Read this coming Sunday’s lessons.

What does the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, look like? This coming Sunday’s Old Testament reading gives us the portrait, not of a military conqueror, master statesman or cosmic superhero, but rather of a servant — a servant dedicated to drawing all of God’s wayward children back into the divine embrace…even when it’s difficult; even when it’s not popular; even when it’s not always obvious that God’s Reign has broken through into our world.

Witnesses to God’s inbreaking give us the eyes to see it. Our Sunday Psalm reading is the psalmist’s grateful testament to God’s saving power. Our Gospel lesson relates John the Baptizer’s witness that Jesus is the expected Messiah, and the chain of events that lead future Apostles to “come and see” for themselves. And Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth gives us a snapshot of Christ’s followers in community — not a perfect community by any means, but one where, as Paul points out in his salutation, “God things” are happening.

Lots of meaty sermon-worthy material here. If we were to “come and see” you at the pulpit this coming Sunday, what would we find?

33 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: "Come and See" Edition

  1. Living at the coast, the call to the coastlands to hear what God will do is powerful, but so is the call to “come and see” Jesus…I am preaching this Sunday in a neighboring town, so I’ll have to decide what to do. I’ll confess that I’m tempted to pull an “oldie but goodie” from my files for this church that’s not used to the lectionary anyway. We shall see…

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  2. Having just been appointed to our congregation’s Evangelism Committee, the “Come and see” of the Gospel lesson resonates with me. We’re fortunate in that our members are comfortable both in practical outreach to the community and in inviting friends and family to our church…but once people arrive, what do they see? What do we look like to them? Are there things we do, or don’t do, that obscure their vision of God working through our faith community? I’m looking forward to, along with our other committee members, engaging this challenge.

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  3. Lots of good call/disciple material here. Maybe “what does our call look like?” or “what does it mean to be ‘called?'” Not quite sure of the direction, but that word is really stuck in my head. (At least today it is.)

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  4. I am going with the Isaiah again this week, just not sure where yet (I’ll come back with more on that). BUt this article is well worth a read, whether it ties to your sermon thoughts or not (for me it’s a not)–Gord

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  5. Last week I did “Who is Jesus” (the Son of God). This week I will do “What does Jesus do” (using the Isaiah passage mostly). Next week is “We’re called to participate”.I might cut the John piece short when I include it in the reading because I really want to do the calling of the disciples next week from Matthew. I know they are very different, but I’m really going to work with the work of Jesus (both the taking away the sins of the WORLD part, and the Isaiah servant part).I think I’ll mostly work with Isaiah, but a connection I see between the two right now that I wasn’t so tuned into before is the “of the world” part. The universality of it all. The tugging of the Spirit for this one might be about how it isn’t all “me and Jesus”, but there’s a collective nature to this faith. Also, the global nature of it all; we’re all in it together, and we’re all called together.That was very preliminary and a very rough sketch, but I think it’s my starting point. A lot gets fleshed out as I write my bulletin which is my task for today.

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  6. We’re celebrating our anniversary this week (20th), so I’m going to focus on Andrew, going and telling others and bringing them back. It’s how we grew and flourished, and now we need to focus on that again. We’ve been inward-focused the last year or so with a couple of crises, but it’s time to move on, and more importantly, out–into the community.On an unrelated note, got a call from the program chair of a community organisation. He’d seen the article about out grant last summer and thought I would be an interesting speaker. Now there’s acceptance–an invitation to speak at the local business organisation’s weekly luncheon!

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  7. I too am going with Isaiah again. I going with OT readings until lent starts…I was caught by the statement by Rev. Dr. David Mosser: “God calls Israel not only to explicitly forgive those who captured and destroyed their nation, but also to bear the message of salvation to the enemy.” Especially in light of current global events…

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  8. I was fascinated with the meeting of Jesus and Peter until I got into a discussion of Isaiah this morning with my lectionary group. Some of those thoughts can be found here.Still, Peter pulls on me. Is it possible to preach about him without being limited by all the other things we “know” about him?

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  9. I really like the “come and see” phrase which repeats throughout John, and would like to use that in some way. Otherwise, I’m not too fleshed out yet. Thanks for the reminder about MLK…also thinking about using a story about a woman who got involved in her community and found a new reason for living…”come and see” does indeed turn out to be “come and participate” in the end…this will really help me get ahead on my sermon prep! thanks!

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  10. Wow, there is so much richness here. Thanks LC for hosting us.I have always had a personal preference for the Johannine model of evangelism –“Come and see” is an oft occurimg phrase– as opposed to the Matthean model [Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit –regardless of whether they want to be or not.]I think the Johannine model is the hospitality model; I think the Matthean model smacks of empire and coercion, and lends itself to self-righteousness and I am very uncomfortable with it.I had seen the article Gord links us to. As a homosexual person trying to witness to the good news and grace of Christ to others within the queer community, that article certainly resonates with my experience.I am also taken with the article of the week on textweek, that speaks of Jesus exercising a hospitality beyond indiscriminate. The word the author employs is “promiscuous.” Jesus as a practitioner of promiscuous hospitality is an intriguing image, but that may be pushing the envelope too much even in my community.Then there’s all of the MLK stuff. Whew! What to do, what to do …

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  11. am i the only one preaching 1 Corinthians? perhaps it is an odd choice, but the week before the annual meeting i think it is a good time to think about who we are as the church- and to have our vision expanded beyond our individual or even congregational Christian experiences. further, the confirmands just focused on “what is church” so… good timing for them. been studying for several hours, not exactly sure where i’m going yet.

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  12. I’m going with Isaiah this week. The part where God says: It is too little of thing for you just to save Judah–you are going to bring salvation to the ends of the world has really caught my imagination. This idea that is so prevalent in Evangelicalism that Jesus is just for some people, I hate, and I’m going to challenge. It is too little of a thing for Jesus just to save people who think just like I do–he brings salvation to the ends of the world.

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  13. Shawna Renee – – thanks for your nice concise statement about the “too little” part. That’s the part that was tugging at me, but I needed a little help with it. Peace!

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  14. eh, Gord, I came over to link to that very article. It must really resonate. I’m not preaching those stats, but may include them in the newsletter article that is also due this week.Anyone else thinking about what it means to have your name changed by an encounter with Christ? I’m thinking about how much of one’s identity is wrapped up in a name and what it means to take on a new name/identity.That’s as far as I’ve got, but when I brought it up with my lectionary study group, it started a lively-ish conversation about what our names mean to us, so I think there’s some energy there.Check out Dylan, too, if you havent been over there. She’s smart and amazing as usual

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  15. Songbird, I like the thoughts. My real takeaway from Isaiah is the overall gist: 1) He called me before I was born 2) he got me all ready and hid me away, didn’t use me3) I got frustrated from lots of work for nothing4) but I trusted God5) He said the job was too small and made it bigger beyond my imagination

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  16. My minsterial association is observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by holding a pulpit exchange this Sunday, so I’ve been drawn to the Isaiah text. The servant is told to expand his message beyond the nation of Israel to the entire world, and I figured that there was a natural tie-in to thinking beyond our own churches and denominations to the entire Christian community. I’m sure MLK will make an appearance, too.

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  17. The “naming” theme has been pulling at me this week, too. We have all these identities (daughter, sister, wife, mom, pastor) and the freight that comes with them. The article on the negative, (perhaps misunderstood at times?) identity “Christian” pointed me to think about how we identify Christ. Do we limit the ways Christ can be revealed through the names we use?Still noodling on this one….btw, as a newbie blogger, I just wanted to say thanks for all the great ideas each week!Peace

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  18. I too am going with a discipleship theme. What I am really feeling called to is Jesus’ question “What are you looking for?” That is the question I want to challenge my congregation with this week.

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  19. I haven’t ever blogged before. Hope I’m not crashing the party. I heard about this site from a colleague and then discovered it on textweek this morning.Anyway . . . I’m preaching on the John text but may well make a tie to Isaiah. The “come and see” resonates for me. I’m wondering about how to get at why it is easy to invite someone to check out a new restaurant or movie but so hard to invite them to come to church. Also, what do they find when they come?? Is the atmosphere hospitable? Are there things we do that shut people out?Anyway, it seems to me that the invitation is key and to be constantly inviting others to come and see is a crucial part of discipleship.

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  20. pastorsue: in the spirit of the John reading, “welcome!”Not that I should presume to speak for the revgals, being a pal myself, but this is a great group of folks, and I think I can safely say you’re not crashing the party. For me, the invitations in John’s text are resonating strongly. Being in a new call, to campus ministry no less, invitation is very, very important. What gets things rolling in John’s gospel is invitation, not information; “Come and see,” not “Jesus is Lord.” Both are important, but the invitation is the catalyst for the information to take root and grow.

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  21. mmm thanks revscott – i like that track o’ thought. i also like andrew, aka the party planner:(1) he finds jesus; (2) he finds someone he knows to tell he’s found jesus; and (3) then he brings them to jesus. haven’t a word written. we’re almost out of coffee. it’s been quite a half week…

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