This Sunday we are confirming six youth at St. Stoic. I have asked the youth to help me plan worship. So, a few weeks ago when I read to them the list of lectionary choices, the kid who is a rocker/skater punk yelled out “Revelation! Revelation! We have to pick Revelation!” I asked him what he liked so much about Revelation, and he replied “I don’t even know what Revelation is, but it is in a song lyric by a band I really like. So I’ll probably think it’s sick.” (“Sick” is a good thing.)

Okay…Revelation it is.

The line that has grabbed me so far in my thinking is this:

“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;”

I’m still working out how this translates to 14-years-olds on a spiritual journey, but that is my starting place this week. What’s yours?

32 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Easter 5

  1. I’m going off lectionary (gasp!) for May and June, creating a sermon series on Christian formation based on a list of characteristics from John Westerhoff’s work. A group from church heard him speak and asked if I would talk about the subjects in worship. Given that the church is working on Identity issues, this seemed a good idea. The first week’s theme is ritual participation, perfect for a Communion Sunday. I’m using Luke’s reading of the Last Supper as well as 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.I have never done anything like this before, and I can already see it’s much harder work than relying on lectionary resources for prayers, etc. But I expect I will get the hang of it. I’m going to give some historical perspective on the particular ritual of the Lord’s Supper, why we do it the way we do it in Congo land, and what we think is happening in the Sacrament. We’ll see how it goes!

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  2. longtime reader, first-time writer. love yall! I’m attempting to use Acts and Revelation, tying in Confirmation, a baptism, communion, and a month-long theme of Baptism for May. I’m struck by Peter’s epiphany that happened AFTER Jesus was resurrected. Peter continued to learn long after JEsus left them bodily. The Spirit continued to breathe new life and new ideas into them, continued to teach them and change them. Somehow I’ll make a connection between this and our ongoing baptismal vows…

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  3. I LOVE that Revelation passage! I might have done the opposite of Songbird and gone on lectionary this week 🙂 however I am going to be on a short silent retreat at the Center for Spirituality at St. Norbert’s Abbey. Allelujah! Or should I say HALLELUJAH and PRAISE GAWD!I can’t wait. I need this!Blessings to those who are pondering sermons, however.

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  4. I’m pondering the Acts text, going the same direction as quakerpastor, trying desperately to get this congregation to think inclusively (what? not all people in the world look/think/act like us?) but nicer, you know.

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  5. Songbird, are you using a particular Westerhoff book, or a collection of his thinking? I am getting ready to start a process with our Christian Ed people looking at formation from a really broad all-church perspective. Still looking for my structure, though…..

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  6. Cheesehead, I love it! Sounds like a great text to use for Confirmation Sunday given the lectionary choices. I plan to use the Revelation text, too, but I’m heading in a slightly different direction. We’re moving our Rogation Sunday up a week, since it’s also Soil Conservation Sunday, and I’ll be building on that passage and including the Psalm to talk about how we are partners in God’s creation and charged with the proper stewardship and care of this earth and all that’s created in it. Anyone who’s interested in taking that direction might check out the work of Barbara Rossing (author of The Rapture Exposed and professor at Lutheran Theological School Chicago), Steven Bouma-Prediger (for the beauty of the earth, pp. 110-116), and the work of Joseph Sittler and James M. Gustafson.I attended a Bible study led by Rossing at our Synod Assembly last weekend, and she had some wonderful insight into looking at Revelation and ecology in our present situation with global warming, etc. Her commentary has given me the courage (or maybe audacity and stupidity are the better descriptors) to wrestle with this text.I’m considerably intimidated at this point, as I have studiously avoided Revelation in proclamation. Anybody else looking at this direction? Any ideas? Suggestions? Peace be with you, Singing Owl, on your retreat. What a wonderful opportunity and time of year!

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  7. I am going off lectionary this go-round, which is really rare for me. It started with my decision to extend the John lection into John 14, but then the more I dwelled on it the more I realized that John 14:1-7 was really where the whole thing is going to come from. So I dropped the John 13 part entirely. John 14:1-14 is the lection for 5th Sunday of Easter next year, but it’s so dense that I’m sure that if I wanted this text next year too, I could go with it and come up with something completely different.I have some musings swirling around – actually stuff I’ve been pondering all Lent and Easter – but nothing I am quite ready to articulate yet. Songbird, your off-lectionary adventures sound interesting!!

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  8. Words of encouragement to you Songbird! I tended to be off lectionary a lot, and was much more nurtured by doing the work of bringing everything together without all the lectionary aids … relying heavily on Ruth Duck’s resources.Your conversation with youth, and decision to go with Revelations warms my heart, Cheesehead. Love the way they can speak God’s word to us!

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  9. I just got to say. I love the picture. And 6 kids. Awesome. So I hope the Rev. passage is a hit. You go girl. I think it is a good passage.I am off lectionary too. We are doing the Purpose Driven Life Sermon series in conjunction with the small group study.

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  10. Revelation here, plus John. The basic thrust of the sermon is “obeying the love commandment is how we bring the Kingdom of God to earth.” I plan to point out that love is a verb, an action word, not just a warm fuzzy feeling. :-)Singing Owl, my “Uncle Father Bob” used to live at St Norbert’s Abbey. He traveled a lot as retreat director to military personnel and Norbertines all over the world. I’m not even sure if he’s still living, as he was an adopted uncle and once Mother died we lost touch. If you should run into a Father Robert Carson please give him greetings from me. May your stay there be blessed.

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  11. OK, honesty. I lost touch with him when I was afraid to tell him I left the Catholic church and was about to begin studies to be a Protestant minister. 😦 Guess it’s time to look him up myself.

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  12. Rev. Maria–thanks for your honesty… I’m trying a bit more of that sometimes-brutal honesty over the more tidy stretching of truth.Am I the only one focusing totally on John this week? Striking bravely out on my own…Well, it’s such an obvious passage…But I had an experience recently that brought home to me the realty of Christian love. Someone who was, in essence, a stranger, realized I was hurting badly, and reached out to me with compassion and love, offering more support and encouragement that I have often received from friends of many years. He had absolutely no reason to do so…yet he did. That is the essence of Christian love, even though this young man doesn’t really think of himself as Christian.I don’t know that I’ll use that specific incident–too self-revealing–but perhaps in a generalized sense, or told as if it happened to “a friend” it would work.That’s as far as I’ve gotten this week.(and can I add that life is a bit simpler? My new contacts mean I can read the computer screen more easily and my “e” key is now working. Yay!)

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  13. Smiling at Rev. Maria. 8^D We don’t usually encounter the Norbertines much, because their half of the abbey is seperated from the retreat half. We do see them in the dining room…on the other end. However, there are times when one of them will greet the group as we begin the retreat. If I learn anything about a Fr. Robert Carson, I will certainly let you know. There are some very old men there, I can tell you that much. 😉

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  14. Welcome rev coffee!Our Year of the Bible is in Proverbs (it’s like reading 1000 fortune cookies at once) and we have a baptism this Sunday so I am thinking about going the ‘wisdom is for all ages and to be passed onto the next generation’ route. This is all that is bubbling in my mind now, it could very well change once I actually engage the text.I never thought I’d say this, but I am actually looking forward to getting back to lectionary.

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  15. will smama, when you decide which text you’re going to use, will you let me know? I might be able to get some traction for the next week on “role models.”

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  16. I’m doing Acts this week…and it’s also the day we are kicking off the Week of Prayer and Witness with Christians in the Middle East, so we have a focus on the Middle East this week. Please tell me how I can make the animals on the blanket relate to Christians in the Middle East….the theme I am currently working with is a Buffy quote: “it’s not about right, it’s not about wrong, it’s about power.” We’ll see how it goes…

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  17. I am going with JOhn. AFter all, how much more basic to Christianity can you get than “love one another”Need to be short this week as we have a power point presentation about camp as well.

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  18. For a Children’s Time on the Acts passage, how about a discussion of eating habits in different cultures, perhaps using a locally visible group as an example, then explaining that when Peter and his friends went out to tell the Gentiles about Jesus, they were worried about people eating different food until Peter had a dream telling him that how and what people eat doesn’t matter; the love of Jesus is for everyone.(Tell me again why I’m not preaching from the lectionary?)

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  19. Songbird, Ruth Duck books I used are: “Flames of the Spirit,” “Touch Holiness,” and “Bread for the Journey.” All are good. If I only had one, it would be first, two, first two.

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  20. I am supplying at my friend Janine’s place where they use the Catholic lectionary–the Revelation and John passages are the same, but the Acts is more generic as I recall (Peter’s vision was read yesterday for weekday mass).I am thinking of taking the Rev. and John passages together and looking at how we are able to love each other and ourselves(John) because we have experienced the love of God (Rev.) triumphing over evil, wiping away our tears, etc. The Rev. is especially dear to me because it was proclaimed, in a tear-choked, triumphant voice, by my best friend Amy at my daughter Rachel’s funeral.Rev. Maria, I do hope you can contact your old friend and that he gives a supportive response to your vocation; I have faced the same anxiety and know how much that means when someone is able to do that.

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  21. looks like i’m on my own in preaching on the psalm! i’m preaching the psalms in the lectionary for the next three weeks, doing a series on worship and praise. what is it anyways?!! given some grumblings lately thought it would be a good thing to think about together. thanks to all who made such good book recommendations on my blog. i read almost an entire book yesterday! (and i’m a slow reader so that’s impressive.) the psalm is pretty straightforward. two parts… one message. Praise God! 1st part- heavenly beings and bodies, 2nd part- earthly beings and bodies. The point- ALL of God’s creation is called to praise God. i’m sure other points could be derived, but that’s what i’m getting. so… building a sermon out of that???? we’ll see.

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  22. Appreciating all the great conversation about the texts for this week…I can’t help but think about Legos when I read this Rev. chapter. I have this image of God creating a new heaven and new earth one brick at a time! I’ll likely use some connection to this in the kids time or the sermon to talk about how we work with God to make this real.

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  23. I will be pulpit supply for the next eight weeks. I was going to go with Acts and John. I have not met these people yet so they are going to hear part of my testimony, that a man I work with never told me about Christ because he thought I was too worldly and wild. He came to me suprising me with an apology one day after I had a literal Emmaus experience. What integrity! What a dear man. Songbird, I will use your idea about the food, what a great idea!

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