Teen Preacher
2009-06-27 by David von Schlichten

Please go to "Share It" and then to the "Sermon Feedback Cafe" to read a sermon by fifteen year-old Alexandria "Nuggy" Brant, a member of my congregation who is preaching for her first time on June 28. She'd love for you to share your expertise with her.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Laurie Clark and Alex
2009-06-25 by David von Schlichten

Thank you to Laurie Clark, our guest blogger. She has provided exceptionally rich postings. Please scroll down to taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

If I were going to preach this Sunday, I might follow Laurie's lead and invite hearers to put themselves in the sandals of different figures in the story while also stressing to hearers the sometimes theo-peutic power of touch.

However, I will not be preaching this weekend. A fifteen year-old parishioner, Alexandria, who is extraordinary in many ways, will be preaching her first sermon, which we have been working on together over the past couple of weeks. She will focus on the second lesson, 2 Corinthians 8, and the call to give of ourselves to those in need. I cannot wait to hear her!

Turning 40 on the 27th, I am

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator 





Lectio Devina
2009-06-23 by Laurie Clark

Sometimes when I’m trying to hear a sermon, I practice lectio devina. Usually this is on Tues or Wed, when I’ve read the text, read about the text, scribbled a few ideas or a rough outline and I find myself asking, “What is it, God, that you are saying to St. Luke’s in this time and in this place?” And the prayer takes me, sometimes, back into the scripture and I watch to see where our congregation is.

 

Are we Jarius, a leader, but willing to risk on behalf of a child (or someone) we love? Are we willing to reach out, even if our friends might not understand or tell us, “Don’t go talk with that Jesus person.” What will our congregations risk, to be made whole? To be healed? What will we, as preachers, risk to speak the truth we feels God gives us?

 

Are we the bleeding woman, outcast, spent, without a name? Where do we get the strength to try again to be healed?

 

Are we the crowd, pressing in on Jesus, possibly keeping others from touching him, or possibly reaching for him ourselves?

 

Are we the crowd, wondering why some are healed and others are not? Or are we the one person who is beginning to understand – this healing is about more than a couple of people made well. This is about the kingdom of God, here, in our midst.

 

Are we the little girl, so sick, and then fine, up and walking around, getting something to eat?

 

Are we the mourners whose tears turn to laughter? Are we the church that gathers, too late, for the child has already died? Do we dismiss Jesus as just another wacky guy who can’t possibly wake up a dead child? Are we overcome in amazement, still able to believe again in the power and presence of God?

 

Where are we, where is our congregation in this scripture?

 

And what is it that God is calling us to proclaim to a world so in need of healing, wholeness, and salvation? Is there a balm to make the wounded whole?

  



The Whole Truth
2009-06-23 by Laurie Clark

In verse 33, the no longer bleeding woman fell down before Jesus and told him “the whole truth.” I’ve been wondering for days, “What is the whole truth that she told him?” There is a lot of healing going on here, and it isn’t just physical. The bleeding woman is an outcast and an outsider. She is unclean. She has spent all her money, trying to get well. Jesus is her last chance and she just knows that if she can just touch him, she will be healed. Physically well. For the first time in 12 years. And it works! She touches his robe, maybe the fringe of his shawl, and she feels it – physically healing. Her faith seems to connect her to Jesus’ power, and she is made well.

 

But there is more. Because when she shows herself to Jesus, she tells him, “the whole truth.” Healing, it seems is more than the body. To have peace, to have shalom, healing requires the whole truth.

 

The nuances here are around the Greek verb sozo. Translated as Made well, it’s usually translated as “saved.” (Lamar Williamson, p. 110, Interpretation commentary on Mark) Saved. Salvation. Salve. A balm to make the wounded whole.

 

Is this whole truth a kind of confession? Does speaking the truth heal our hearts and minds, bringing us to God’s peace, even if our bodies still suffer?

 

What is the whole truth our churches need to tell Jesus?

 



Technique
2009-06-23 by Laurie Clark

Several commentaries point out the technique Mark uses in telling these two healing stories. It is a “Story within a story.”  (It happens again in Mark 11) The stories work together to help us understand Mark’s larger message. The first story: Jairus interrupts Jesus, asking him to come heal his daughter. Then, the tension and suspense builds. The crowd presses in on Jesus. The second story: Someone else touches him. He finds the bleeding and healed woman and speaks to her. Back to the first story: All the while, Jairus is anxious, waiting, worried about his daughter. Will Jesus arrive on time? Is Jesus always this unaware of time? Does Jesus not understand the urgency? Then, it’s as if someone pops a balloon and the air spills out. The messengers come and tell Jairus that his daughter has died. Then, resurrection, again. It’s a story within a story, both stories pulling and pushing at the other.

 

Is this really about two healings? Yes, but. These healings point to something more – that God’s kingdom is here, that Jesus is God, with God’s power and authority and that Jesus will one day confront death and overcome it that God’s “Peace”  Shalom healing and wholeness will come again to God’s creation.

 

Can we preach in a way that puts the story of our personal faith lives in the story of our congregations into the God’s story of resurrection and new life?





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