the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Year C - Advent 1

Liturgy of the Word:
Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent means "coming" and in this season we prepare for the coming of Christ. One of the ways we prepare for his coming is by making an Advent wreath and lighting its candles to remind us of the gifts Christ brings to the world.

The Advent wreath includes many symbols to help us think about Christ and his gifts. The wreath itself is in the shape of a circle. A circle has no beginning and no end. This reminds us that there is no beginning and no end to God and that God's love and caring are forever.

The light from the candles - which grows stronger each Sunday in Advent, reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world.

Today we light the candle of hope. The people of Israel hoped in
God's promises and were not disappointed. Again and again God delivered Israel from its enemies. We too have the same experience of salvation. That is why we believe in God's promise to send Jesus to us once again to judge the world and establish his kingdom forever upon the earth. (a person lights the candle)

Hope is like a light shining in a dark place. As we look at the light of this candle we celebrate the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Let us pray: Thank you God for the hope you give us. We ask that as we wait for all your promises to come true, and for Christ to come again, that you would remain present with us. Help us today, and everyday to worship you, to hear your word, and to do your will by sharing your hope with each other. We ask it in the name of the one who was born in Bethlehem. Amen.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Year B - Christ the King

Liturgy of the Word:
2 Samuel 23:1-7
Psalm 132:1-12
Revelation 1:4b-8
John 18:33-37

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Year B - Proper 28

Liturgy of the Word:
1 Samuel 1:4-20
Psalm 16
Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25
Mark 13:1-8
There is no holy One, or no rock like our God who causes my heart to rejoice and my strength to increase,
For the Lord is a God of knowledge, who judges our actions.
Who breaks the power of the mighty, and clothes the feeble with strength,
The Lord makes rich and makes poor, brings low and lifts up.
Raising up the poor from the dust and the needy from the ash heap;
Giving them seats of honour and guarding the feet of those who are faithful.
While the wicked and those who rebel against the Lord will be shattered.
We worship and praise God - judge of all the earth.

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

When church culture becomes substitute for Christ’s power

COMMENTARY: When church culture becomes substitute for Christ’s power

Shannon Vowell, Nov 19, 2009

By Shannon Vowell
Special Contributor

This is a tale of two churches.

No. 1: Once upon a time there was a Methodist Church that grew and grew. Why? Because it was 1955, and everyone in the land wanted to celebrate peace, to baptize the many babies they were having, and to make friends with the baby-having-and-baptizing couples who lived next door...

Read the rest of this aritcle at the website.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Year B - Proper 27

Liturgy of the Word:
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
Psalm 127
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44