GoodPreacher Seminarian Sermon Award!
2009-03-09 by David Howell

The top three vote recipients are:

  • Hipsockets and Hungry Crowds: The Breaking-Blessing Heart of God by Maria Swearingen
  • Bringing Home Baby by Christie Davis Ashton
  • Sink or Swim: Just Get Out of the Boat by Matt Landry

They are asked to prepare a YouTube version of a sermon to be available for viewing by April 1. A voting system will be in place on GoodPreacher.com from April 1 until April 8 for the three YouTube sermons. If the voting system results in a tie, a distinguished panel will review the YouTube sermons and announce the GoodPreacher Seminarian Award winner on May 1.





Our guest blogger this week is
2009-03-09 by David Howell

Dr. Scott Seay, Assistant Professor of Church History at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disicples of Christ), and has extensive experience in congregation-based ministry, both in his denomination and the Presbyterian Church (USA).  At CTS, his teaching and research focuses on the history of Christianity in America, including the history of the Stone-Campbell Movement.  A graduate of Wabash College, he earned master's degrees from both the University of Chicago Divinity School and CTS, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.  He is the author of two books, a dozen articles, and multiple resources for preaching and congregational ministry.



Harriet Tubman and Two Kinds of Suffering
2009-03-06 by David von Schlichten

In proclaiming the message that people are to take up the cross, it is crucial for us preachers to make clear to our listeners that embracing suffering for Christ does not mean embracing any suffering. Taking up the cross means embracing suffering for the sake of Christ and the gospel. 

Harriet Tubman encountered both pointless suffering and cross-suffering. She was horribly beaten as a slave girl - that was pointless suffering, not taking up the cross. The risk and danger she faced through helping people find freedom by way of the Underground Railroad was taking up the cross, suffering for Christ. Further, given how devout Tubman was, she probably saw her work in such a way.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator 





Scott, Stephen, Harriet Tubman
2009-03-04 by David von Schlichten

It is valuable to hear from guest blogger Scott Cowdell, who helps us to proclaim hope at a time of eocnomic peril, and it is always edifying to have Stephen's contributions.

The anniversary of Harriet Tubman's death is March 10. She was so severely beaten as a young slave that she had significant health problems for the rest of her life as a result.  She was born in the nightmare of slavery, but she broke from that to help realize the dream of greater rights for African Americans.

Likewise, God brings new life for Abraham and Sarah, just God uses the ignominous cross to save the world. 

We have hope because God's powerful faithfulness is stronger than sin and plight. 

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator 





Labels...
2009-03-03 by Stephen Schuette

Just prior to these verses in Mark Peter uses a word for Jesus: “Messiah” (vs. 29).  And Jesus immediately tells the disciples not to tell anyone.  Why?  Maybe it’s because Peter has just used a word he doesn’t understand.  They’ll get the message all wrong.  They’re not ready yet and Jesus knows it.

And the following verses prove it.  To talk about “Messiah” as a label would have connected his mission with “success” (thanks, Scott) and led to more confusion.  To talk about suffering, Jesus’ real mission, which Jesus shares freely and openly, is something that Peter (and the other disciples too?) want to hide.

What we hide and what we reveal is telling.  Who wants to show their weakness, their vulnerability?  Who wants to open themselves to being hurt?  Further, who could speak of their own impending death in a way that lacks defensiveness or accusation, in order to reveal the injustice of what “those” people are going to do to me?  But there’s none of that feeling in these words of Jesus.  It’s just straight-forward, a matter of fact that being Messiah involves this course when you’re “on the way.”

 Labels do more hiding than revealing.  Labels allow me to dismiss others and their opinions more easily so that I can be more comfortable with my own prejudices.  And those labels to which I cling, which give me some judgment that allows me to rise above a more direct relationship and the accompanying vulnerability do not fall away easily.  And yet here is Jesus inviting us to see ourselves as we are and to see others as they are because Jesus is willing to be among us just as he is.





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