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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings~~Foxes have holes edition

  • Beckoning God,
    as you moved in the lives of Elijah and Elisha,
    move in our lives,
    inviting us to journey to unknown territory,
    to listen for your voice,
    and to speak your prophetic word
    in a world that does not want to hear.
    empowered by your Spirit,
    grant us the courage we need
    to journey, trust, listen, speak,
    and accept your commission
                                                  to be your faithful servant people. Amen

  • It finally feels like summer here, and this week is the last week of school for the town kids (who got whomped with a whole lot of hurricane and snow days this year) which likely means small crowds this Sunday. The Word will still be preached, however, for those with ears to hear, and the will to come to church in spite of summer's allure, and this week's readings give us plenty to work with. 
  • Our semi-continuous reading from Kings finds Elijah about to be taken up by God, and Elisha sticking with him to the very end, a model of faithfulness. Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah's spirit; one wonders if he really knows what he's in for.  
  • Jesus sets his face towards Jerusalem in our gospel from Luke, and we know what that means, but it's less clear that those around him get it.  Jesus responds to their somewhat conditional responses to his "Come and follow me" with a series of enigmatic replies..."Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." "Let the dead bury their own dead.""No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." 

  • Paul's letter to the Galatians reminds us of the great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. The part of the reading that is so often quoted, however, is the part about not gratifying the desires of the flesh, with its list of unacceptable behaviors (fornication, impurity, licentiousness etc.) Where I sit we need to be far more concerned with the embodying the fruits of the spirit -- things like love, patience, kindness, generosity and self-control. 

  • If you are a Buechner fan and thinking about Galatians, here's a link that might help you. 
  • Where is the Word calling you this week, preachers? Are you invigorated and inspired by these readings or stuck in the summer doldrums? Going off lectionary, or on the narrative lectionary? Join the conversation and let us know what you are thinking/wondering/feeling. As always, this group is a great place to stir things up a bit and get the preaching mojo going.


  1. I will have to check out that link, as I am going with the fruits of the spirit and asking What Fruit are You?

  2. I've been focusing on prophets, but I like the fruits of the spirit, too. Not sure where I'm headed just yet.

  3. Off lectionary all summer as we are doing the "Twelve Sundays of Summer" which is a parody on the Twelve Days of Christmas. Note: it came from our FB page and people sharing their favorite sermon series. Thanks.

    We are down to eight. Eight is in many ages and cubits but nothing grabbed my attention. I thought about 8 letter "churchy" words like disciple, ministry, neighbor. Good...but I kept looking. Ruth is the 8th book of the Hebrew bible but she really deserves more than one Sunday.

    I finally landed on the word: forgiven. Using Matthew's version of the Lords Prayer and Ephesians 4: 1-3 and 25-5:2.

    Next week is seven...Sabbath which not only has 7 letters but using "on the seventh day"...and of course "Sabbath in the Suburbs" will be a great help (thanks to RevGal Mary Ann)

  4. this blog is fantastic!!!! what a great resource. thank you!!

    1. Chachaslappey, we're glad you're here! And join us again for the Preacher Party on Saturday.

  5. I've had a hard time getting a handle on this text, despite having two weeks to ponder it. Then yesterday I was in a yoga class, trying to raise one knee in the air while twisting the other arm and my head and shoulders in the other direction, and I'm hoping that will get me somewhere other than in a heap on the floor.

  6. This month I'm celebrating twenty years in ministry, and the text from 2 Kings has offered a particularly rich invitation to remember those who have mentored and mantled me for ministry. At The Painted Prayerbook this week, my reflection includes a piece called "Blessing of Elijah." In writing the blessing, I was thinking especially of those who are newly entering ministry, and also each of us in ministry, praying that we may continue to take up the mantle, and be renewed again and again.

    I'd love for you to stop by; the new post is at Blessing of Elijah. And there's new art, too, of course!

    Many blessings to you!

  7. Hi everyone! I'm on sabbatical and not preaching my regular schedule, but I do have a gig this coming Sunday - three gigs actually, so I will spend Sunday morning whizzing around a tropical little island going from church to church.

    Anyway, I appreciate the ideas here, as I am feeling somewhat sunbaked and not particularly motivated. I know I am preaching on Elijah/sha and Galatians. I love your poem, Jan, so maybe that will help nudge me somehow. Blessings on your writing, all and aloha :)


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