Artist Melanie Weidner says of this painting that it is “Based on a quote from the Tao Te Ching: “Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” (By the way, if you havent been to her site yet, check out Melanie’s other beautiful work here.)

 
Anyway, there is something so delightfully soothing at this unusually busy time of year, the time of year in which you are probably making lists of your lists, to think about sitting quietly until the water clears itself. Maybe it’s because patience seems like the very last attribute we preachers need right now, rounding the corner into the third Sunday of Advent. We need fortitude, creativity and energy! We need pep! You might actually be feeling a little impatient for the season to get on over with, so things can get back to something like normal.
 
John is impatient. So impatient, he cant wait to see for himself, so he sends Jesus a message from prison “are you HIM or NOT?” As if in reply, the epistle counsels “be patient, strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near!”
 
What about you, patient or impatient pastor that you are? Are you preaching on Isaiah’s poetic imagery? The Magnifcat? Or is this pageant or choir cantata Sunday for you and yours? Check in the comments.
 
Links to texts from this week here.

20 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings – Patience Edition

  1. Not preaching this week (as of yet), but the opening quote is very much like the first call process – "remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself". Thanks Juniper!

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  2. Magnificat for me. Borrowing heavily from 2 years ago in my former charge. And maybe it will be a call to revolution? But really isn't that inherent in preaching the Magnificat???My early thoughts are hereMind you since it is communion and a couple of extra presentations for Advent/Christmas it gets to be on the shorter side.

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  3. I need to decide today, but I'm considering switching this week and next in order to talk about Joseph. No sermon next week due to children's program. Not that I have any clue what I'll do with Joseph, but he seems to be so often forgotten that I feel like I should draw attention to him.

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  4. Nik – you are cracking me up over here.Gord – I read your reflection and really appreciated it – I am also doing magnificat and planning a monologue from Elizabeth, but not set on it yet. I have also heard that thing about this reading being banned at times (maybe I posted it here once?) but have not confirmed it either. Any luck hunting down a source for that?Slient – agreed that Joseph is a good choice of subject — I'm tackling him next week 🙂 so please keep us posted if you decide to head that direction.

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  5. Juniper,THe closest I have found is this quoteNearly a century ago, the American evangelist E. Stanley Jones said, “The Magnificat is the most revolutionary document in the world.” It was so then and is still so now. Ralph Milton, author and former joint owner of Wood Lake Books, tells how in the mid 1900′s, a missionary somewhere in South America was arrested after reading Mary’s Magnificat in a radio broadcast.found <a href="http://seemslikegod.org/lectionary/archives/year-a-third-sunday-of-advent</a>hereI noted it a couple years ago but have to find it again….

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  6. I'm reading Luke 1:26-56, in part because when I did this on Advent 3 a couple of years ago (different church), people said they had never heard the story of Mary and Elizabeth! I have them on an Advent stole, and I want to tell the whole story. Richard Rohr's daily meditation included this quote:When people say piously, “Thy kingdom come” out of one side of their mouth, they need also to say, “My kingdom go!” out of the other side.I'm not going to use the quote, but that's the basic idea of the sermon I'm reworking (yes, you heard it here), that the joy of God's appearance in the world will be more disturbing than comforting for those of us who are already comfortable.

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  7. I'm reading Luke 1:26-56, in part because when I did this on Advent 3 a couple of years ago (different church), people said they had never heard the story of Mary and Elizabeth! I have them on an Advent stole, and I want to tell the whole story. Richard Rohr's daily meditation included this quote:When people say piously, “Thy kingdom come” out of one side of their mouth, they need also to say, “My kingdom go!” out of the other side.I'm not going to use the quote, but that's the basic idea of the sermon I'm reworking (yes, you heard it here), that the joy of God's appearance in the world will be more disturbing than comforting for those of us who are already comfortable.

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  8. Not preaching this week as the Bishop will be with us. All I have to do is present the candidates for confirmation. I don't even think I will distribute Communion as this is his last visit with us before he retires.I am preaching about St. Ambrose tonight. Great reading from Sirach that will be my focus (check out The Lectionary Page). Good old Ambrose went from unbaptized to bishop in seven days. How long did it take all of us!?

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  9. Oh, patience! This morning, a woman in her mid-80's who is a pillar of the church came to me and said (in a light-hearted way), "can you help me pray for patience?" I warned that prayers for patience can be answered by God with situations that require great patience, but we prayed together anyway.I'm talking about joy this week, with Isaiah 35. Thinking about the crocus blooming in the snow. Some initial thoughts here.

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  10. Nik – because you KNOW I have been sailing that exact same boat a time or two :)Gord – thanks for the links – off to more reading, now. for…book – kwym about patience – a great scene from a mediocre but enjoyable movie Evan Almighty contiains a little dialogue about this.

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  11. Friends, the children of the church are delivering the sermon this week in the form of the Christmas Pageant. However, for an Advent theme I have been riffing off the questions John asks this week "are you the one who is to come or are we to WAIT for another?" It's been fun. For those of you doing Magnificat there is a good hymn out there called Canticle of the Turning text by Rory Cooney

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  12. This week looking at Mary, reading both Luke 1: 26-38 and 46-55; may yet read the in between bit about Mary and Elizabeth as well. Also continuing with Isaiah from the lectionary/. this week, the coming kingdom of joy and justice. how do we respond when angels turn our lives upside down? another set of unbelievable readings – a new start for the people of Israel; and young woman is visited by an angel, gets pregnant, praises God and sings about justice for all. Next week Joseph, and standing with the marginalised. the veri word is desisonc – is that when I don't quite make a desision?

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  13. This is one of those weeks when the readings are so good that I feel like getting up and announcing, "I can't say it any better than that," and sitting down! Isaiah, in particular, is one of my favorites, and I hate to muddy the waters (to go the opposite direction from the artwork!) by saying anything.Or maybe I just don't feel like writing a sermon 😉

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  14. Betsy – agreed!AK – thanks for the song – I had known it and it's lovely. For those of you, like me, new to it, here are the words:Lyrics & Arr. by Rory Cooney (based on the Magnificat, Like 1:39-56), Music: Irish Traditional, "Star of the County Down"1. My soul cries out with a joyful shoutthat the God of my heart is great,And my spirit sings of the wondrous thingsthat you bring to the ones who wait.You fixed your sight on your servant's plight,and my weakness you did not spurn,So from east to west shall my name be blest.Could the world be about to turn?RefrainMy heart shall sing of the day you bring.Let the fires of your justice burn.Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,and the world is about to turn!2. Though I am small, my God, my all,you work great things in me,And your mercy will last from the depths of the pastto the end of the age to be.Your very name puts the proud to shame,and to those who would for you yearn,You will show your might, put the strong to flight,for the world is about to turn.3. From the halls of power to the fortress tower,not a stone will be left on stone.Let the king beware for your justice tearsev'ry tyrant from his throne.The hungry poor shall weep no more,for the food they can never earn;There are tables spread, ev'ry mouth be fed,for the world is about to turn.4. Though the nations rage from age to age,we remember who holds us fast:God's mercy must deliver usfrom the conqueror's crushing grasp.This saving word that our forebears heardis the promise which holds us bound,'Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God,who is turning the world around.

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  15. We are singing that setting of the Magnificat on Sunday.For those who don't know, that tune is the traditional tune that underlies the hymn tune KINGSFOLD

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