Every year I salivate over a specific wine: a Mâcon-Charnay from Domaine Renaud. Since I can’t order it because wines can’t be shipped to my state in the U.S., I try to keep an eye out for it at local wine dealers. Sometimes I luck out. Most times I don’t. But it’s my favorite wine and it’s a special treat when I can score it.

Every wine is a product of a house (domaine) and there is just something about Domaine Pascale et Mireille Renaud. They produce from their vineyards in Saône-et-Loire, and because they produce in small batches I can’t always find my favorite wine! I was an exchange student when I first had my taste of wines from the nearby Loire Valley, which has a flinty soil that gives all its wines a distinct flavor. A house’s product is its signature.

Believe it or not, that leads me to this week’s RCL readings.

We’re in Advent 4 — the home stretch! From the OT reading to the Psalm to the two texts from Luke, we are taken for a ride down memory lane, when God established for Godself a house. Who could build this house for God? Could the great King David? No. In fact, God would build God’s own house, not with David or by David, but of David. David would be the soil from which the True Vine would grow. God would establish a unique signature — a distinct flavor — that would be left with all who drank of it from generation to generation.

That leaves me with some preaching questions to ponder: what is the signature of God’s house? What makes this specific domaine unique? What makes it relevant? In a sea of houses — houses of power, privilege, authority, ambition, attraction — what about this house stands out?

For me, that is the question of Advent. When we taste of the Lord’s arrival, what will be different about it from everything else we’ve sampled?

Where are you headed with your preaching this week? Have I been drinking too much wine? Let’s talk… 

3 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: Whose House?

  1. I like the idea of the vineyard and the house as a lead in to this week’s texts! I have been thinking I would tie the Samuel reading to the Luke reading, and incorporate the Advent candle theme this week with the idea that Love (aka God) keeps its promises. Your questions about how God’s house is unique are quite helpful. Thanks!


  2. Honestly, I’m trying to think of a way to do what I did this past Sunday, which is to preach without a manuscript. I had the advantage of telling a long developed story that I knew well because it happened to me the week before and had an obvious connection to the scripture. I’m trying to reach a congregation that doesn’t seem to be listening and hoping a different technique will help. What I have on for this week is Isaiah and the gospel lesson, and I think it’s a great link to the idea of God being at least temporarily homeless and choosing to be incarnate on the margins. I helped out at a Food Bank in our nearby city on Monday, at the request of some church members, and that might form the centerpiece. When a person or family comes in without a referral, the volunteers create a “Love Bag.” Our ladies make sure to ask whether they have a place to cook and a can opener, then tailor the bag to be similar to the elements listed on the Food Bank wall, but taking into account the person’s circumstances. I saw a different side of people I previously knew only on Sunday mornings and heard their concerns about who will volunteer when they can’t do it anymore. They are all well into their 70s.


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