Preaching to the Choir

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lectionary Discussion for Dec 28, 08 Christmas B1

Christmas B1December 28, 2008First Sunday after Christmas Day one of the “low” Sundays of the Christian year. But it is also the First Sunday in the Christmas season. This puts us in a different place than those around us, what does it mean to live in the incarnation, the Christmas season? What is it that our members need to hear to be able to live as Christmas Christians? And what is it that we have to say to the those who don't know what this means? What is it that they need from our preaching?Isaiah 61:10-62:3 The prophet speaks not only of the restoration of Jerusalem , but of its "vindication" that "shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch." Isaiah presents a holistic vision of salvation or shalom.
Safiyah Fosua at Preaching Helps, www.umcworship.org, offers this: "The worst was over and better days were ahead. The words of this hymn in Isaiah are a reminder to the forlorn and bedraggled that even the worst trials eventually end. On this Sunday after Christmas, invite both those who have narrowly escaped ruin AND those who are in the midst of troubling times to reaffirm that God keeps promises and does not abandon us." Psalm 148 (UMH 861) All the orders of creation join in praise to GodGalatians 4:4-7 God's adoption of non-Jewish believers as children makes us God's children and — indeed — heirs to the promises of God's covenant. Consequently, as adopted sons and daughters, we do what children do (call their father Abba—"Daddy" for instance or “Amma! Mother!” ) and receive what children receive: blessing and inheritance.Luke 2:22-40 Luke describes the song (Simeon) and the prophecy (Anna) that accompany the presentation of Jesus at the temple at the time of his family's offering of the sacrifice for the firstborn.
Anne Osdieck of the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University asks the following question: “–and you yourself a sword will pierce – so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” What does Simeon’s statement to Mary mean to you?
This is a message to our older people who have been faithful that they are still useful in God's Kingdom, and that when they see God that they too can have a vision and be prophetic like Simeon and Anna. (Whoa, does that mean us?)
This is a message to our families about how important all we do and what we make important in our lives effects our children's. I met a family Sunday morning that I thought were visitors, turned out they had been members for 16 years. Why were they there, well Travel Soccer wasn't traveling and playing during the holidays. Travel Soccer had become their priority and well their temple. I can understand in this day and age when people are trying to get scholarships for their kids and competition is great that parents feel like they have to do all they can to get those few scholarships. However, I wonder what we are teaching our children about the priority of Jesus in our lives. So when we look at this very poor couple who take their kid to the temple to do the customary ritual, we see where their priority lies. And for that they receive blessings beyond compare.

Let us know what it is you are preaching on and focusing on? Thoughts and ideas?
Or maybe you aren't preaching at all or taking time off, let us know. Or maybe you are the lowly Associate Pastor preaching this Sunday after the big crowds for Christmas Eve, let us know.
And Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I am taking some time off from Christmas day to the New Years.

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