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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings~~Seeing the power of God edition

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­ kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Proper 7

This week's readings offer us rich stories and images to work with. I mean, how can you go wrong with Jesus driving the demons from the Gerasene man into a herd of pigs that then run over the cliff and into a river. Did you ever wonder about the poor farmer who lost his livestock? And what about  Elijah, after acting so bravely, hiding from the wrath of Jezebel, and then standing on the mountain waiting for God to pass by? These encounters with the raw and magnificent power of God provide us with a wonderful opportunity to think both about that power, and about how we experience in our own lives. 

The power of God is found in the words of Isaiah as well, perhaps not so forcefully, but just as real, as he speaks of a God who offers hope to the people of Israel, even in the face of the suffering they have experienced during their long exile. How much do we need that hope in the face of pain and sorrow even today!

Paul's letter to the Galatians speaks to the power of God to bring unity to all of God's children through Jesus Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. But how do these words play out in our multi-cultural world, in a world that can seem increasingly fragmented into "them" and "us." 

Lots of good stuff here, preachers. Do you know where you are headed? Are you doing a special series for summer?  Following the narrative lectionary?  Where ever the Word is calling you, join the discussion,. We're here for questions, ideas, pondering, and even rants, should you need to do so. Always someone to listen amongst the RevGals!


  1. I'm doing the Luke passage, and speaking about how the demons are both inner and outer, (personal sin and systemic sin) using Walter Wink's Unmasking the Powers book. The good news is that Jesus overcomes them all!

  2. Hmmm, thinking about separation, both good and bad - driving out demons, hiding from God, the impossibility of hiding from God, the "otherness" f the demoniac and the swine...lots of stuff to play with here, but I haven't settled on anything yet.That British phrase "He needs sorting" is floating around in my brain. Difference between sorting and separating, perhaps?

  3. I am doing silence. WE don't have enough silence in our world, in our lives, in our worship (yes I am an introvert, why do you ask?). And constant noise and busy-ness comes with a price.

    My opening thoughts are here

  4. We are doing a summer series on "Favorite Things." I am still using the lectionary to preach, so this week I had titled the sermon "Favorite Things: Inheritance" I suppose I was inspired by the reference to "heirs" in the Galatians passage. Now I'm not sure. Not at all.

    Still, it seems like a "be careful what you ask for" (be careful what you say you are looking forward to receiving?) kind of passage. Who wouldn't want the man healed? Yet the healing left them afraid. Who wouldn't want the freedom and equality that Galatians proclaims? Yet, if it really happened, would it actually be more scary than anything?

    Those are my very rough thoughts on a Tuesday.

    1. I like this, too, Sharon. Since I haven't finalized - it's only Thursday - my direction, I am going to think on this one.
      On Monday, a group of us clergy were having lunch together in the Richmond airport. One of them has a picture in his office of the pigs rushing off the cliff and one of them is wearing a life jacket. I have been thinking about how we don't always want to let go of all of our sins. Maybe the demonaic only started out with a "small" sin - he tended to take more than his portion at meals - and that opened the door to all sorts of bad behaviors until he was completely taken over by his sins to the point of madness. When he is cleansed, maybe he is hoping he won't have to give up all his sins.
      Well, it may make a good story but I don't think it is all the illuminating of the text. The picture is a good joke to start things off, though. I have to do something as I've heard my deacon had them rolling in the aisles last Sunday. ;-)

    2. I am reminded of the quote from Anais Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” I'm pondering this, trying to find ways to talk about this in spiritual, rather than psychological terms.


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