Preaching on Stewardship- Holy Week Edition 2018

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Happy Monday! Every Monday I share a few tidbits, nuggets, or ideas for incorporating some stewardship themes in your preaching. As we are staring at Palm Sunday, and Holy Week, this week’s edition will offer short nuggets of ideas for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. This week’s stewardship nuggets based on the appointed readings by the Revised Common Lectionary and Narrative Lectionary are as follows:

Sunday March 25, 2018- Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday
Revised Common Lectionary:
Palm Sunday Gospel: Mark 11:1-11
First Lesson: Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Second Lesson: Philippians 2:5-11
Gospel of the Passion Story: Mark 14:1-15:47
Potential Stewardship Preaching Nugget: As we journey into and then through Jerusalem, and to the cross, we are confronted by the passion story. Let it speak for itself, as we join the hosannas and then the shouts of “crucify him,” and then as we hear Jesus ask, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Narrative Lectionary: “The Crucified Messiah”
Focus Text: John 12:12-27 and John 19:16b-22
Psalm 24
Potential Stewardship Preaching Nugget: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that’s in it, the world, and those who live in it” (Psalm 24:1, NRSV). As we journey into and then through Jerusalem, and to the cross, we are confronted and comforted by the reminder that we are all God’s people, and everything that we have is God’s. It’s a central stewardship tenant, built on the deep understanding that God will go even to death for us, because God loves and cares for the earth that God created and all that are in it.

Thursday March 29, 2018- Maundy Thursday
Revised Common Lectionary:
First Lesson: Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel of John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Potential Stewardship Preaching Nugget: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34, NRSV). How do we live out this commandment in our words and deeds? What does it mean to show love and to serve our neighbors? What does our stewardship look like as we wash one another’s feet?

Narrative Lectionary: “Jesus’ Last Words”
Focus Text: John 19:23-30
Psalm 26:3
Potential Stewardship Preaching Nugget: “Here is your son,” and “here is your mother” (John 19:26-27, NRSV). In Jesus’ last breath, he takes care of those close to him, because Jesus cares so deeply and recognizes the depth of relationships. This is after all why he is going through this insanity of death on a cross, the death caused by sin and allowed because of unjust and broken systems and government. (Perhaps it would be nicely paired with John 13:34, a usual focal point for Maundy Thursday.) How do we steward our relationships with one another?

Friday March 30, 2018- Good Friday
Revised Common Lectionary:
First Lesson: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 22
Second Lesson: Hebrews 10:16-25
Gospel of John 18:1-19:42
Potential Stewardship Preaching Nugget: Let this story speak for itself.

Narrative Lectionary: “Jesus the Passover Lamb”
Focus text: John 19:31-42
Psalm 31:9-18
Potential Stewardship Preaching Nugget: Let this story speak for itself.

Sunday April 1, 2018- Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of Our Lord
Revised Common Lectionary:
First Lesson: Acts 10:34-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Gospel of Mark 16:1-8
Potential Stewardship Preaching Nugget: First of all, if you are observing the Vigil of Easter or an Easter Sunrise service, talk about God’s promises and you’ll be in good shape. Now, as for these lessons, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). On this Easter Sunday, where a joke might be appropriate given it is also April Fool’s Day, God doesn’t joke, but perhaps God laughs at death and our human understanding of what is final and finite. As the tomb is open, we might rejoice, we might be afraid. What is our response? What does it look like? How are we changed? And what’s next as God has done what God can only do?

Narrative Lectionary: “Resurrection”
Focus Text: John 20:1-18
Psalm 118:21-29
Potential Stewardship Preaching Nugget: As Mary Magdalene proclaims, “I have seen the Lord,” so have we (John 20:18, NRSV). Where at, have we seen the Lord? What all has God done for us? How are we changed? How do we respond to this ultimate Good News?

Dear friends and preachers, as you prepare for all that is Holy Week, may you find some time to reflect on God’s promises for you, and point to them as you tell the greatest story anew. May God’s love, peace, and presence be with you. And may God’s love, comfort, peace, and challenge be made manifest through you.

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