Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sermon Ponderings - WorldWide Communion

This is just me sitting in my virtual coffee house throwing out random thoughts as I do research/prayer/thinking about this Sunday's sermon:

Scripture: Psalm 124; Mark 9:38-50
Working Title: Open Table

This is not the lectionary Scripture for today. I am not cowering from the discussion of divorce but I think you will agree that in my current situation that sermon is best left to the future. And not on Worldwide Communion Sunday

  • Very much aware that us mainlines have made it Worldwide Communion Sunday which others may find silly with a touch of arrogance since it is ALWAYS Communion Sunday where they are.
  • Earthquakes... tsunamis... the UN... G-20 all in the news this week - in your mercy Lord, hear our prayers...
  • "...whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward." Does this justify the 'but I'm a good person' anti-church defense?
  • John's follow-up to Jesus not buying into the whole 'who is the greatest' argument is to tattle-tale? Really, John? Seriously?
  • "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off..." - wondering what my left ring finger did. ;)
  • Some (many?) would see the church as one big stumbling block. From bulletins without prayers printed in them to the seat ownership mentality to the nightmare that can be committees... no wonder so many want to cut the church off.
  • I think that above bullet point just might preach.
  • Stumbling block is same word as 'snare' - folks would rather chew their own foot off in order to escape the clutches of the church...
  • Okay, that above bullet point maybe went too far. Or not...
  • Misplaced pencil, guess I can't work on this any more.
  • Oh. There it is.
  • :(
  • Good stuff on the pros and cons of a strong community in Feasting on the Word
  • No easy answers here highlighting the need for grace, fluidity and acceptance that things in life are usually grey, not distinct.
  • Challenge for me is when the choice is between spirit or structure I tend to err on the side of structure (shocking coming from a mainline pastor in a denomination that has a Book of Order as part of its Constitution, I know)
  • I've hit my time limit for working on sermon this morning, more later...
  • What are your thoughts... (although please note I am refraining from reading YOUR sermons on this Scripture from last week in order to fight desire to cut and paste your better offerings in TOTAL!)

(10/2 Ramblings...)
How often is our fall-back position in effect amputational theology? Don't like gay marriage? Cut them off! Don't like paying for other people's healthcare? Cut them off! Don't like the way a family member does things? Cut them off!

But surgery is rarely so simple. Even those who go under the knife for tummy tucks and augmentation find that their issues are far more complex than a simple swipe of the knife will solve.

When we cut off members of our society we lose something more than just them. We lose integrity. We lose balance. We lose a deeper sense of who 'we' are....

What the sermon aims to say: Look before you cut.
What the sermon aims to do: Encourage folks to clear a path to the Open Table of the Lord, whether it be for them or for someone who is being cut off.


Kathrynzj said...

What happened to my bullet points?

Maida said...

I started to prepare a sermon on this but ended up preaching on another text last week (long story). I was wondering about inclusivity, since the section about cutting off limbs and being thrown into the sea follows right after the warning to not cause the "little ones" to stumble. Who are our "little ones"? (I was leaning towards the idea that the little ones are new/cautious/curious believers, or those who might believe - those who are not against us.)

Anonymous said...

great coffee shop reflections and imagery - sounds like a powerful sermon!