James Howell's Sermon for Sunday
2009-12-09 by David Howell

James Howell has shared with us his sermon for Sunday...creative!

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James Howell's Preaching Journal





Home
2009-12-08 by Stephen Schuette

Zephaniah has quite a list of transformations to take place:  judgments are turned, fear of disaster will be past, oppressors will be dealt with, lame saved, outcasts gathered, shame turned to praise…and then, “…I will bring you home.”  Poetically the passage seems to build.  Dislocation, people who have lost their moorings, some who have forgotten altogether what the experience of home truly is will be addressed, and it almost seems as if all the rest is prelude to this culminating fulfillment:  I will bring you home.

From what are we alienated/exiled?  From place?  From each other?  From ourselves?  From God?  From purpose and calling and meaning?  From peace or hope or grace?  From creation itself?  From all of the above at once?  What does home even look like from where we stand?  Can we even get our imaginations around it, wandering as we are?

So maybe there’s the honesty in John calling the people back out into the wilderness.  You’re lost, admit it!  Yet denial is strong.  We have things to occupy us and divert us.  John must cut through it.

But then, in the middle of it the explanation of what we need to do seems so simple.  Maybe the way isn’t as obscure as we thought.  It’s as simple (and radical) as sharing what we have to share.  It’s about not using your position or authority to take advantage of others.  It’s about not using power abusively and finding contentment when needs are met and not giving in to the craving for more.  John, for all his storm and bluster, is not a prophet who reaches too far or overdoes the solution.  Finding one’s home or self may not involve a journey as far away as we thought.  Maybe it’s right here after all.

Ever seen the movie, The Trip to Bountiful?





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





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