Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
Colossians 3:16, NRSV

It’s the day after Christmas. Do you know where your children are?

Mine are sleeping late or laid about on couches. But more to the point, the gospel lesson for the First Sunday after Christmas week is about a child who was not where he was “supposed” to be, although one might also make the case that his parents weren’t exactly keeping a sharp eye out for him on the journey home from Jerusalem.

The accompanying Hebrew Bible text from 1 Samuel shows us another young person whose call to God’s service is apparent at an early age, but in this case one whose mother and father willingly sent him to the Temple.

I love to preach on so-called “low” Sundays, when the faithful remnant turn up to hear the Word of God while others are taking a day off. Sometimes I want to ask them why they are there, and this may be a good text with which to pose the question, affirming their faithfulness. I would love to hear their stories, too, and will certainly share part of mine, about how church was, to me, a home away from home throughout my childhood.

I’ll be preaching this week far away from my family and my church home, at The Church of the Sainted Casserole. I’m hoping to engage that congregation in some dialogue about what brings us to church and what makes it feel like the place we belong.

What are your preaching plans this week?

14 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings

  1. Well Songbird, at least you know where your kids are. I know where mine are. And I know where they better be. But I am not chosing to preach on that passage, although it would be just as appropriate. I am preaching on the Col.passage.I had some kind of thoughts of using it for assessing and putting to rest this last year, and the choices we make in the new year. But I am not sure now that that is where I am headed.Hava a good time with St. Casserole, and preaching at her church. Be well and do well.


  2. Those words from Colossians are EXCELLENT for the idea you describe, Abi. I wonder about reading the epistle in conjunction with a prayer time and encouraging people to focus on one of the qualities listed (compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience) as a focus for the New Year.


  3. I have a baptism this Sunday and since Jan. is the feast day Holy Name (the naming of Jesus in the temple with Simeon and Anna) I am going to transfer that day and the text to Sunday. I think I am going to speak about “naming” – how our parents chose our names and how our names give us an identity, then speak about the naming of Jesus and his identity and wrap it up speaking about the naming of this baby. We have been praying for him, by first name only, for the last month in church, this is because in baptism his last name will be Christian, the same as all of us. We are united in baptism as the family, the body of Christ. I will probably say something about the gifts given to us in baptism which mark us and if developed can become our strengths in ministry, whether we serve as lay or ordained….well those are my thoughts thus far – we’ll see what the Spirit draws out of me when I actually write the sermon…Abi, I like where you are going with your ideas on Col. and the suggestions Songbird offered. The New Year offers us an opportunity for a fresh start; how might we live our lives differently?


  4. Songbird, I actually did ask a congregation why they were there one Sunday after Christmas – it was my very first sermon as a student minister and I expected to be preaching to an empty church. Instead, everyone showed up! Agghh! Of course, that was in Indianapolis where the “official” Low Sunday is the day of the Indy 500. :-)As this week is a Fifth Sunday I will not be preaching but rather lifting up a member of the congregation for celebration (and installing the new deacons, elders and officers for 2007).


  5. Yes, I do know where my kid is….700 miles away from us-in Ohio-with his grandparents. We are missing him greatly, which is somewhat of a surprise. I was so looking foward to a break from adolescent behavior. It should be NO surprise to hear that I am leaning toward Luke, with my added perspective as the parent of a teenage boy. It should be interesting to see where God leads me with this one. I was SO GLIB as a youth pastor…


  6. I’m using the text from the first Sunday of Advent–the New Year of the Christian year, and the Colossians text to look at the idea of beginning again, a new beginning in a new year. My plan so far is to have a roll of paper or fabric with 2006 written on it down the aisle, and roll it up as I process in, symbolizing rolling up the old year–it will be put under the altar. Then in the sermon time, I’ll talk about time passing and our deeds remaining as monuments of what we have done, and then looking at what we are to clothe ourselves with–humility, patience, etc. and put the focus on new beginnings–putting the old behind us and beginning afresh. Everyone will have received cards or slips of paper. I will invite them to write done what it is they want to leave behind in 2006–what they want to be rid of, whether it is an attitude, an illness, a situation, a relationship–whatever–and then during the offering, bring the papers up and put them in a bowl. We’ll offer that up as part of our offering, and at the end of the service, we will put those papers into a coffee can, march outside to the parking lot (fire laws being what they are) and burn them.Clear away the old, start fresh with the new. I will probably add Songbird’s idea about focusing on one of the qualities from Col. in the new year.


  7. I am going with the Luke text as well…focusing on the parents and other grown-ups and their lack of understanding. I plan (at the moment, anyway) to talk about how we can’t understand but we can be in relationship, and that’s the far more important thing (Mary treasures these things in her heart). The same goes for teenagers we meet here, for people who think or worship differently than we do (we’re in the midst of a little battle about this), etc etc etc…but especially for Jesus/God. The sermon title is “Need to Know”–allowing for both the “we feel like we need to know and understand everything” tack AND the “need to know basis” one. I like the Colossians/prayers of the people idea and may just steal it for myself. :-)any thoughts on what to sing this week? Are you still singing Christmas carols, or moving on? I don’t know exactly how to handle that here. We did not sing ONE Christmas carol before Christmas eve (not even for Advent 4), and there was not one complaint or request. I don’t know if they’re over it now already or if I need to toss one or two in. Suggestions?


  8. Dear all- I am preaching the Luke (as mother of 2 young men, I KNOW about snotty answers…) but will use the Colossians as the charge before the benediction..but I am filling out CPE applications today, so the sermon outline will have to wait….and my 2 children are parked on their butss, each w/ a computer on their laps….ps as a patoral intern, this was the first Xmas Ive served at 2 services, and then went w/seminary student hubby to a 3rd (loooonnnnggggg one) and then went to help at breakfast for homeless men’s shelter…..really tred now…must go nap…..


  9. Teri, like yours we did not sing any Christmas hymns before Christmas Eve. Being a liturgical church and deeply into the “seasons” we consider it Christmas until Jan. 6, Epiphany, so we will sing lots (ok, two or three) of Christmas hymns this Sunday,(although we also have a baptism, so that needs to fit in). But then after this week we move on.RB – I really like the idea of the roll of paper with 2006 on it. My parish is in some serious transtion time and this idea just might be good for us…of course I’ll have to see if it works for a sermon illustration in the early weeks of Jan. cuz I’m preaching on baptism this week.


  10. Teri, thanks for your intial thoughts…I will probably midnight requisition them to incorporate into my message ;). We are singing Christmas carols through our celebration of Epiphany which will be January 7th.


  11. Hi, what wonderful ideas of what to do with Col. I was thinking I wanted worship to be different and you have helped me get there.quakerpastor, I was glib too as a youth pastor.mompriest, I like what you are doing with your baptism, and naming.Thank you all.Christmas carols being sung here as well.


  12. I am going with the New Year’s readings from the Lectionary.I was just re-reading the early thoughts I posted last wek on the church blog and find myself wondering what sermon is going to come out of them???


  13. Ooh! I’m not preaching this Sunday, but this is one of my favorite passages to preach on for parent’s weekend or leave-taking weekend. I even did it for baccalaureate once. It’s one of the only passages that is really about young adults, and about being where you’re supposed to be.


We hope you'll join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.