Lunar New Year, Groundhog Day, Superbowl Sunday, Candlemas, first Sunday in Black History Month, Palindrome Sunday (02.02.2020)…. this weekend offers a plethora of opportunities for preaching themes and illustrations!
Beatitudes site
Photo by Jo Anne Taylor, taken from the Church of the Beatitudes, Galilee
If you are preaching from the Revised Common Lectionary, blessings abound. This week we hear Paul’s words to the church at Corinth about the way God’s foolishness surpasses human wisdom, and God’s weakness exceeds human strength. We also get the Beatitudes from Matthew, and that famous verse from the prophet Micah, “What does the Lord require of you?…” You might find some inspiration from Tuesday’s RCL post. The Narrative Lectionary considers how Mark frames one healing story inside another – How does the woman who touches Jesus’ hem inform the story of a twelve-year-old girl’s healing? What are you planning for children, for liturgy, for prayers? Your input can help the rest of us, who might be stuck for ideas among so many options. So come join the Party! Share your ideas, your questions, or a link to your sermon. Let’s encourage one another!
Rev. Jo Anne Taylor is an Evangelical Covenant Church pastor serving First United Methodist Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. Sermons and recipes on her blog reflect her firm belief that God sings, and since we are all made in God’s image, we should be singing, too.
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.

26 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Blessed Beyond Measure

    1. This could be an interesting contrast! I think sometimes we look at the Beatitudes (and this is true of Micah 6:8 as well) as a “to do” list – do these things in order to be blessed. I don’t think that is what Jesus says here.

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  1. At the moment, I am reflecting on a song that came out when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, Paul Simon’s “Blessed”: Blessed are the sat upon, spat upon, ratted on/O Lord, why have you forsaken me?…Blessed are the meth drinkers, pot sellers, illusion dwellers/O Lord, why have you forsaken me?…

    I have no idea why he wrote what he wrote, but it seems the narrator of this song (not Paul Simon!) felt he was forsaken by God because he didn’t fit into any of those “blessed” categories. So what about the rest of us?

    I may trash the whole sermon and do something else. Just an idea I’m following on a Friday night.

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      1. On another note, think of the last lines of “The Sounds of Silence”: “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls/And tenement halls…” Who writes obscenities on subway walls? Angry people. Were the prophets angry? Oh, yeah! Think of Hosea, for instance. But that’s for another sermon for another time…

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    1. Plenty of time! Let us know how it goes. I’m munching on pita chips and hummus that my husband made before he took off to help with the youth lock-in, so help yourself if a virtual snack helps you think and write!

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    1. “Living with faith that is stronger than fear” – I think that says it all. Isn’t it amazing how often Jesus, also, makes himself vulnerable, “risking” uncleanness in order to restore cleanness to someone else!

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  2. I reread my sermon from 3 years ago, 7 months into my first position, and I still think it says what I hear the texts saying. But I can see now why they have been accusing me as being too “liberal,” since I focused on God blessing those we reject. Taking a completely different angle this time, in response to a published reflection: we who lament that we are fading as a congregation, aging, have no energy, poor in spirit and resources, etc., are blessed, and that our identity as Jesus people is “ones who are blessed.” And in response, that the Micah passage is not about actions to take but how we are to be and how we know ourselves as God’s people: people who have hearts for justice and kindness and humility. I think it will go over better than the 3-year-old take on these texts.

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  3. I’m preaching on the Presentation of Our Lord. Stop bringing your children to church! is the theme. I’m going to talk about how Mary and Joseph steeped their baby in tradition in so many ways and look what happens. At 12 on their annual visit to the temple, he stays behind to learn more. At 30 he takes up with John the Baptist and then embarks on a 30 day spiritual retreat, comes home and starts an itinerant ministry. His mom and his brothers try to bring him home but he won’t have anything to do with that. He heads back to the temple at 30 and overturns the money changers tables and has a fit which really gets him into trouble. We hand our traditions down to our kids and think they will do exactly what we did with them, but that doesn’t happen. And that is actually good news, that is the sign of God’s life still at work within the tradition.

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  4. I’m preaching on the Presentation of Our Lord. Stop bringing your children to church! is the theme. I’m going to talk about how Mary and Joseph steeped their baby in tradition in so many ways and look what happens. At 12 on their annual visit to the temple, he stays behind to learn more. At 30 he takes up with John the Baptist and then embarks on a 30 day spiritual retreat, comes home and starts an itinerant ministry. His mom and his brothers try to bring him home but he won’t have anything to do with that. He heads back to the temple at 30 and overturns the money changers tables and has a fit which really gets him into trouble. We hand our traditions down to our kids and think they will do exactly what we did with them, but that doesn’t happen. And that is actually good news, that is the sign of God’s life still at work within the tradition.

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  5. Spouse has returned from the youth lock-in, second pot of coffee is on, and I’m working on my order of service script. No clue what to do for the children’s time – we talked about the Beatitudes already on Wednesday night (that’s when we do our Christian education instead of Sunday School). What are the rest of you thinking for the children?

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    1. We almost never have a child there, but I try to be prepared just in case. I always print a coloring sheet keyed to one of the texts on the back of the bulletin. This week’s is about kindness, so will pick up on the Micah text.

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  6. My husband had a professor who liked to say, “I feel like a rotten, unwashed poodle.” I think my children’s message will start there. Sometimes we don’t feel ‘blessable.’ But it’s exactly when we feel like a ‘rotten, unwashed poodle’ that God tells us we are, indeed, blessed. Sermon is done … for now. https://wp.me/p2U45T-xf How is yours coming along?

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  7. We hosted a presbytery meeting this morning, where I led both worship and an engagement time with the presbytery. I also made that great soup I mentioned a few weeks ago for the lunch. Which is to say, I’m now working on tomorrow’s sermon. And i’m going to teach the enneagram at my seminary this week, so putting those presentations in final order too. I will sleep on the plane tomorrow after worship and congregational meeting are done. I’m preaching the Narrative passage and talking about periods.

    This story is in it.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/05/15/721729850/periods-why-these-eighth-graders-arent-afraid-to-talk-about-them?fbclid=IwAR2yPC0F8rFQDFifWgTkAG6QAPoxA0ud5CJqCeMrlhtxLPkPzS5hqmzTUAY

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