Year C, Epiphany 3
Friends, a quick story suggestion for January 24, 2016 in case you are still writing your sermon or preparing to be with the children this coming Sunday. I am in the midst of sermon prep for our Sunday evening “alternative to alternative” service after a wonderful trip to Italy full of early and medieval Christian art AND, of course, lots of good food and wine. Nehemiah and Luke bring us two great stories in the lectionary this week about listening to the word of God. The imagery of these stories is augmented by proclamations of Psalm 19 and I Corinthians 12. In the psalm all creation tells a wordless but continuous and joyous revelation of the Holy One. It is as if merely Be-ing in unity with self and the whole universe is a perfect testimony to God’s presence. In the familiar passage from I Corinthians 12, Paul proclaims the unity of the body – literally and within the Christian community – as a further testimony to God’s word.
I will be using a story from my storytelling mentor, Bob Wilhelm, this Sunday night that brings together imagery from both Nehemiah and Luke. It is titled, “Ezra and the Songbird”. Check it out on Bob’s Storyfest Journey’s website at http://www.storyfestjourneys.com/listen/middle-eastern-tales/christian-tales-the-middle/ezra-and-the-song-bird-the.html .
In the weeks to come I will be sharing some of my pictures of the art I experienced in Italy they coincide with he stories and imagery of the lectionary. I was fascinated with the stories carved in the stone on ancient Christian sacarphagi that I saw in the Vatican museum. They loved many of the miracle tales of Epiphany, the wedding at Cana and the loaves and fishes as well as the healing of the woman with the flow of blood and the story of that rascal, Zaccheus. They also loved Jonah and the whale. I am pondering the thread of life-giving imagery that runs through these tales prompting our Christian ancestors in faith to carve them as testimony on their tombs.
Be back with you in a few days with a blog for January 31st!
Blessings on your story journey!
©Jane Anne Ferguson, 2016. Text and photos to be reprinted with permission only.