Symbols of St. Peter in Stained Glass. (Key hole, upside-down cross, chain, fish, anchor, boat, keys, rooster)
Symbols of St. Peter

While it might not be back to school for anyone else, as for me and my household it surely is. I think teachers and preachers (and I’m sure many others) are sharing many of the lessons of our new way of being (even in places where people are carefully returning).

So what can we learn this week? The Revised Common Lectionary has rich options. Jesus is acting as teacher with his disciples as he asks, “who do you say that I am?” Peter is that eager student ready with an answer. The Hebrew midwives and Pharaoh’s daughter are defying power in Exodus. Paul teaches about grace and gifts in Romans. The Psalm reminds us that God is for us. Where will you go? CanoeistPastor has good suggestions at the Revised Common Lectionary link. Are you doing a summer series? Are you guest preaching for someone?

How can we help? Do you have sermon questions? Need Time with the Children ideas? Is anyone in places where a new school year begins offering back-to-school blessings? Would you like to tell us about something that has gone well?

As you work on your sermon and services this week, we’ll be here. I’m sorry I missed yesterday. and I’ll continue to check in through the week. Let’s do this thing.

Image: Piper, John, 1903-1992. Symbols of Peter, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved August 20, 2020]. Original source:,_Babraham, – John Salmon.

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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6 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Back to School Edition

  1. Going off lectionary this week to observe the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — and we have not one but TWO tropical disturbances headed into the Gulf of Mexico! What a way to celebrate an anniversary! Text is the same one I used for the tenth anniversary: Jeremiah 29, God’s promise to the exiles of a future with hope. Aside from the two tropical thingies in the Gulf, I figure it’s a message that works well with everything else going on in our world these last five months.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been thinking all week about Jesus’ question – Who do you say that I am? Surely there has to be some rich preaching opportunities with that question. But nothing came to me. This morning, though, it occurred to me that the image of Peter as the rock on which Jesus will build his church might be especially fruitful for these times. We all want something solid to build on – to build our lives, our careers, our churches. But right now it doesn’t seem like we have anything solid to hold onto. Where is our rock? I, for one, could use a solid rock to stand on right now.

    But what was Jesus saying really when he called Peter the rock? Remember two weeks ago, Peter steps out of the boat and sinks like a rock amidst the waves. In just a few verses, Jesus is going to turn to Peter and say ‘get behind me Satan’ when Peter completely misunderstands what he seems to grasp in today’s lesson. In the not too distant future, Peter is going to deny Jesus 3 times. He is not going to believe the initial resurrection accounts. He, like the other disciples has regularly been confused and counfounded by Jesus. He is anything but what we would describe as a solid foundation…and yet, Jesus uses his frailty, his ups and downs, his humaness just as he uses ours to build his church. We may not now see any solid ground, but God can take failure, loss, weakness and confusion and use that to build a strong foundation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I focused on two things, the questions Jesus asked and the keys to the kingdom. I asked what are possibilities for keys to the kingdom during a pandemic and came up with mercy and compassion.


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