This is a busy week for us. Tomorrow we mark Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of Lent. The reading for Ash Wednesday is Luke 9:51-62, which is a text I’ve managed not to preach before. Jesus’ face is turned toward Jerusalem, and he doesn’t seem to have much time for those who want to turn their faces in other directions.

The reading for Sunday, March 5, is Luke 10:25-42. The story of the Good Samaritan is more familiar to most of us than the Ash Wednesday text, and it has a particular resonance in our world today, as we are clearly still struggling with the call to be a neighbor.

jordan-and-rachel
Who is my neighbor?

Interesting connection between the texts is the relationship of Samaritans. They do not welcome Jesus in chapter 9 because his face is turned toward Jerusalem. And yet it is a Samaritan who acts as neighbor in the next chapter.

Ideas you’d like to share? Time with the children? Directions you think your sermons might be taking you?

Remember there are lots of Lenten resources uploaded in the “files” section on the facebook page, so you can search there for ideas too.

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Marci Auld Glass is the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church and lives with her husband and sons in Boise, Idaho. She is a graduate of Trinity University and Columbia Theological Seminary. She serves on the Clergy Advocacy Board of Planned Parenthood and the Mission Agency Board of the Presbyterian Church USA. Marci blogs at Glass Overflowing and is among the contributors to the RevGals book,There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).

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15 thoughts on “Narrative Lectionary–Neighbor Edition

  1. I also love how vehement they are. “want us to kill them spectacularly? pretty please?”
    I kind of want to preach on “no one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” but I can’t figure out how to fit preaching into the style/time frame of our Ash Wednesday service. And there’s certainly no time to add it to Sunday. Maybe there’s a way to work it into liturgy somehow…

    The theme here for Lent is “Are You All In?” I’m pondering what “all-in” neighborliness might look like.

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    1. My Ash Wednesday sermon wrote itself pretty quickly, and my take on Jesus’ rebuking comments is that since none of us are fit for the kingdom, it means that all of us are fit. Only the unqualified need apply. I’m finding it very liberating.

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  2. I think the reason I want to preach on that text has more to do with the fact that I’m down to so little time left here. The reality of a plow is that if you look back, you can’t drive it in a straight line. You end up driving all over the place because effective plowing–animal or mechanical–requires looking at the horizon. It’s a sort of “eyes-on-the-prize” endeavor. Both animals and machines are surprisingly responsive to our body movements, and when we twist ourselves around to look back longingly at where we have been, or to check if it was good enough, or whatever, we lose the direction we’re supposed to be going. Then we end up like just a few verses before when Jesus says “you faithless and crooked generation”…crooked, not yet 100% committed.
    And then, yes, of course, no one is fit, because human. And yet Jesus sets his face to Jerusalem and asks us to come anyway.

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  3. Late to the conversation. I’m sticking with the whole reading and talking about how we welcome people. My folks ade pretty good at it, I think. Then I heard someone saying they weren’t sure what to do because they wer overwhelmed by kindness…. Oh dear Lord!
    So both stories give us lots of different ways to be welcoming. And trying to get them do do Anyang topside of Sunday is a challenge so I’m working through what it means to be a church that says all are welcome….

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    1. Right. We are a welcoming church too, but how do we deal with the fact that there are still people missing from the room? They apparently don’t know they would be welcome to join us. (some just don’t want to come, which is fine, and another issue). Just yesterday I met a woman who has been wanting to find a progressive, social justice church, but didn’t know there was one in Boise. Now we can welcome her, but we weren’t doing it before she found out.

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  4. I’m preaching in the morning on the RCL and in the afternoon at a denominational service on the narrative Lectionary. I’m considering (yes I know it’s Friday) about the journey of lent and the journey of all those in the story of the Good Samaritan. Challenging those with whom we ourselves in today’s world might pass by, who we might cross the road to not encounter. Hoping that as we journey through lent and closer to the empty tomb our hearts might be more willing and able to stop and help, or be with, or walk with those who we aren’t comfortable with and our friends might wonder what we are doing. Not sure by the time tomorrow comes I might be going in a totally different direction. I’m certainly tuned to this page for thoughts.

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      1. Sadly with the week we’ve had in our house as me being a supply pastor and Joe the associate and two conference and Joe has 2 funerals this weekend. We are combing efforts and getting mileage out of the meat of 1 sermon to make 3 semi different one. Maybe one year I’ll get that sermon for lent but not this year.

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