This Sunday’s texts are here

As the Great Fifty Days continues, the disciples are still scratching their heads and trying to make sense of it all…and I would hazard a guess that there are some who will hear our words on Sunday who are every bit as baffled.
Yesterday morning I was talking to someone who was quite certain that she had seen, smelled, encountered her dead father: it’s so easy for the physical resurrection of Christ to be confused with that sort of longing recall that can both soothe and trouble the bereaved…Small wonder that
“in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering,”
But then, once again, Jesus turns to the most prosaic, straightforward things and transforms them into a sacrament of his presence…Not bread broken and wine shared this time but the utterly down to earth ” a piece of broiled fish” eaten before their wondering eyes.
Could anything sound less dramatic? Yet it is in eating that Jesus demonstrates beyond any doubt that his presence is not a collective delusion born of the disciples’ longing, that the resurrection is not simply a matter of disembodied spirits but something solid and real.
The disciples are turned from speculative doubters into convinced witnesses…Their minds were opened because their senses were convinced. Without that moment of solid proof, one suspects that all the teaching in the world would not have made sense to them.
Perhaps this week it’s time to ask our congregations what are their equivalents to the piece of broiled fish…what real, concrete behaviours might demonstrate unequivocally to a dubious world that Jesus is alive in his followers.

That’s where my thoughts are tending so far…but the day is young. What about you?

18 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings – all because of some broiled fish.

  1. Oooh. I like that question for the congregation!Last time this passage came up, I preached on it for the entire Easter season. Seven sermons on one passage. I loved the challenge, and the congregation appreciated the chance to get really immersed in a story. There are really so many ways to go with this . . .

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  2. Great stuff. Unfortunately, I am going off lectionary for our first annual”What if Everybody Came? Sunday–Join us for a Faith Lift!” and since it is the end of school vacation week, I am not so sure if ANY ONE will come.Sigh.

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  3. I was struck by this week’s RCL Acts passage…and not exactly in a good way. Peter is really going after the listeners, and I wondered why on earth he thought that was a good way to win friends and influence people! I started early on some musings over that, before our secretary reminded me that we celebrate our patronal festival this Sunday 😮 So we are trading Acts for Ephesians, along with the beginning of Mark; John the Baptist represents another awkward oddity in the history of evangelism. Where I hope to go with it is that God doesn’t wait for us to have perfect words, polished presence, and People magazine appearance to use us; it’s a come-as-you-are party, no more excuses, with God taking us as works in progress to further God’s kingdom.

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  4. I too am going off lectionary this week. I preached MArk’s Easter story on the 12th so this week I am using John 20:1-18. I am working around the transforming effect of Easter. The Easter moment was not simply some sort of divine CPR on a dead body but rather a transforming of the world (as evidenced by the fact that the Risen Christ is apparently hard to recognize).I think most of us hope for the reawakening of what was instead of real resurrection. But as an Easter people with Easter faith we have to look for the something new God is doing.Check out my early thoughts

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  5. Oh, my. I’ve gone and stuck myself with the First John passage. Has anyone else settled on that? The first verse struck me (“Behold what love that God has given us, that we should be called the children of God”) but the rest of the passage isn’t so nice. Hmm.

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  6. I love your question and thoughts kathryn. Thanks for getting us started.esperanza, i’ve gone with the 1st john passage as well. Picked it a while ago, because i knew we’d have a baptism this Sunday as well. Thought “children of God” would make a good tie in. however, i’m now trying to reconcile the rest of passage with that. ooo, and i’m still on vacation until thursday.

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  7. I like that question, too, though I’m going with Acts again this week. I’m not really sure what to do with it at this point.I am considering focusing on the power of Jesus’ name in healing the beggar but I’m a bit hesitant as I don’t want it to sound like the magic word (abracadabra stuff) when we want something to happen.I can already sense it’ll be a late night on Saturday…(sigh).

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  8. I’m using the Acts passage, keying in on verse 17-18 and tying in John 24:36-48. Title is “Acting out of Ignorance.” In the Luke passage, the disciples were fearful, responding to what they didn’t know (their ignorance), rather than what they did know (what their eyes were telling them, that Jesus was resurrected). In Acts 3:17-18, even though the people acted out of ignorance (vs.17), “In this way, God fulfilled what had been foretold…” We often act out of our ignorance, saying wrong things, making mistakes, yet God can still work, even through human error to assure God’s purpose is fulfilled.That’s where I’m headed this week. I hope I can make it work. Maybe God can still work through whatever errors I make, too?

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  9. I’m using the Acts passage, keying in on verse 17-18 and tying in John 24:36-48. Title is “Acting out of Ignorance.” In the Luke passage, the disciples were fearful, responding to what they didn’t know (their ignorance), rather than what they did know (what their eyes were telling them, that Jesus was resurrected). In Acts 3:17-18, even though the people acted out of ignorance (vs.17), “In this way, God fulfilled what had been foretold…” We often act out of our ignorance, saying wrong things, making mistakes, yet God can still work, even through human error to assure God’s purpose is fulfilled.That’s where I’m headed this week. I hope I can make it work. Maybe God can still work through whatever errors I make, too?

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  10. That’s a very, very good question. I was thinking of going off-lectionary to Emmaus. It was the first text I preached at this church, and this will be my last Sunday as their full-time interim (I’ll be splitting time between two churches for the next three months, including half the Sundays), so it seems like a good time to talk about transformed understanding and relationships. But I’m going to ponder your question before I make any final decisions!

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  11. I went off-lectionary last week and invited people to walk down the Emmaus Road with Jesus…so I’m using the Luke text this week to follow that up. “while they were talking about this”–presumably the stories of a few people seeing Jesus briefly–Jesus shows up and again “opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” I want that to be my focus sentence, followed up by “you are witnesses of these things”…so go out and witness! Last week my final sentence in the guided meditation was “what will you tell the others?” I think I might weave that in again. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll go with the “peace be with you” leading to open minds? not sure. In other words, I have very few ideas, and also very few minutes left to figure it out so I can get the bulletin done. 🙂

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  12. I'll be preaching John 21:15-25 in conjunction with installation of Elders & Deacons and hoping to focus on Peter's change in character — from being all bluster and very little follow through to hedging his bets, "Lord you know I am your friend." Rather than saying he loved Jesus. His view of himself diminished but then Jesus tells him that he will be faithful unto death — proving, according to "Greater love as no one than this. . ." that Peter's faithfulness over the long haul –> the great Love Jesus ask of him.A little convoluded just yet but its only Tuesday!

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  13. Since I haven’t (yet) read, let alone pondered the readings and have no ideas (yet) about where I am going with the texts I am going to spend sime time with the question you ask…may be a good leaping off place for me…

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  14. I’m struck by Jesus asking his disciples to feed him. I think it marks a change in their roles. I also wonder what, as disciples now, we are being called to feed Jesus? What is the fish that we are to give him? What does Jesus ask us for today? I don’t know where I’ll go with it but it’s where my energy is.

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  15. I’m actually going with the Psalm 4. Something about the “You gave me room when I was in distress.” in v. 2 really resonated with me. I especially like an alternative translation I heard on Sermon Brainwave, “You lighted the path for me when things got narrow.” Now I just have to hope enough grows from that for a sermon

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  16. I like your question. mine is similar. I’m looking at acts 3, and asking, “what do you do in the name of Jesus?” also from the point of view of: do we live as though we believe that Jesus really rose from the dead?No resurrection appearances any more, but Jesus lives in us.

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