Preaching to the Choir

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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Prayer for the First Sunday in Lent

As we take this journey
That draws us ever closer to you
Walk with us
Sustain us,
Nurture us.

God, as we go through
The wilderness of lent and of our lives,
Send your manna to us,
give us wisdom to turn from temptation
And your grace to turn to.

God, as we walk through the pot holes of life,
The valleys, the pits of life,
Guide us with your hand
Keep our feet steady,
And our vision on you.

God, whether we choose to give up something for lent
Or do something positive,
Let us not do it out of obligation
Or the tyranny of oughtness,
But out of love for you.

Keep us in your paths of love, mercy and grace.
Lord help us to remember we are not alone
but that we are walking with our fellow/sister travelers .


Monday, February 02, 2009

Lectionary Discussion of Epiphany 5b

Here are the scriptures, some key verses to them and then thoughts.

Isaiah 40:21-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. 30 Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31 but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
When I was in college and seminary, these verses sustained me through those long weary days and nights of studying. I suppose they have been sustaining verses for others as well. How might your people need to be sustained these days? The immeasurable greatness and power of God

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 6 The LORD lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground. but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. Compassion for the neediest. What kind of compassion, do your people need? What is their need? What steadfast love do they need?

1 Corinthians 9:16-23 If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law) so that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings. The expanding reach of the gospel. This too shows the inclusiveness of the Gospel and the early church.
This passage is fitting for these days because we are having to proclaim the gospel in a multicultural, muti-religious, mult-iphilosophies world. How do we do that? How doe we become all things to all people that I might by all means save some? How? The expanding reach of the gospel.

Mark 1:29-39 He came and took her by the hand
and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do."

There are three focuses I just chose to point out in the verses. In our church it is UMW Sunday and I am going to focus on Jesus healing her and that she began to serve. That Jesus after prayer was clear about going to neighboring towns to proclaim the message and that is what they did. Jesus the miracle-worker; power without limits . This shows the inclusiveness of the Gospel and Jesus’ ministry. Here Jesus again reaches across the barriers of his day to heal someone, to preach the good news.

So what are you preaching on this Sunday? How are you preaching these passages or any of the passages you are preaching on.