Tombs and Unbinding
2009-10-28 by David von Schlichten

I am thinking of John 11, this Sunday's gospel. Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb and then calls others to unbind him and let him go.

What tombs does Jesus call us out of? What tombs do we hide in?

How are we to unbind each other and let each other go?

Post your thoughts!

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





The Saints Are Marching In...
2009-10-27 by David Howell

at Pastor Talk To Me About....

Be sure to read what they have to say about this Sunday's texts.





All Saints Day or Proper 26
2009-10-25 by David Howell

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Post-Sermon Reflection
2009-10-25 by David von Schlichten

Today's sermon was a skit-sermon (a play-sermon, I called it) in which three women/girls from my congregation played different parts. They acted out early events from Luther's life as part of celebrating Reformation Day.

Maddie, who is thirteen, played Luther. My daughter Katie, who is seventeen, played Tetzel, Luther's father, and narrator two, and Melcena, who is eighty-one, played narrator one. They did a spectacular job. I didn't receive much in the way of feedback, but I found their performance expressive and faithful to the Good News.

You can read the sermon at the cafe.

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator 





Reformation Sunday; Self-Worth Crisis?
2009-10-24 by David von Schlichten

At least in the ELCA, we're celebrating Reformation Sunday on October 25.

One of the basic root causes of human misery is low self-esteem. We humans often fail to feel good about ourselves, so we are more likely to be unhappy and we frequently fail to be loving toward others. If we valued our selves more, then we would be happier with ourselves and that self-love would fuel greater loving action toward others.

Justification by grace through faith stresses that God loves us unconditionally. We do not need to prove our worth. God confers it upon us. Now, therefore, we are free to feel good about ourselves and to focus on being more loving toward us.

Then again, part of justification by grace through faith is accepting that we humans are hopelessly depraved. We will never be good enough for heaven, and we don't have to be, thanks be to God. God declares that we are priceless even though we are, without God, worthless.

So then, does this theology really help to promote a positive self-image that can beget more loving action toward others? Justification by grace through faith requires me to accept that I am worthless on my own. I can feel good about my worth, not because I am intrinsically valuable, but because God has deigned to confer worth upon me, even though I am unworthy.

If a positive self-image contributes to happiness, and if justification by grace through faith teaches that my self is only valuable because of God and is otherwise no good, then could it be that justification by grace through faith interferes with happiness? I don't know. I'm just wondering.

Please share your thoughts.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





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