There have been Sundays when the date called for a particular sermon, and the readings in the Revised Common Lectionary seemed to be chosen for exactly that sermon. On those occasions, it felt like divine intervention provided exactly the readings I needed exactly when I needed them.

For me, this Sunday is not one of those Sundays.

wpid-20150928_210709.jpgIn many churches (including the one where I’ll be doing pulpit supply), October 4 will be “World Communion Sunday.” The Revised Common Lectionary’s gospel reading (Mark 10:2-16) is on…


The Old Testament reading is from Job 1:1 and 2:1-10, where Satan afflicts Job with sores, and Job’s wife suggests he curse God and die.

Looking at the alternative reading in Genesis 2:18-24, we read about the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib.

The readings feel a lot more like “Marital Relations Sunday.” And the Old Testament readings are not particularly kind to women.

Perhaps the Epistle reading from Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12 comes closest to the World Communion Sunday theme, ending with

For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”

As this will be the second time I’ve celebrated communion as a licensed minister, this is the text I’m preaching on. For me, this speaks of the world-wide kinship of believers, a true basis for World Communion Sunday.

So where are you going this Sunday?

  • If you’re going with World Communion Sunday, will you be using the lectionary readings and, if so, how?
  • Or if you’re using different scripture, what are you choosing to fit the World Communion Sunday theme?
  • Or if you are not using the World Communion Sunday theme and sticking with the lectionary readings, where are those readings leading you in writing your sermon?
  • Or are you doing something different entirely?

Please share what you’re thinking of preaching, what you’d like to preach if you could, or what you wish someone, somewhere, would preach.

Or ask for ideas: we’re here to help!

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25 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings (RCL) – Union and Communion Edition

    1. Please let us know what you decide on for harvest texts – I’m sure a few others who are celebrating Harvest Thanksgiving will be interested, and I would as well (I’ve been a part of a church that did an annual harvest festival).


  1. Here are my texts for Sunday – Harvest, Dedication and Holy Communion
    Reading 1 from Genesis Chapters 2:8-9, 15,17 and 3: 1-6
    The first garden Apples – sin

    Reading 2 from Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 14: 32-36
    The second garden Olives – struggle

    Reading 3 from John’s Gospel, Chapter 15:1-5
    The third garden Grapes – fruits of the Spirit.

    That is the drift of my thoughts at present – I hope they will all hang together on Sunday.


  2. I will admit to being completely stuck so far.

    I have not felt ANY resonance with the RCL texts this week. I really dislike the Adam’s rib text and struggle with it – both in terms of female identity and also in terms of identity/ sexuality as a whole – and this is not the time to open that discussion here [I am away on leave straight after]. The divorce text is just another ‘can of worms’ that I don’t feel led to talk about.

    Unless I preach on the Psalm I think I am heading ‘off lectionary’ this week….either that or taking a very tangental ‘law vs grace’ / Love wins theme from the Gospel. I like the idea of taking the ‘communion’ texts as a start…I might use 1 Cor and explain about agape meals and everyone sharing together equally…hmmm.

    With the children, we are looking at St Francis of Assisi and the fact that he saw all of creation as part of God’s church and that he taught a way of being church that looked to peace, friendship and sharing all you have to help those in need.

    Maybe ‘St Francis/All creatures of our God and King/communion together as all God’s people around the world’ might work.

    I look forward to seeing all your thoughts – perhaps something will help me find my way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I share your struggle with the Adam’s rib story – and there’s another dimension for me, as a transgender woman, in terms of what that would mean for my identity.

      I feel like the divorce text is very difficult to tackle in a single sermon. In many ways, the culture in which it’s set treats divorce so differently from how our culture does – and in some ways, sadly, not so differently. There’s a lot of unpacking to do in a short time.

      I like your idea of all creatures / all God’s people. My personal problem is that I usually complicate something like that.


      1. Well Cindi – I have drafted the order of service to include Psalm 8 and Hebrews and I am going to use the ‘Brothers and Sisters’ bit to tie in with St Francis who spoke of all creation in terms of Brother and Sister.

        I like your take on Hebrews and I think it will be interesting for us as a congregation to see it in light of a shared table, a true family feast. Let’s hope the Holy Spirit shows up to take my bullet point notes and weave them into a Word for all to hear.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thinking of making the divorce text more metaphorical – talking about power dynamics, and those of us with privilege and power in this world cutting off the least of these, as though we had no responsibility for them, no need of them, no relationship with them. Not sure I’m going to include the last verses on adultery, because that part feels a) like too much – a whole other sermon right there; b) like words with too much baggage, especially in a congregation where the divorce rate is quite high.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i am working with the Mark text, not sure of direction yet, but looking over past sermons on this reading – i have pondered :
    what question would we ask Jesus?
    the reason behind the Pharisees question [wanting to trap Jesus rather than looking for an answer]
    and looked at the way divorce meant women were treated as waste.
    this time I am noticing that for 3 weeks now we have been hearing about the least of these/children
    it is midday Wednesday here, so only a day to get the liturgy to the people who prepare the Power Point, so i need to decide soon, which means after this afternoons Church Council meeting,
    as i am in a new placement, i may just use some of a previous sermon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi All,
    I’m celebrating communion by myself, as my boss is away for three weeks. I am also (only) a Licensed Minister, and not used to celebrating communion by myself. Maybe this is my third time?
    Anyway, I am using the Hebrews passage, and titling my sermon, Jesus, Our Center. I will be trying to continue the Hebrews theme of Jesus, the very image of God, as being what unites (or could unite) the world. As it is, we are united in our humanity, as was our Christ. The choir will be singing, “Taste and See” by UCC pastor, Rob Leveridge. If you don’t know his music, I recommend it highly.

    No sermon yet…so we’ll see how it goes.

    Blessings to all here,


  6. We had the second creation story in the NL a few weeks ago. I ended up saying something about the rib business being about how a true partnership requires something of us, something deep and integral to who we are. It’s not just Adam naming the animals and picking one to be useful, it’s a real relationship that only works with vulnerability/sacrifice for the other.

    I also noted that “helper” is applied to God about 98% of the times it’s used in the OT. Not exactly the subordinate we usually read into the text, eh?

    The sermon I preached on it is here:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teri, You have really helped me. I’d like to quote you and will give you credit. If that is ok by you. Love the way your draw this out. thanks


    1. Can I just let you know how greatly your story has touched me today. I am not preaching on Genesis but I am taking this as the sermon / story that I needed to hear this week. Thank you sooo soo very much.


  7. I’m going with Job. I’m not sure exactly where I’m going, however: Job loses his 10 children. We’ve lost another 9 in the Oregon school shooting. Job’s wife asks the pointed question, “Do you still persissut in your integrity?” How do we claim integrity when we allow these shootings to continue with no action?


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