid the framework for them Sunday with Christ the King. Not sure exactly where I'll go yet. It's John the Baptist I'm dreading...and actually Christmas because really, how many times/ways can your preach the Christmas story? Wishing we had a pageant. And yes, feeling the Christmas grumblies a bit :(

  11. This Sunday a Baptism and communion, so I guess that means not too much form me in the form of a sermon. I ma wondering about the signs of Christmas. both Jeremiah and Luke mention trees, here the trees that signal summer and Christmas are not evergreens as much as flowering trees like jacarandas and frangipanis.

  12. I'm preaching on Jeremiah this week. We'll have a bare branch this week on the altar and each week, we'll add something to the branch (leaves, buds, flowers). I think my sermons will be focused on characters in the Jesus' birth narrative (sort of), this week, the righteous branch tying Jesus with David. Next week, Cousin John, then Joseph and finally Mary. Christmas Eve will be all about the baby, of course. Not an original thought in there, but hoping that I'll be inspired as I continue to listen to advent/Christmas music.


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.