Justice as Protector

What will you be preaching this week? How can we help?

There are lots of options this week. The Narrative Lectionary has King David with commentary and sermon ideas posted here.

The Revised Common Lectionary offers Jacob and the Angel or more Jeremiah, a very small bit of Psalm 119 about the Law or Psalm 121, Timothy and sacred writings, and the parable of the widow and the judge. There is discussion on the RCL texts here.

At my place we are in Stewardship season in the midst of a longer series. I am coincidentally preaching last week’s Jeremiah passage and am thinking about the community in exile in terms of my own community.

So… Open those documents (already begun or totally blank), sort through the texts, and let’s see what we can do. I’ll try to make cinnamon bread to have ready for my Saturday morning (long after most of yours), but it makes a good mid-day snack. Ask your questions, offer your comments, and let’s write!

The image is “Justice as Protector” by Stefan Hirsch (1899-1964) from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=57175

Wendy Lamb works as a commissioned pastor in a Presbyterian Church (USA) in Southern California and teaches college English classes at a local community college. She occasionally blogs at Bookgirl.

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26 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Lots of options

  1. I am trying to write today as I have an unexpectedly free day. School is off today, but my son was invited to go to 6 Flags with friends. My daughter has been in Chile all week on a school trip. She returns tomorrow, so my hope is to get the sermon mostly done today so I can focus on the girl tomorrow. As I said above, I am preaching on Jeremiah, on the Israelites planting gardens and building houses in Babylon. I am trying to work toward the idea of community, being in this together, and I’m looking for stories of communities that have flourished when they have given up their dreams of past “glory” and moved forward with what is present. We are using the Unraveled series from A Sanctified Art (https://sanctifiedart.org) and are really impressed with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lots of options, but I can at least eliminate anything about justice, since the congregation has made very clear that they don’t want to hear it. Thinking about living life as prayer, persisting in participation in God’s work, and a provocative suggestion in Feasting on the Word that practicing prayer and faith in ordinary times makes it easier to be present with God in crisis times. (Kimberly Bracken Long said it better.)
    And my cat is licking my face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay for distracting cats! While you might not be able to preach about justice, there may be something in living a life that prepares one for all the things that come. Sounds like a good direction. –Wendy


  3. Preaching David from the NL and we are in week 3 of being a community of generosity/stewardship. I thought about changing the texts but stuck with them. I am partly there by noting the struggle of what to preach…the political/leadership side…or the joy of the presence of God…which is where I landed. Generosity requires both courage and sacrifice. It needs some work this morning but hopefully I still think its preachable. Wendy, hope your girl had a great time.


    1. I know there is so much to sift through in the David story, but the joy in the presence of God is a lovely theme for Generosity/Stewardship.
      Thanks. The group is on the shuttle headed home. We’ll see her in about an hour. –Wendy


  4. Good morning all. I hope your days have started well and the sermons are pretty much writing themselves. Help yourself to brunch. I’ve got coffee and OJ and soon cinnamon bread and I can always make eggs. I didn’t get as much done yesterday as I’d hoped, so I will be writing as I check in here off and on. I have an idea of where I am going. I need to see if I can connect the dots. –Wendy


    1. That’s beautiful, Terri. I appreciate the way you have weaved in the Holy Currencies and Gracious Leadership model with your own story and the story of your congregation and our world. I can see why you would want this written down. There are really specifically crafted phrasings one wouldn’t want to lose. –Wendy


  5. I have a sermon written on King David and the Ark, but after 10 days of this $#%^^ virus, I still have a cough and no voice. So I have a friend who is on tap to read the sermon if I can’t do it. I actually feel much better now, but when I cough I sound like a Dickens character with consumption. sigh.


  6. I have a baptism, choir singing, and starting stewardship this Sunday so it looks like I can write something shorter than normal. I’m focusing on Luke and was intrigued by the idea of envisioning God as the woman after reading the RCL commentary. Where I’m struggling is how to connect that to the UCC Stewardship theme of “The way of mercy” so if anyone has any thoughts that would be great! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Can you use opposites? The judge does not know the way of mercy (or even the way of justice). I’m not sure. (I’m wishing I had a reason to shorten this week’s sermon. I always like the “reflection” or “meditation” type sermon that can come in at about 2/3 the length of a “normal” sermon.) –Wendy

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Saturday evening and I’m getting there. I’m preaching the parable in Luke, focusing on prayer. A member of the congregation is grieving the death of a friend in a bicycle accident this week. She had worshiped in the congregation some time before I came, so I didn’t know her. But I wanted to say some things about prayer and God being present with us even when things don’t happen the way we want them to. Even when we don’t understand. At all.


  8. I’m calling it done. I will probably polish in the morning, but I think I got where I wanted to go. Now on to family pizza and movie night. We will probably call it an early night since the girl is home safe, but tired.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Checking in this evening–which has unfortunately become my norm for writing. I slept 11 1/2 hours last night, which was surely better than staring at a blank screen yesterday evening, yes? And then the girls and I had a fun day crafting Halloween costumes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oops. Hit enter too soon.

      We are midway through a series on parables. This week is the Pearl of Great Price. I’m pairing it with Jeremiah’s purchase of the field at Anathoth. I’m trying to think of other actions that seem like pure foolishness (or wastefulness) from the outside looking in. Taj Mahal is one I’m probably going to use.


      1. I wonder how many things we do as faith communities seem like foolishness from the outside?
        I love Halloween costume making days. My kids aren’t sure what they want to be this year.


        1. I have a Presbytery meeting next weekend, so this was our last chance to be creative. They are going as dragons from “How to Train Your Dragon.” One is a night fury and the other Stormfly. At 9 and 12, I’m hoping they won’t have a change of heart between now and the 31st!

          And thank you! for that wondering. You reminded me of something I thought of earlier and didn’t jot down. I imagine the answer is “almost everything.”

          Liked by 3 people

  10. I preached this text (as supply) 12 years ago, at the end of the week when Mona Shaw, of Bristow VA, marched into the local Comcast office with a hammer and smashed the receptionist’s computer out of frustration with the service she wasn’t getting. Talk about the perfect real-life illustration! And now I learn that what the judge feared wasn’t being “worn out” with her coming, but being “punched beneath the eye.” That makes it even better! But alas, it’s old news this time. At least my cats reminded me at dinnertime what it means to ask persistently and expect an on-time response.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’ve got Pink’s “I am Here” playing on repeat as I imagine the inner life of the persistent widow:

    May the light be upon me
    may I feel in my bones
    that I am enough
    I can make anywhere home
    my fingers are clenched, my stomach’s in knots
    my heart it is racing, but afraid I am not, afraid I am not

    I am here, I am here
    I’ve already seen the bottom so there’s nothing to fear
    I know that I’ll be ready when the devil is near…..

    Liked by 2 people

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