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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings~~Jerusalem, Jerusalem!

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
                                                                                                   ~Collect for the Second Sunday in Lent, Book of Common Prayer    

On this second Sunday in Lent we find Abram (not yet Abraham) deep in conversation with God, and Jesus engaging the Pharisees, hopefully fruitful contexts for preaching. 

Way back in Genesis 12, God has promised Abram and Sarai that their descendants will be as numerous as the stars, despite their childless state. With no pregnancy in sight, Abram has declared that he will make his nephew his heir, but God isn't liking this plan, and so he comes to Abram and renews his promise. The story of Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah is one of waiting for all good things, and the necessity of patience, among other things. Is it speaking to you in this Lenten season?

 Jesus, on the other hand, is engaging earthly powers. The pharisees, who have dogged Jesus since the beginning of his ministry, have come with a warning that Herod wants to kill him, but Jesus offers a bold rejoinder with his  poignant lament over Jerusalem recognizing the inevitability of his death as a part of his ministry.

Paul's letter to the Philippians offers a note of encouragement for those attempting to lead lives of faith, reminding them that "our citizenship is in heaven." So many of us are in struggling congregations; how might Paul's words embolden encourage us?

Where are the readings leading you this week preachers? Are you in the midst of a Lenten series, or are you following the Narrative Lectionary?  Join the discussion and let us know what you're thinking, what  you are wondering, where you are feeling stretched or stymied. Everyone is welcome!


  1. I am continuing on the theme of the Lenten journey to Easter. This week the promises of God are to be trusted, though the way is hard and may well go via the cross.

  2. I'll be saying something about the "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" lament, but not sure what yet. Have to get past the midweek community Lent service first. I'm pinch-hitting for a sick colleague.

  3. I'm in the Narrative Lectionary, but look at this - - We overlap a little this week! Our reading is Luke 13 also, but before v. 31-35 we also have v. 1-9. So glad to have a chance to chat here a little with others. Maybe other NL users have been participating in Tuesday LL, but I've sort of dropped out when I switched it up this year.

    Anyway, I've got a couple of thoughts going - - one sparked by a couple of questions posed in the Working Preacher RCL commentary which is referring, of course, to v. 31-35:
    "Can we make sense of our lives as a part of the establishment of God’s kingdom in our world? Or are we frightened from our mission by the threats of earthly rulers?"

    I think an honest examination of our answers to these questions can lead back to the good news in the parable about the fig tree - - While things are urgent (look at the Galileans Pilate killed, or the ones on whom the tower fell) there's still time to repent, turn around to join the mission of God. "Now" is always the perfect time.

    I also like that even repentance isn't a "quick fix." Growing fruit takes time, nurture, attention.

    Not sure where I'm ending up yet, but I'm thinking on it all.

    1. we have verses 1-9 coming up soon--maybe next week or the week after? so I'll be ready to read your sermon on it to get some ideas! :-)

      I like where you're going so far--we are also going down the nurture-your-faith road this lent...

  4. We are having our annual meeting this week, and we do it in the context of worship. Last year the lectionary provided me with wonderful readings to preach on that worked perfectly in my context. This year...not so much. Our meeting was supposed to be two weeks ago (postponed because the snowpocalypse) and I had figured out an approach, and now I am back to square one. Need to get it figured out soon!

  5. This is the second week of my The Church in the World series. This week the tag is Witness & Testimony -- not things we talk about much in the UCCan. My early thoughts on the topic are here

    So, how does evangelism/witness/testimony happen in your faith community?

  6. I'm considering focusing on the mother hen image to spin off into a sermon about God's "gender." I have been at my call for just shy of 6 months, and the question of my use of neutral language or mixed pronouns in reference to the Divine came up in interviews with the search committee. (To answer their question, I shared a sermon I wrote in seminary which has become known as the feminist pastor top 10 list--reasons why I'm a feminist pastor, basically).

  7. I'm going with citizenship and the nature of the land in which we dwell.


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