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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings ~~ Getting ready edition

  • God of justice,
    your word is light and truth.
    Let your face shine on us to restore us,
    that we may walk in your way,
    seeking justice and doing good. Amen.    Prayer from here...  
  • I'm on vacation this Sunday and the next, and I am keenly aware of how quickly our summer is passing! Here we are, the second Sunday in August, and many are deep into preparations for the resumption of full schedules after a summer slowdown and the onslaught of fall programs. And being ready is one of the themes for this  12th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 14C. If you are following the RCL, the readings may be found here; if you are following the Narrative Lectionary, check here; if you are off lectionary, you tell us!
  • The RCL readings this week are full of advice -- direct and indirect -- for people of faith trying to live what they believe. The Hebrew scripture comes from the opening passages of the Prophet Isaiah where we hear Isaiah's opening barrage of warnings to the people: all the sacrifice and incense and worship in the world is pointless if you are not "willing and obedient." That message can hit home in today's church as we figure out how that church can exist - and flourish - in the 21st century. The alternative OT reading comes from Genesis and calls us to faith as we hear the story of the childless Abram and God's promise that his descendants will be as numerous at the stars in the heavens.
  • Faith faith continues as the theme in the NT reading from the letter to the Hebrews. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Paul writes, and then goes on to recall how God fulfilled his promise to the faithful Abram, and what that meant for those descendants going forward.
  • Perhaps the most pointed advice comes in our gospel reading from Luke. We are deep into Jesus' travel narrative as he heads towards Jerusalem, teaching the twelve and those who follow along as make their way from town to town. We hear Jesus proffering a number of tidbits of advice, but the overall theme is to be ready--be reading for the coming of the Son of Man. And the underlying subtext might be heard as one of economic justice and stewardship.

    So where are you headed, preachers, in these dog days of summer? Here, there, wherever, join the conversation with questions, insights, whines. whatever you've got. 


  1. Originally I was not supposed to be preaching this week (officially I am vacation until August 15) but due to some scheduling issues and an inability to find supply I am preaching this week and not on August 25.

    Since I had preliminary plans made for August 25 already when that change was made I did the logical thing--I am going this week where I was going to go on August 25, using a passage from Hebrews about the faith of those who have gone before and running the race with perseverance and the great cloud (crowd?) of witnesses. The sermon title is Faith the Endures and my early thoughts are here

  2. Right now I'm going to have to rewrite mine - the only thing I like about it is the title. I think I am going to have to write the children's talk first, so that I have a peg to hang the main sermon on. Sigh....

  3. I have a semi-sustainable sermon about living in/through/by faith. Last time as I was preparing to preach this text, I got home from a couple of days away to find my fridge freezer door had been wide open... and I ended up losing a whole bunch of food. One wise woman said to me though: "Ok, so you've just found that all your well-kept and preserved items have fallen out of their safe-keeping places... what would happen if everything the church had tried to keep frozen suddenly got brought out into the open?" It was a useful question for my pastoral charge then, and it is now too (different pastoral charge). As we sort through the things that we have kept/sought to preserve, what do we find that is still useful,what do we need to give up, and where is God in this?

    The sermon still needs some work though, it is rough in places, irrelevant in others, and a little on the short side for this particular pastoral charge, but I think I've got a good starting place.

  4. Bishop Mary Glasspool wrote an interesting reflection for this week about evidence vs proof, and that has some potential. I keep thinking about how Paul really makes Abraham sound crazy in a certain way, and if we are willing to be like that too.

    1. Betsy can you please give us a link for Bishop Mary Glasspool reflection.


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