• What holds you down, keeps you grounded?
  • What keeps you in line, provides accountability?
  • What helps you find your bearings, your plumb line, your skeg?

On a kayak, a skeg is a small fin on the bottom rear of the vessel, used to keep the kayak steady (more or less) on the course of its paddlers. A recent afternoon of kayaking with a family member included frequent near-misses with the bay grasses as our two-seater kayak seemed determined to follow its own course, rather than the course of our paddling. Although certain that we had set the skeg at the start of our outing, when we returned to shore we discovered that it was not in place.

  • Who supports you when life veers off course?
  • Whose life illuminates step stones along your own path?
  • Whose wisdom helps you recognize that you’ve waded too far into the weeds, that your ethical walls have begun to lean precariously, that your water raft is about to run aground?

Amos sees a vision of a plumb line, set in place by the LORD to measure the uprightness of a nation. (Amos 7:7-17)

Moses implores the ancient Israelites to recognize the holy plumb line of God’s commandments inscribed within the people’s hearts. (Deuteronomy 30:9-14)

Jesus illustrates those same commandments by parable so that listeners might recognize the ways by which to love God & neighbor. (Luke 10:25-37)

  • Preachers, how are your faith communities discerning God’s plumb line for their collective lives?
  • What practices of accountability do your communities observe together when a few members veer into behaviors that might harm the community?
  • Clergy, how do your faith communities encourage your habits of accountability, too, in both spiritual growth and lived behaviors?

Jesus said to the lawyer, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). For the ways that others have offered guidance along our lives’ courses; for the ways that God has positioned us to encourage others in the discernment of their own paths; for the ways in which community is essential to following God’s path in ever-widening ways; this week’s Revised Common Lectionary texts call us to give thanks and to remain faithful to the work.

RevGals and Pals, what plumb lines are shaping your sermon prep this week? Are you making use of this metaphor from Amos or focusing your preaching on another text from the lectionary? Share your starting thoughts, your blogged reflections, your questions and homiletic processes in the comments as we work toward Sunday’s sermon.

boats.chair.
Photo credit unknown, from RevGalBlogPals’ blog archives

Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), searches for faith through life’s trials. Rachel has also written Writing to God and Sacred Pause.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

One thought on “Revised Common Lectionary: Plumb Lines

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