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Monday, March 04, 2013

Tuesday LEctionary Leanings: Welcome Home Edition

My birthday is coming, the schools here have teacher's convention this week, and I am on a week's vacation, so it must be March!  And I am sitting watching Bones so it must be Monday night!  Which means of course that I had better get the Tuesday Lectionary Leanings prepared.

ANd shall we start with prayer? (prayer source)
Holy God, Word Shaper:
you are not our accountant,
     but our lover;
you are not angry at us,
     but you forgive us;
you are not our enemy,
     but the One who runs towards us
     with wide open arms,
throwing steaks on the grill
to celebrate our newness!

Jesus Christ, Shaper of our story:
you travel to that distant country called our sin
     to bring us home once again;
you share your inheritance with us
     so we might be blessed;
you know the famine of our spirits
     and fill it with your hope.

Holy Spirit, Life Shaper:
surrounded by your grace,
     we offer glad cries of salvation;
encircled by your constant love,
     we shout for joy;
enclosed in your comforting arms,
     nothing can overwhelm us.

God in Community, Holy in One,
from now on we will remember our life in you,
even as we pray as Jesus taught us,
Our Father . . .

The RCL readings for Lent 4C can be found here

Makes sense to me
We have the people finally getting off their manna diet (after 40 years that must have felt like a relief) upon arriving "home".  Yes there is that minor problem that other people already call it home but Joshua will spend the rest of the book working on that one.

The Prodigal Returns
Or the Gospel reading gives us one of the best known parables.  The lost son (really I find that a better title since it is the father who loves prodigally and the other stories in the chapter are about lost things being sought and found) is not only well known but very complex.  Who is God in the story (if you want to approach parables as allegories)?  OR how is God present in the father, in the elder son, in the younger son [the fatted calf]?   Or the question I like to ask of parables.  Who are WE in this story?  How are we like the elder son, the younger son, the father?

Or are you following a different path through Lent?  A sermon/worship series perhaps as we take the road to the Upper Room and the Sanhedrin/Pilate's court and Calvary?  

Wherever your worship planning is taking you this fine Tuesday, let us know in the comments.  


  1. If you haven't already read it, Henri Nouwen's "Return of the Prodigal" is a fantastic and thought-provoking read.

    Every time I work with this text I find myself needing to labour the point that the father divided his wealth between the 2 sons - ie the elder had received exactly the same as the younger. Its easy to miss, but I think its the whole point of the story !

  2. actually, I suspect the elder received more. the usual division would be something like 2/3-1/3. when the father gave the younger son "the share that would belong to [him]" and then later said to the older "all that is mine is yours" that was literal--everything that was left belonged to the older son. all.
    prodigal love for both of them!

  3. I'm not preaching this Sunday--well, I am, but not on this Luke text. I agreed to do one of those "what does the bible say about homosexuality" talks that just drive me nuts. Why do I agree to do these things? Some years ago I took a different path with the "lost things" of this passage, and if anyone's interested you can go to www.sicutlocutusest, click on "Sermons" and look for one called "A Word about Tenderness."(Wish I could make the link work, but haven't quite mastered it yet.)

  4. Thanks for the detail Teri - squirreling it away for next time.

  5. I did these texts last week and used them to talk about the importance of rituals of the faith. This week I'm picking up last week's texts on abundance--Isaiah and the non-productive fig tree. Not entirely sure where that's going, beyond the idea of being rooted in God's abundance and yet needing to nurture those roots...

  6. Sicutlocutusest - I love your writing so I went and read the sermon there. here's your link love from me. I would never be able to preach that sermon - the tenderness would break my heart and make my eyes leak. Thank you for posting it - it will stay with me for a long time.

    1. Oh wow! Thanks for the link Amy+. That certainly was a beautiful, tender sermon.

  7. Amy+ Thanks you so much for your help! I'm learning, but in the meanwhile, it's lovely to have such a gracious assist of my techno-inability. As for the sermon, when I preached it many moons ago to my beloved congregation, I recall doing it not with tears so much, but with a kind of urgency, almost a fierceness: it seemed terribly important to tell them that they are the objects of such a Great Affection. Blessings of courage and grace to you! Mary Luti (sicut...etc.)

    1. I went back and re-read it with the fierceness - what a gift to a congregation. I have a feelling I will re-visit that sermon in the future; it is a blessing to me.

  8. sicutlocutusest That is a gorgeous sermon! Thank you.


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