What is in your mouth? What words, what complaints, what praises, what bitterness? This Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts offer quite a mouthful:
Job’s mouth is unapologetically filled with complaints and arguments, as he rages, “Oh, that I knew where I might find God in order to make my case!” (Job 23:3-4)
A rich man fills his mouth with compliments and easy assurances — “Good Teacher, I have kept these commandments since my youth” — but his willing words are not reflected by a willing spirit. (Mark 10:17-20)
The psalmist has a mouthful of counting, as the poet measures the days of affliction in order to hold God accountable for an equal number of joyful days: “Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.” (Psalm 90:15)
Amos challenges the mouths of “you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate” to hold silence for a change (Amos 5:12-13) and to practice seeking good.
Psalm 22 holds a mouthful of groaning and praise … but also, ironically, a dry mouth without words. “My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws” (Psalm 22:15). Personally, when my mouth holds such a range of raw emotion as this psalm, it’s usually best for me to walk away lest the wrong words come out of my mouth!
What’s in your mouth and your spirit these days, preachers? What theme(s) are you finding in the Revised Common Lectionary texts this week? Share your sermonizing notes, your blog links, your wonderings and frustrations, here in the comments for conversation with your colleagues.
Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), strives to make sense of faith through the trials & failures of life. Rachel has also written Writing to God and Sacred Pause.
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