Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Lectionary Discussion for Sunday, Sept. 7th

I am sorry about not getting last week's lectionary done and blogged. I was at a conference where I thought I would have internet access, but didn't. Then when I got back I did not have a minute to spare. Remind me to next time ask one of you all to do it.
I also want to remind us to lift up in prayers those who have already been through the hurricanes. Then pray for those in the path of Hurricane Gustav.
I hope you have a good Monday off and be safe.

So here we go with the upcoming lectionary.
September 7, 2008
Ordinary Time/Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Exodus 12:1-14 The Passover. I wonder if we have become so accustomed to reading this from our Christian Tradition looking back with Christian eyes, what would it be like to put ourselves in this story when it happened? How will you address the deaths of the first borns?
The following comes from Worship Planning Helps of the GBOD :
"Whatever the origins of the rituals described here and elaborated over time in biblical and extra-biblical texts, our text for this week points in the direction of several emphases around this ritual and its meaning in the life of God's covenant people. The ritual described here unites families and neighbors, establishes a common meal, seeks and trusts in God's protection, and, above all, foreshadows God's intention to deliver and preserve God's people from oppression and the powers of death.

Which of these emphases do folks where you are need to focus on or to hear more about today? How are you or people among you or around you engaging in concrete practices to unite family groups and neighbors? Where are you facilitating in the sharing of common meals with neighbors? How are these meals functioning as signs of trust in God's protection and proclaiming God's intention to deliver from whatever forces of oppression and death you may be facing together?" Now these will preach!

Psalm 149:1 or Psalm 148 (UMH 861) Sing praises to the Lord I don't know about you, but singing praises to the Lord while preparing for war just makes me uncomfortable. At the same time this passage addresses justice issues.

Romans 13:8-14 How to live in the Love of Jesus Romans 13 continues the "house rules for Christian living" begun in Romans 12. The Romans and Matthew passage fit each other well. Verse 8 reads "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." Has debt taking over your members lives; the debt of the country, the church's debt, and their personal debt? Is it coloring how they look at everything else, the way they think and live their lives? How will you address this so they can "love one another?"

Matthew 18:15-20 Dealing with conflict in the church And yet both of these passages may make it look like you are getting on to your members, and judging them. And maybe they need to hear some of this, but how will proclaim this to them? This passage deals with reconciliation. Perhaps in the larger context of a world in conflict the church has something to offer in the terms of reconciliation. What does it mean to bind and loose?
And again from worship planning by the GBOD:
"Where are the living examples of people and processes that follow what Jesus taught and trust in God's support for working through conflict where you are? Do you have mediators in your congregation? Persons involved with VORP (Victim Offender Reconciliation Process)? Diplomats? Arbitrators? Contract negotiators? Labor representatives involved in resolving disputes? How might you invite their input and participation in your worship planning team as you design worship for today?

To what degree do you have teaching and processes in place in your congregation to live out Jesus' teaching in this week's text? Who is teaching these principles? Who is reminding folks how to live them and of ways the congregation is ready to help that happen?

How does the celebration of Holy Communion where you are take seriously acts of reconciliation? How does the Peace work where you are? Is it just a greeting time? Or is it, as our ritual intends, an opportunity to seek peace or, at a minimum, declare an intention to seek peace with those with whom one may be in conflict?"

I also wonder if we can draw attention to the sacraments, the things we do in worship live out these scriptures?

Just my thoughts for this Sunday, what are yours? The questions are to help stimulate conversation and thinking. Perhaps you are focusing on something else or going a different way, let us know.



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