Sunday is nearly here, colleagues – how is your sermon coming along? By the first weekend in October, your school-year ministries are probably in full swing and you may be looking ahead to special services for All Saints or even Advent already. But first – this weekend, the Gospel needs proclaiming! What direction are the readings taking you?
The Revised Common Lectionary brings us the parable of the mustard seed. In this case, faith can move a mulberry tree, which seems much less impressive than the parallel versions that move mountains. Then the topic of slavery comes up, which is complicated at best. How are you handling this reading? The Old Testament options are from Lamentations or Habakkuk, both books that show up rarely in our communal worship. We continue to hear Paul’s wisdom for Timothy in the Epistle reading this week. Which of these readings is the focus of your sermon this week? See here for additional discussion on these readings.
The Narrative Lectionary brings us to Exodus with the Israelites, awaiting freedom from slavery. This is a jump from the end of Genesis, in which the children of Israel went to Egypt of their own free will, and were cared for by their own brother. How much of the story can you tell in one sermon? What themes will you draw out for your listeners?
Other commemorations this weekend include World Communion Sunday and the feast of St Francis. Are you celebrating one of those, either independently or in dialogue with one of the sets of lectionary readings? Perhaps your worship will include greetings from ecumenical partners, or a blessing of animals – or both! What does your community find meaningful at this time of year? Many blessings in your preaching, friends! There’s not much food in my pantry or fridge today, but I still have a plethora of green beans from the garden to share. Enjoy the snacks, the company, and the encouragement, and happy writing! Welcome to the party!
canoeistpastor is Katya Ouchakof, co-pastor at Lake Edge Lutheran Church in Madison, WI. She is a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, and blogs less often than she would like at Provocative Proclamation. Katya enjoys knitting, Star Wars, board games, time with her family, and of course, canoeing.
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