Last week I did something that I’ve never done before. I preached the first part of a two-parter. Now that means, of course, that I have to go on and write the second part. This is how I left it:

“We need each other. God designed us to work together. We have been given our marching orders. When the disciples figured this out, Eugene Peterson in The Message says this: Then they were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life can be radically different; right and left they sent demons packing, they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.

Oh—and one other thing: if you want to hear what happens—what really happens to us when we sign up for discipleship—be sure to come back next week and hear the second part of the story. Thanks be to God.”

So, dear readers, I will be continuing with Mark. More specifically I will be telling this story. Discipleship is dangerous. Sometimes a person can lose her head.

This is what I am exploring this week. What about you?

23 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings

  1. I am beginning a series on Ephesians based on the lectionary. I am hoping to preach from outlines through the summer rather than manuscripts and thought that by sticking with one ‘small’ letter I would have a better chance of retaining the general information about the letter in my head rather than cramming on Friday and Saturday and abusing my short-term memory.

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  2. Okay I am going to be honest, I do not want to get my head cut off with John. I was just not ready to preach that one yet, maybe next time around. I felt it would be better to do a series on Ephesians like Will Smama. Hey I have preached from outlines and from no notes. My memory is too bad to do that right now, too many distractions and needs. So Will here’s to Ephesians and the beginnings a great thing. What are you naming your series? I have been playing around with several names and themes, but nothing has really hit me yet. Been reading various preacher’s sermon seires on Ephesians to see where they were headed.

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  3. I have some other clergy pals who are preaching series about Ephesians the coming weeks, too. I must be the odd preacher out on this one! I’d love to hear your ideas as the weeks unfold.But I ain’t doing that “no manuscript” thing. Nope. No way, no how.

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  4. *gasp* I’ve left the lectionary for a while. I’m doing a four-week series on David; last week it became a narrative with Scripture woven in, and people enjoyed it so much that I’m going to keep it going as one story with four installments. Oh, and like cheesehead, I’m sticking with the manuscript.

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  5. Well, for the first time in over four years, I’m preaching this Sunday…and only this Sunday. I checked out my Lectionary choices, and decided that Nekkid Dave and Headless John weren’t the best choices for a “fill-in” preacher. And as the music minister, I’d rather not get too type-cast by preaching the Psalm. So…to Ephesus I go!Actually, on my mini-vacation Sat-Mon, I got an outline of sorts going. I think I’m going to hone in on the adoption theme. People have various reasons why they adopt children; God’s reason for adopting us seems to be to bless us. In accordance with the recurrent “blessed to be a blessing” theme of the whole of Scripture, I’ve come to realize that God adopts us so that as chosen children of the Most High, we have “full credentials,” as it were, to bless this world in the name of God.Not sure how I’ll unpack all that yet, but after the weekend’s work, that’s what I woke up with this morning. Anyone want to give me a reality check?And while I’ll go ahead and write a manuscript later in the week (once all the percolation is done), I’ll preach without it. That worked well for four solid years and now I’d be scared to think about reading from the manuscript. Never was any good at keeping my place doing that.

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  6. I am wondernig about understandings of adoption in the Roman context. I know I have read something about how common it was, especially in the upper-classes, but can’t remember exactly how it was used. I think it was different than our current understanding of adopting those children whose parents can’t (for whatver reason) raise them. My commentary on Ephesians says nothing aobut what adoption would have meant to the hearers of teh letter. ANyone know?

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  7. I’m using my reflection on the Ephesians passage written for Ordinary Time as a basis for this week’s sermon. I’m beginning with the idea that we are all destined for inclusion by God, then bringing in the idea that we need to let God figure out who is included and not try to judge it ourselves or exclude people, no matter how uncomfortable it might make us, because we are all destined for God’s love. (And it’s written, friends, it’s written. Thanks be to God. Maybe the trick is to write my lectionary reflections six months ahead of time?)

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  8. Thanks, Songbird, and Gord for asking the question. I thought I had remembered learning that adoption was a very formal yet common phenomenon in Roman society. These links also reminded me that adoption was for males only, so that Paul’s use of the term for the whole Ephesian community was remarkable. I found it interesting that the adopted son was frequently the eldest, and often of a foster/hostage relationship that cemented shaky allegiances. In cross-class adoptions, the adopted son became one of the adopted father’s class. All these details I think can inform us on how adoption might have been viewed in Ephesus. It’s definitely interesting–at least to me!

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  9. Absolutely agree with Songbird re the joy of having reflections from the book as a starting place,- I’m still purring after Corpus Christi!…but this week I’m preaching at Evensong AGAIN and I’ve not even dared to look at the passages yet. The 2nd Service lectionary is almost always impossibly difficult…ooh goodie, just looked and its Job or Ecclesiasticus plus the final chunk of Romans 15. Yippee doo! I really think I would prefer John the Baptist’s head 😉

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  10. So I’m in my fourth year of ministry (how DID that happen?!?!), which means I’ve been around the lectionary once now and the texts are starting to repeat. In June my monthly preaching gig did not fall on the same day in the lectionary that it did three years ago, but in July it does–this Sunday, with the beheading of John the Baptist.Three years ago I did some work on Amos and the plumb line, then abandoned it and adapted a sermon I’d written in seminary. I would really like to do that again, but guess what? I’m out of seminary sermons!!!! 😦

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  11. reverend mother blogger is not letting me log on to my own blog. I am going to add the adoption of my children, and what that means, and some of the other stories of adoption I have heard. Intertwining it with the historical side of the house.

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  12. Hi,I’ve been reading ya’ll (yep Texan) for a few weeks now. Below is a small bit of my own adoption theology from a Walk to Emmaus talk I’ll be giving in a couple of weeks. Maybe it will be helpful.I learned much about God’s accepting and unconditional love at the time of my son’s adoption. We held a placement ceremony in the hospital chapel. There were prayers and even a song. Then came the moment when his birthmother placed him in my arms. At that point I loved him – he was my child. It didn’t matter from whence he had come. He was my child. Through baptism, you have been placed in the loving arms of God. It doesn’t matter who or where or what you have been before. It only matters that you are a child of God.

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  13. two part sermons are good cheesehead. I so prefer them (preaching and also sitting in the pews!)being into God’s family is wonderful and I love the stories you are sharing.I won’t be in our church this weekend but at a Christian conference – new-wine – which here isn’t Anglican but sponsered by the free church – so no lectionary. I think we will ahve the Eucharist at one service atleast. I hope so.Back Sunday night.

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  14. I had planned to preach on Amos this week–I, too, preached on this Sunday three years ago, and went with Amos then as well (I’d just finished my Prophets class, so it was perfect).Now I am pondering some thoughts about J the B after having a conversation with a good friend and colleague. Specifically some really good stuff about US being the people at the banquet table with Herod and standing up to pointless violence instead of remaining silent and sanctioning it.So, who knows where I will end up going! I don’t have to choose yet, right?

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  15. My fellow lay ministry student, who’s guest preaching this Sunday, is most unhappy with the lectionary choices this week!I’m not too crazy about J the B losing his head either. Apart from the fact that I don’t much care for John (there…I said it and I’m glad)…I detect some underlying misogyny in the text that make it hard for me to warm to it. Now, I was once told that, the more umcomfortable the text of the week makes you, the more interesting it is to engage it, wrestle it and wrest a message from it. But this week all I have to compose is the Prayers of the Church.;-)

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  16. Wow, Liz…that’s beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this experience with us. I happen to believe that what you described is much closer to how God adopts us, than the Roman system of adoption. Good stuff!

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  17. The adoption conversation is very helpful. Thank you.To answer a question from days ago I am not going to name the sermon series. In fact, I might not even tell them I am working through Ephesians.

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