Well the end of the Liturgical year at any rate.  Though if you believe our passages then possibly the end of far more than that is coming….

Shall we pray???? (from here)

Living in a world that seems to be falling apart,
we come to find hope for the future.
Living in a world where the forces of destruction seem so strong,
we come to hear about the One who Creates and Re-Creates.
Living in a world where old habits and hatreds seem to live forever,
we come to hear God proclaim “Behold, I am doing a new thing”
God who has gathered us together,
open our hearts and minds to see the new creation in our midst.
In this time of worship,
may we be refreshed and renewed as people of Love.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught his friends to pray together saying…

Duccio_di_Buoninsegna_066
Malachi

Here we are, the 2nd last Sunday of the church year, Proper 28C and our readings are….well…um….let us just say that they are not the most hope-filled passages I can think of.

Albrecht_Dürer_-_Sol_Iustitiae
Son or Sun?

Well OK that is not quite true, the Isaiah reading is very hope-full, as seems common with those last few chapters of the book.  But Malachi and the burning stubble (unless you see yourself as one of the righteous) not so much.

But surely the Christian Scriptures would give us hope….right?

Well Paul writing to the Thessalonians gives us that wonderful verse for those wanting to dismantle food aid programs for the poor “Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” and exhorts us all to work hard just like he does.  Do I sense the beginning of the Protestant Work Ethic?

ANd then we have Luke.  Luke who gives us beloved stories like the Good Samaritan and the Lost Son.  Luke who gives the hymnic story of Jesus’ conception and birth.  Luke who puts the words proclaiming the Jubilee year into the mouth of Jesus.  What does Luke have for us this week?  Apocalyptic eschatology.  Signs and portents.  Promises of betrayal and hatred.  But at least our hair is safe….and we get to “endure”….

Luke21v05to19_2007
Not So Happy!!!

So out of this mix where is the Spirit leading you this fine November week?  Are there questions burning in your soul?  Ask them here (we might not have answers mind you but we can make them up).  Do you have a need to rant about something?  Rant away.  Have a great source that sheds light on these readings?  Post away….

5 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings — The End is Near Edition

  1. This morning I clipped the teeth of thirteen piglets and butchered a chicken, and all that seems easier than figuring out how to work with this week’s RCL passages. Looking forward to other folks’ insights!

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  2. ha! Mainecelt – I came over here to say pretty much the same thing (minus the piglet and chicken parts). I am pondering on Nancy Lynne Westfield’s pastoral perspective in Feasting on the Word, which is being some help. But I AM wondering how to work all this toward Stewardship, which is this Sunday. Jesus doesnt help us much here, imo, with all this talk of buildings being torn down. But maybe that is a stewardship message in itself? That the building houses the community for a season, but is NOT the community, it is the Spirit that endures? Well, just thinking out loud. Looking forward, as you say, to others’ insights!

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  3. This week is our Stewardship Ingathering, so these readings are shall we say difficult. We skipped Zacchaeus a couple of weeks ago, and I had an idea about that gospel I’d like to use, so I am using it in place of this week’s. And what I hope to ask is what is compelling enough to you about Jesus to change your life? (and hoping that will link somehow to good stewardship…yikes, we’ll see.)

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  4. I think these are wonderful texts in light of the recent typhoon. Our world disasters clearly show us we are not in charge. One of the greatest challenges I think that faces us as Christians is to trust God no matter what, in the midst of the unexplainable, the tragic and natural disasters. So many times I preach having faith in God but what I really mean is have faith in God when it suits me or lets me have control. Even the processes of dementia and Alzheimer show us that we really have no control. it is about trusting God. This could be a great place to work with Stewardship. When is it okay to discern what you can give to God and then give it to the church willingly trusting the leadership and one another to use it wisely? What are some of the ways in which we “hold on” rather than “give to God?” We want certainty in our lives and Jesus seems to be saying in this passage in Luke, “it ain’t gonna happen!”

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