Our guest preaching blogger this week is
2008-12-15 by CJ Teets

Susan Eastman, who teaches Bible and Christian Formation at Duke Divinity School. As an Episcopal priest, she pastored from New York to Alaska to Oregon for over 20 years.



GoodPreacher Awards
2008-12-12 by David Howell

For Pastors

 

For Seminarians



Sally, Dee Dee, and Sermon at the Cafe
2008-12-11 by David von Schlichten

The Spirit has been stirring up the waters of the hot tub in especially exciting ways through the blogging this week. Thank you to guest blogger Sally Brown for full, thoughtful posts. Also, it is pleasant to see Dee Dee Haines blogging this week. She always provides useful and well-worded insights.

I find especially valuable Sally Brown's talk of the relationship between counter-culturalism and the Holy Spirit. Please scroll down to read more.

I want to preach on "rejoicing" this Sunday. Paul tells us to rejoice always. What does that mean? Does John the Baptist rejoice always?

Please go to the Sermon Feedback Cafe to read Pastor J. Wallace's sermon on Mark 1:1-8.

Thanks again to everyone for this bubbling tub of contributions. Grateful, I am

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





On Knowing Who You Aren't
2008-12-11 by Sally Brown

I'm thinking today more specifically about the John text.  First, the insistent language about the identity and role of John can seem overwrought unless we keep in mind that this is in all likelihood discourse prompted by the continuing presence of a robust John-the-Baptist centered community at the time of the gospel's writing.

At a first level of interpretation, the concerns of the text are theological. The issue is the identity of the Word-made-flesh. Evidently, there were a good number in this gospel's audience who still regard John as a candidate.  But John himself sets the record straight:  "I am not the Messiah. . . I am not Elijah . . . I am not the prophet . ."

Knowing who we are not is essential to knowing who we are. Knowing who we are not is freeing.  I tell my students when they're writing a paper that figuring out what their paper is not about is crucial to addressing the work at hand.

I pointed out in yesterday's entry that it is the descent of the Spirit (verses 32-33) that will clue John in to the presence of the Coming One among the crowd.

What is it that we, the church, are called to be and to do amid troubled, and troubling, social and economic currents?  Certainly prayerful attention to the Spirit is crucial.  We cannot be witnesses to the work of God unless we are poised to recognize the divine Spirit. 

A sermon on what it means to be a community that works for the reign of God and at the same time prays to discern it may well be the kind of basic and timely return in preaching to core practices of faith that is especially apt in Advent.





Free Samples for Third Sunday in Advent
2008-12-11 by David Howell

See all the resources for this coming Sunday at Third Sunday in Advent.





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