Actually...
2008-11-11 by Tom Steagald

I have one more thing to say. The word for "entrust" is the Greek word paradidomi, sometimes translated "give over" or "hand "over," which is the same word used for what Judas did to Jesus in "handing him over" to those who arrested him.

Now, whether or not that sheds light of Judas and his motivations (for my part I think it surely does; see Klassen), it may give an interesting slant on the story. We consistently translate paradidomi "betray" when we reference Judas' action, but "entrust" otherwise (the LXX says Joseph's brothers paradidomi-ed Joseph to those who took him to Egypt).  I am wondering if part of the complexity, the thickness, of this parable relates to the story of the son mistreated and killed by the wicked tenants. This landowner entrusts his "property" to the three, which word connotes the attributes of God, or may. But entrusted with the property of the journeying man, they put that property in the ground (kill and bury?).

Just a thought. Also, while the judgment is stern and the reward great, the generosity at the beginning is the same. In fact the generosity of the man creates the crisis even before the stewards do a thing.





All I have to say...
2008-11-11 by Tom Steagald

is that right now, today, the guy who puts his money in the ground looks like the wise steward! Those that went out and traded with them lost their shirts when the Dow-Jones tanked.

I wonder if this current financial crisis helps us see this parable in a way that keeps it from turning into, as it often gets preached, a moralizing stewardship sermon.

Do we bury our faith in the ground right now for fear of losing what we have? Or do we keep trading with them in this greatest gift entrusted to us?





This week's guest lectionary preacher is
2008-11-09 by CJ Teets

The Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, an ordained Minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a theologian.  She received her Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and her PhD in Theology and Ethics from Emory University in Atlanta, GA.  Marcia has served churches in Chicago, IL, Tampa, FL, and Oakland, CA.  She is currently serving an eight month stint as the Theologian in Residence at University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, NC, that began this fall (2008).

 

Marcia is a national board member of the Multicultural Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and just completed work on a group Lily Grant that involved studying pastoral excellence in the context of multicultural ministry with five other ministers from Oakland, CA.  She is also involved in a “Repairers of the Breach” clergy group in North Carolina charged with reconciling and building relationships with clergy who differ on various social issues that divide the Church.  Marcia grew up in Kentucky and is the fourth generation ordained to the ministry in her family.  She has worked in church, academic, and community settings on racial reconciliation and awareness.  Her book entitled Let the Bones Dance:  Embodiment and the Body of Christ is forthcoming with Westminster John Knox Press in 2009.  Her husband, John Mount Shoop, is the Offensive Coordinator for the University of North Carolina football team.  They have two young children.





Anna Carter Florence
2008-11-08 by David von Schlichten

Soon Year A will be over, and Anna will cease to be our author for "Preaching the Lesson." We will have other strong authors fill the void, but we will miss Anna's incisive and witty contributions each week.

This week she asks, "What fills your oil?" She also reminds us that waiting for the bridegroom is not to stir up fear but joy. We cannot wait for him to get here!

Anna does a brilliant job of helping us to hear these old texts in new but old ways.

By the way, I am not preaching this Sunday, so I will not be posting a sermon.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Jerry Sumney and the Anti-Christ
2008-11-07 by David von Schlichten

Thank you to guest blogger Jerry Sumney for his timely blog entries on our texts for Sunday. Among other things, he reminds us that the eschatological language of 1 Thessalonians is to be taken symbolically, not literally, and the Matthean text mainly admonishes church insiders, not church outsiders.

The point of such passages is not to get us all left-behindy about the Second Coming but to get ourselves, by the Spirit's power, right-minded. Being right-minded entails loving God and others in accord with God's grace.

What if people stopped worrying that Barack Obama might be the anti-Christ and instead focused on the anti-Christ that dwells within the self and yielding to God's grace to exorcise that anti-Christ?

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionay Blog Moderator





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