I want a reverse Lectionary index

OK, so I’m starting work a bit early on the sermon for the Sunday after Ascension Day (4th May). The Gospel reading, this being Year A, is John 17:1-11, the first chunk of Jesus’ high priestly prayer. The question in my mind was, when does the rest of this prayer occur in the Common Worship principal service lectionary? Does it occur at all? (Some bits are notably left out of the three-year lectionary, such as Revelation 22:19.)

In the end I searched through the PDF version of Common Worship for the phrase “John 17”, which turned up the answer fairly quickly. (The answer is that John 17.6-19 is read in year B and John 17.20-26 in year C.) But before that I had tried the Index of Biblical References at the back of Common Worship (pages 823-836). I’m sure it’s a very nice index, but all it gives are the page numbers. I think what I need is some sort of Biblical index to the Lectionary that tells me where each chunk of Scripture occurs – which Sunday of the year and which year of the cycle.

Of course, all my faithful readers (ha!) from non-lectionary-compliant churches will now be wondering what on earth I’m on about.


Nailing jelly to the wall

So there I was, writing my sermon for the carol service, and found myself using that phrase “like nailing jelly to the wall”. But hold on a moment, I think to myself, is that really what I mean. Can you really not nail jelly to the wall?

This man tried.

The smell of fish

Our house smells of fish. This is my fault.

Today was Harvest Thankgiving at St. Stephen’s and yours truly got to preach. We decided to switch the reading to John 6:1-13 – the feeding of the five thousand – after seeing the wonderful harvest loaf that was very kindly made for us by students at Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies, depicting the five loaves and two fish.

It occurred to me that I had rarely if ever seen a preacher use real fish as visual aids when preaching on this passage and, as this was an all-age type service, decided that something had to be done about this. Five mini mince pies and two fillets of rainbow trout. Now I know why most people use cardboard fish!

Helpful hints when making comments on preachers’ style

Work on processing the results of the parish survey is nearing completion. PCC members the length and breadth of Elmdon (which is not very far) are full of excitement.

One handy hint for anyone who might be filling in such a survey about their own church, and might be considering making “helpful” comments on the preaching style of one or more of their clergy, readers, etc. My hint is that, whilst I can understand why you may wish to remain anonymous, and that you might think it helpful to refrain from naming the person whose sermons you dislike, this actually makes life quite tricky for the person who gets to process the survey results.

If we don’t know and can’t work out who you’re talking about, and we also don’t know who you are (understandably!), then there isn’t actually anything useful we can do with your remark.

Poor Lesley, and other news

Poor old Lesley is having problems with her teeth. Not very nice; at least another two visits to the dentist required.

No. 1 child has a short visit tomorrow to his new nursery class.

After a number of false starts, I seem to be getting somewhere with this sermon for Sunday.

Dear old MRFS has sent me a quite delightful and surprising item in the post, the nature of which I cannot reveal publicly. He is a decent chap.

Royal Mail attempted to deliver an item yesterday, while we were out, and indicated that we might be able to find it at the sorting office today. Alas, no.

Must start this sermon

I will be preaching next Sunday (9th September) at Valley Church Centre. Yes, I’m a bit ahead of myself, but I need to get organised now to stand a chance of getting the sermon prepared in time whilst still having time to do anything else next week.

The lectionary says:

(We’re on the “related” track this year.)