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Sep 16

17th Sunday after Pentecost [Ordinary 25B] (Year B)

“She opens her mouth with wisdom…” (Proverbs 31:26a)
Proverbs 31:10-31
  •  Yes, you can certainly use this passage to honor the women of your congregation.  But…since this passage is pretty specific about the woman beingmarried, you will run the risk of isolating the single ladies of your church and community.  Proceed with caution if you choose to go in that direction.
  • If I were preaching on this passage, I would likely explore the idea that the “wife” in this text is/could be the Church.  Since the Church is sometimes talked about as the “bride of God”, I think it makes a great deal of sense — and it certainly makes this a text that will preach toeveryone.  Re-read the passage, substituting “the Church” (or, perhaps the specific name of your congregation) wherever you see “wife” or “she”, etc.
  • There are some wonderful images that you can bring out and highlight from this passage.  Really, it is a very sensory-rich text — you can imagine tasting the food, walking in the grassy field, smell the grapes growing in the vineyard, hear the hum of the spinning wheel, and feel the homespun fabrics.
  • Does your church have a craft guild or a knitting circle?  You may want to commission or bless the group in your worship service — especially if they make things like prayer shawls, blankets/quilts for hospitals, or hats for newborns.  If/when you do, feature items that they have made in your worship display.
  • This could be an interesting text to explore with a stewardship focus in mind.  Consider all the ways that your church utilizes time, talents, and treasure to be the “capable wife” that God seeks…
Psalm 1
  • This Psalm also appears in the readings for the 7th Sunday of Easter (Year B).  You can check out the ideas we posted for that Sunday here.
  • Want to set up a tree “planted by steams of water” in your worship space?  Artificial trees are fairly affordable in most craft and home decor stores, though you could certainly use a real tree, too.  But, what about the streams of water?  Well… you can certainly use fabric to simulate streams in your worship space (easy, no mess – but you will want to get plenty of fabric so it can ripple and pool, so be sure to get fabric that’s on sale).  If you want to use real water, you could spray-paint a plastic kiddie pool (to hide any goofy cartoon fish or other decorations on the plastic), fill it with water, and surround it with plants, rocks, and fabric to simulate an “oasis” of sorts.
James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
  • What is it that motivates us?  Are our actions guided by our love for God and other people — or, are our actions guided by our love of self?
  • “Wisdom” is featured prominently in this text.  If you are focusing on this passage, you may want to use some large, cardboard letters to spell “wisdom” in your worship display.
  • The “wisdom from above” is described as being “peaceable”, so you could include a variety of peace signs in your worship display.  It is also described as being “willing to yield”, so you may want to use a “Yield” sign in your display.
Mark 9:30-37
  • Jesus teaches his disciples that he will be killed and raised, and the disciples don’t have a clue what to make of what he is telling them.  Do we understand what Jesus is saying?  Would we be afraid to ask him?
  • What do we argue about along the way (individually, as a church, as a denomination…)?  What would Christ say to us (since, we should remember, that he already knows what we are squabbling about)?
  • How well do we truly welcome children in our places of worship?  Are kids welcome during the worship service, or are they ushered to other parts of the building?  This is a great text to use if you are exploring these issues in your church.
  • If you really want to be daring, you could do the entire sermon as a “children’s sermon” – involving the kids and interacting with them (and the adults).

1 ping

  1. 19th Sunday after Pentecost [Ordinary 27B] (Year B) - The Worship Closet

    […] Sundays past, we read about the wise woman (described in Proverbs).  This week, Job’s wife seems intent […]

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