Preaching on Stewardship- Dec. 24 & 25, 2017

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Every Monday I share a few tidbits, nuggets, or ideas for incorporating some stewardship themes in your preaching. Given that this coming week includes the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, there could be a lot of readings to sift through, to make it easy, I am presenting the likely readings appointed by both the Revised Common Lectionary and Narrative Lectionary as follows.

After listing all of the readings assigned, I will offer a few overview thoughts for thinking about stewardship around these dates. Thus, this will be a bit different than the usual Monday post.

Assigned readings:

Sunday December 24, 2017: Revised Common Lectionary- Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B)
First Lesson: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
Second Lesson: Romans 16:25-27
Gospel of Luke 1:26-38

Sunday December 24, 2017: Revised Common Lectionary- Christmas Eve
First Lesson: Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96
Titus 2:11-14
Gospel of Luke 2:1-20

Monday December 25, 2017: Revised Common Lectionary- Christmas Day
First Lesson: Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 98
Second Lesson: Hebrews 1:1-4 [5-12]
Gospel of John 1:1-14

Sunday December 24, 2017 (AM): Narrative Lectionary- Fourth Sunday of Advent
Narrative Theme for the Day: Word Made Flesh (Year 4, Week 16)
Focus Passage: John 1:1-18
Psalm 130:5-8

Sunday December 24, 2017 (PM): Narrative Lectionary- Christmas Eve
Narrative Theme for the Day: Birth of Jesus (Year 4, Week 16)
Focus Passage: Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]
Psalm 96:7-10

Monday December 25, 2017: Narrative Lectionary- Christmas Day
Narrative Theme for the Day: Shepherds Visit (Year 4, Week 16)
Focus Passage: Luke 2:8-20
Psalm 123:1-2

Summary of thoughts:
Whatever you do in observing the fourth Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, please reiterate this one point. This is God’s work, for us! Please don’t mess this up, and think that it’s about what we do. This is especially important to remember for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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The nativity

In observing the fourth Sunday of Advent following the revised common lectionary, if your context is not reading the Magnificat this week, then I might invite you to ponder the stewardship implications of Psalm 89. We read or sing, “I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations” (Psalm 89:4, NRSV). As we move from Advent to Christmas and remember God’s promises and their fulfillment, we give thanks and celebrate all that God has done and continues to do for us.

In observing the fourth Sunday of Advent following the narrative lectionary, or preaching on John 1 on Christmas Day following the revised common lectionary, perhaps it might be helpful to ponder: no matter the darkness we find ourselves in, the Word that is God is there shining through. How do we point to this in our daily lives? How do we make space to wonder, what might God be up to? What new thing might God be doing?

In stewardship, the story and narrative matters. If you use the three words that Chick Lane characterizes stewardship as, “Ask, Thank, Tell,” we have quite the story to tell. And, maybe just maybe this week, we should tell the story and let that be enough. 

Wherever you might be led, may God be with you in your preparation and planning. May God’s peace and light shine on you, be made known to you, and be made known through you. And may you point to that light and peace and share it with all you might meet.

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