Hello, all preachers and students of the Word. This week in the Lectionary we are given what might seem like a cake walk, I mean, who doesn’t love the 23rd Psalm? And it does tie rather nicely with theGospel lesson.

For my very early leanings, it is all about voices this week. I had a phone call last week from a friend who has never called me at church, only at home. He admitted that he wasn’t sure how to refer to me when he asked the Office Admin to put the call through. He ended up saying “Pastor Cheesehead’s-First-Name”, which we both laughed are words that never crossed his lips before. It took me about five seconds to place his voice, because I had never heard it over that particular phone, sitting in my study, which is odd, because I know that voice rather well. I’ve heard it hundreds of times over many years.

I don’t know much about sheep, but I know about hearing voices. There are the voices of the people I know and love, the voices of our culture that speak sometimes in cacophonous whispers, that “still, small voice” that we hear when we think no one else knows what we are thinking. And then there is the Voice that knows us so well it speaks without words.

That voice is still speaking…are we willing to hear it?

16 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings

  1. This text reminds me of a related text. “My sheep hear my voice” — whenever I’m feeling unwanted/beaten up by various segments of Christendom, I hang onto that statement with everything I’ve got.

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  2. LC, that’s one of the other texts for this week!I preached the heck out of those sheep last year, so I think I’m going with the Acts passage (but I’ll write more when I remember my brilliant idea from this morning!).

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  3. I have preached about the sheep, the sheephearder, the sheep’s voice, the “I ams”; but I am going to do the two together. Haven’t done that before, so we will see how that goes. I thought it would be a nice passage to use for one of my few “leaving sermons,”; like, Jesus is the Shepherd, the Lord is my Shepherd, not the pastor, and that they can trust the real Shepherd above all, and that is who we are to listen to and follow.But I do like what will smama said for bequest Sunday, “just give me your money and I’ll quit talking.”It might just work…

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  4. Actually I am rather ambivalent about Psalm 23, especially the first part. THe only part I actually find useful is walking through the valley of shadow.Anyway, I am preaching about funerals, more precisely about telling someone besides the minister what hymns and scriptures you want at your funeral (as well as issues like living wills, organ donation…) Should be really cheery πŸ™‚

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  5. Gord, that’s a good thing you’re doing. My mother didn’t spell things out line item by line item, but she did have that conversation with me numerous times over the years, so that when she died I was pretty sure of what she wanted, and acted accordingly. When my father died, by contrast — also an unexpected death — we had no direction…just muddled through and did our best.

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  6. This is Mental Health Awareness Month (here? everywhere?) so I will be touching on that. I’m actually preaching on I John “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” The title so far is “Talk is Cheap, But It’s a Start.” The idea being that as “sheep of God’s pasture” that we could do a better job supporting one another, or some such.

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  7. I’m going to tie in the building block that was rejected (Acts) with the UCC’s ejector seat ad. I’m hoping to show the ad in church, since I don’t think many people have seen it. The ad says people will be welcomed in the UCC. What do we need to do or to be aware of in our own behaviors and habits to really give that welcome? (We’re actually not bad at it, but it can’t hurt to reinforce.)

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  8. Cheesehead I love what you write :)are we willing to hear it? It’s a good question. I think if I were preaching – which I’m not – I’d look at what prevents us from hearing.for me it’s often being too busy, or then not hungry enough. I’ve been puzzling that second one – because I am hungry – but I think that like in the natural hunger if we stuff outselves with junk we no longer crave GOOD food. It’s the same with God. The more I stuff myself with other stuff, the less I want Him – I mean really Him. and then my hearing gets dull. or something. this is a muddle of thoughts. Just as well I’m not preaching. what I think I’m trying to say is it’s not enough to rest on our backsides and say I’m a sheep. I hear his voice. I need to tune in and listen actively.yeah … so HOW to listen. (and then how to obey – but that’s another Sunday :)be blessed

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  9. Lorna, you point up the problem with the sheep metaphor. One of my preachers’ group colleagues who grew up on a farm pointed out that sheep really *don’t* recognize voices and differentiate. It’s not a metaphor we necessarily want to take to its conclusion!!

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  10. Sally, how right you are!I am disappointed to read in the curriculum we use a sheet about how the sheep knew the voice of the shepherd. It makes me wonder about the other exegetical material I’ve used (although it is never my only source for study).

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  11. i’m preaching on immigration. maybe i’ll get fired; i’ve been banned already, so i’m getting used to the whole thing. πŸ™‚ just kidding (about getting fired, not about preaching on immigration). so much GOOD has come from the whole banning thing (your prayers being at the top of the list). the emergent community, locally and nationally, responded in great love. also, it freed me to participate in the Global Night Commute, which I just blogged about. come by and read. much love to all of you.

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