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.





Vote for the "best" seminarian sermon!
2009-03-02 by David Howell

Thank you to all the seminarians who submitted sermons! Please vote for the "best" sermon on or before March 8.

If you are a subscriber click here (you need to be logged on) for the password to vote. If you are not a subscriber, email us at office@goodpreacher.com and we will send you the password to vote.

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Our Guest Blogger This Week Is
2009-03-01 by David Howell

Scott Cowdell, an Australian Anglican priest who has been a parish pastor (twice) and seminary dean (once). He has been contributing sermons to Lectionary Homiletics since 2006. Scott is currently Associate Professor of Theology at Charles Sturt University, holding a five-year Research Fellowship in Public and Contextual Theology and teaching at St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Canberra. He is also Canon Theologian of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Scott’s  six books at the interface between Christianity and modern Western culture include Is Jesus Unique? A Study of Recent Christology (Paulist Press, 1996), A God For this World (Continuum, 2000) and Abiding Faith: Christianity Beyond Certainty, Anxiety and Violence (Cascade Books, forthcoming mid-2009). He is currently working on a new book for the University of Notre Dame Press entitled René Girard and Secular Modernity: Christ, Culture and Crisis. From February to May 2010, Scott will be a Scholar in Residence at the Collegeville Institute, St John’s University, in Collegeville, Minnesota, and will have a limited program of engagements in the United States.”

See his first post below.
 





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