by michaelaw on rgbstock.com
by michaelaw on rgbstock.com

Cue music while you contemplate this coming Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts:

+ the impossible dream of new things that spring forth, things not imagined in our former days, things celebrated by the jackals and the ostriches dancing together in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:16-21);

+ the wild dream that fills our mouths with laughter, floods our tongues with joy, and yields an abundant harvest in the desert (Psalm 126);

+ the other-worldly dream in which our value comes from the love & claim of Christ, not from the measures of wealth and platform and social status (Philippians 3:4b-14);

+ the wasteful (prodigal!) dream that heaps blessings without care of cost — blessings not only poured over our heads but even wasted on the dirt of our feet (John 12:1-8).

Is there a place for dreaming in Lent, in these days of confession and discipline, in this season of sackcloth and lament? Even though we buried the Alleluias, can we still dream boldly in Lent — and not just dream, but proclaim it loudly and triumphantly?

How are you dreaming toward Sunday’s sermon, friends? Share your thoughts and brainstorms and encouragement in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: The Impossible Dream

  1. I’m not entirely sure where I’m headed yet, which is unusual – I generally have some idea where I’m going with the text (though the spirit may redirect me later!)

    Following last week’s extravagant spending of the younger son and extravagant welcome his father gives him on his return, we have this extravagant gift… and it feels a little off to me, just as it apparently did to Judas. Is this the best use of this gift?

    Churches often struggle with some costly gift to the church, when the money it cost could have been used for ministry. And I can’t help but feel a twinge of that in reading this story.

    Of course, last Sunday at fellowship a member pushed back on the parable of the spendthrift, saying the older brother was right to be indignant. And I honored that feeling, because it’s natural, but also talked about how grace isn’t grace if it’s earned.

    So maybe it’s my turn to feel a bit of discomfort over something Jesus said.

    I am finding this piece, by Rachel Held Evans, about the woman – or women – who anointed Jesus speaking to me this week. And I’m not sure where the spirit is leading me, but I like how her words are informing the struggle I have with this text.

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  2. Wednesday evening, and I had hoped for a clearer picture by now. My current thoughts:
    – introducing the family – what do we know about Lazarus, Martha and Mary
    – anointing Jesus – 4 stories all different. John the only one to name the woman.
    – Judas and elder brother from last week – both working from a scarcity model
    – extravagant and generous compared to wasteful – where is the line or is there a line?
    – love God with all that we are and love our neighbour. it isn’t worship God OR help the poor, it is worship God AND help the poor.

    this is a scandalous and sensual/sexual? story

    this article by The Rev. Chana Tetzlaff has powerful imagery of the dinner which I am thinking about including.
    hymns and liturgy need to be done by midday tomorrow.

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  3. I’m a little behind (which seems to be the usual these days) but my thoughts are coming together. We are using Gifts of the Darkwood and the gift this week is disappearing which really is a means to getting at true humility. This really pairs well with the gospel and builds on the dream of God doing a new thing. I haven’t completely pulled it together, but here are some of my thoughts: https://rachaelkeefe.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/its-time-for-extravagance/

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