Don't Be Blind
2009-10-23 by David Howell

to what lay folks are saying about preaching from the texts.

Unfortunately, this week's Homiletical Hot Tub blogger is ill.

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"Lectionary Homiletics" Highlight
2009-10-22 by David von Schlichten

First, Stephen Schuette provides stimulating observations below on the Bartimaeus text. For instance, Stephen makes some intriguing connections between this story and the story of the wall of Jericho coming down.

"Theological Themes"

In Lectionary Homiletics this week, Mary Louise Bringle begins by asking, "Does God give us what we want?" The answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. She then invites us to reflect on what we are asking of God. What do we want Jesus to do for us? What are some of the wrong things we ask for?

Step into the tub and share your thoughts.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Pastor Talk To Me...
2009-10-22 by David Howell

Questions and suggestions from lay folks...

60 or more resources per week are available on this site for each Sunday: Exegetical, Theological, Pastoral, Lesson and the Arts, Homiletical articles on the lectionary texts and much more! Plus outstanding sermons by the world's best preachers! New material is added every day. Less than $1.00 per week! 

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In a Moment of Clarity
2009-10-20 by Stephen Schuette

There are so many images which converge in this short pericope.  Just a few observations, some of them repeating the obvious, from which you can draw your own conclusions…

1.  There is an obvious A-B-A form, the journey on each end, with other mirrored arcs surrounding the mid-point, or fulcrum:  “Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’”  Everything on the front end of the story is transformed in the second half, not just Bartimaeus’ blindness, but the purpose of the crowd and their relationship with Bartimaeus, Bartimaeus’ sedentary years of waiting to his movement in hope, etc.

2.  In the larger context scholars often point out that the mid-section of Mark is framed by two stories of healing of the blind (8:22ff).  But could it be that the frame actually runs from baptism to Bartimaeus – Jordan to Jericho, with a new understanding of what it means to be God’s people and what it means to “conquer” and live into the promises of God?

2.  Names seem important.  Typically the people whom Jesus encounters are not named.  They are more often “a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit,” “a deaf man,” or a man who “had many possessions.”  It’s pointed out that Bartimaeus is the “Son of Timaeus.”  That’s obvious for a Hebrew, but perhaps not for Mark’s Gentile audience.  It also corresponds with the identification by Bartimaeus of Jesus as the “Son of David.”

3.  Jesus’ own name seems significant as well in this particular location at the wall of Jericho when we remember that “Jesus” is a derivative of “Joshua,” meaning, “He saves.”

4.  The “army” that Jesus is collecting and which follows him into Jerusalem is a mixture of the deaf, the blind, the lame, and children, all of them reclaimed for God’s purpose.  Still, they are hardly a threatening military force unless you understand the spiritual power at work here which will eventually shake the foundations of the Roman Empire.  This seems central to Mark’s story.  (See Borg/Crossan, The Last Week)

5.  The “Wall of Jericho” which comes down as a result of Bartimaeus’ shouting, just as the Wall of Jericho came down by the people’s shouting (Joshua 6:16), could be represented by Bartimaeus’ own blindness.  Or it could be the wall that is overcome is the barrier that Jesus’ own followers put between Jesus and Bartimaeus.  After all, Bartimaeus could actually see, through his blindness, who Jesus was and what his mission was about.  It’s the crowd (including those persistent disciples, no doubt) that is blind to both Bartimaeus and Jesus’ purpose.  At any rate there are shouts by Bartimaeus and eventually from the crowd too as Jesus prompts them to call him.

There’s more here too.  But out of all this rich stuff I think I’ll focus on those moments of excess meaning when time stops and the meaning and purpose of our lives comes into focus.  Life is given in the revelation of a purpose that is not about our plans but God’s call. 





This Week At GoodPreacher.com
2009-10-19 by David Howell

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