Post-Sermon Reflection
2009-12-07 by David von Schlichten

Yesterday I continued my four-part sermon series called "Voices of Christ's Coming." For the first Sunday I portrayed Satan. Yesterday, I portrayed John the Baptist in his moments before his execution. He says that he could have saved himself a lot of misery by keeping his mouth shut but that he had to do what God had called him to do, which was speak out as a herald ordering people to repentance.

"When you have company coming, you clean your house. Christ is coming; clean your heart!" John says.

The sermon ended with John kneeling and leaning forward to have his head cut off.

The response was very positive. People love when I portray someone from the Bible, but is doing so really a sermon? I think yes, if the gospel is proclaimed. What do you think?

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten





A Sermon on the Rulers in Luke 3:1-2
2009-12-03 by David von Schlichten

Those opening verses include rulers who will play a key role in Jesus' crucifixion.

These rulers are also in contrast to John's ministry, which prepares the way for the ruler who will outrule them all through submitting to their corrupt and misguided power.

Finally, this list reminds us that God breaks into history, works in a context without being restricted by it. God enters history to enable us to transcend time.

Be sure to check out James Howell's guidance as well as Stephen Schuette's post.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





James Howell's Sermon for Sunday
2009-12-02 by David Howell

James Howell has shared with us his sermon for Sunday...his outline...it is interesting!

You can send him a question about the sermon.

Submit a Question
 

James Howell's Preaching Journal





Getting Out of My Own Way
2009-12-01 by Stephen Schuette

At the close of our weekly lectionary gathering my friend said he was going golfing today.  My silent benediction to him:  may your crooked be straight and your rough places smooth!

But let’s press deeper.  With the readings of the previous few weeks still ringing in our ears – the questioning between Jesus and Pilate, the apocalyptic upheavals – you can’t just receive Luke’s introduction to Chapter 3 as historical context.   You have to hear it as irony that amid all the powerful people, the who’s who of the day, those featured on Oprah, the Word of God came to some guy named John, the son of Zechariah (by the way, the ruler of nothing – sometimes you are meant to hear what’s missing).

Reminds me vaguely of a couple sneaking past all the security of the United States Government.  Right under your noses something that will change the world is unfolding and most of you don’t even know it.  As one of my teachers would remind us students, in scripture you have to pay attention to the minority report.  Remember the theme song of Jesus Christ, Superstar, also full of irony?

And as was inferred last week this is creation being redone, made new.  The hills and valleys that have stood since the beginning of time, that have seen other empires come and go, they’re going to be moved by that very force that created them in the first place.  This is at once concentrated and specific and huge and cosmological!  What an opening to a story!

And people will be changed.  It will transform everything.  People like Paul will be able to give thanks in prison.  The covenant of old will finally be fulfilled, in the words of Malachi.

The trouble is there’s something standing in the way.  And it’s not the Emperor Tiberius or Pontius Pilate or Herod.  God can move past all them, no problem.  The one standing in the way of my own transformation, my own participation in this new creative movement is me.  Oh yea, advent is a season of penitence, right?





Post-Sermon Reflection
2009-11-29 by David von Schlichten

My sermon this morning was a monologue by Satan, which is the first of a four-part series of monologues entitled, "Voices of Christ's Coming." Satan expresses frustration that, while he is able to achieve short-term success, in the long run God always foils his efforts. Satan acknowledges that his days are numbered, because the Second Coming will mean his annihilation. In the meantime, he tries to have as much fun ruining lives as possible.

The early service worshippers said little about the sermon, but the late service worshippers had many positive comments. My early service folks tend to be quieter with feedback. I don't know if that's because they are not quite awake or if they are quiet about feedback for some other reason.

Next Sunday's monologue: John.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten





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