This Sunday we begin Year 2 of the Narrative Lectionary. It’s the start of 15 weeks of Hebrew Bible texts, 15 passages to struggle with, mope about, and squeeze meaning from before we start with the Gospel text in Advent.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, may I suggest the Overview of Year 2 at WorkingPreacher? Even if you choose a different theme for the next months, maybe it will get your wheels turning for a theme or two.
As for me, I’m focusing on leadership this Fall. I’ll be looking for a couple of things in each text:
- How to lead people, how to help the leaders in my church
- How to defeat white supremacy (see here)
- How to follow God’s leadership
You have likely already remembered that this Sunday’s text is a second beginning—likely written from a different period, perhaps during David’s reign—and you know the differences. What was the Davidic community trying to say with this other story? My best guess is that leadership is communal—none of us can do it alone. I’m also hearing echoes of Brené Brown’s call to conquer shame.
And what does this text say about white supremacy and how we might defeat it? Perhaps this text argues against the “rugged individualism” of our culture.
And then one more thing… God’s leadership. I think I see the glory of God’s leadership in the details of the land, what glorious descriptions of the garden, like verse 8: “Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit.”
So where will you go with the story? Will you focus on:
- Gender and it’s meaning?
- Naming the animals?
- What stewardship means?
Rev. Lia Scholl is not-that-kind-of-Baptist preacher and pastor in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (U.S.) and is the author of I Heart Sex Workers (Chalice Press, 2013).
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