This Week's Guest Blogger, Luke Bouman
2008-05-19 by Luke Bouman

Rev. Dr. Luke Bouman,  a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the Director of Church Relations for Valparaiso University and is a frequent guest preacher in the Chapel of the Resurrection on Campus.  He has been a regular English contributor to the sermon resource website of the University of Goettingen in Germany since 2003.  He has also written “Preaching Helps” for the journal “Currents in Theology and Mission.”





Joretta Marshall and "Lectionary Homiletics" Highlights
2008-05-15 by David von Schlichten

Thank you to guest blogger Joretta Marshall for providing priming questions and cogent reflections on the Trinity. Some of you have responded with wise insights. Nothing enlivens the hot tub like Trinity-talk.

In addition, for free you can dip into Richard Eslinger's “Lesson and the Arts” article from this week's bevy of articles in Lectionary Homiletics.

Below are highlights from those articles.

Exegesis”

Mark Labberton lifts from Matthew 28:16-20 six verbs crucial to Jesus' “mission strategy and purpose” (p. 49): go (Jesus' mission is “active and extensive”), make (is “transformative”), baptize (“involves a new identity”), teach (“means a new way of thinking and acting”), obey (“requires self-offering”) and remember (“is not about us”) (p. 49).

Preaching the Lesson”

Anna Carter Florence makes several driving points, including that the Great Commission is not the Great Commandment and that there is a radical, stretching allness to the text. Florence speaks of this passage in terms of Jesus shooting an arrow that pierces boundaries. She asks, “Where is that arrow flying, in your community?” (p. 55) Further, where is it pointing for us to go? (Ibid.)

A Sermon”

Scott Cowdell, in “Trinity as Template for Peace,” draws from several texts, including the Great Commission, which he sees as calling us Christians to help spread the peace that the Trinity models, calls for and makes possible. The Commission is not about proselytizing so much as it is about Trinity-shaped peace-spreading.

I hear the Spirit calling me to the idea of the Trinity needing all three persons to be complete, just as the Church needs all of us, including our various differences.

At the same time, my little heart is fluttering in its cage at the thought of attending the Festival of Homiletics for the first time. I'm leaving Latrobe, PA at 6:30 Monday morning. I cannot wait. Packing, I am

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Right Relatedness
2008-05-14 by Joretta Marshall

I am appreciating the conversation and ideas that are emerging in this hot tub. Thanks! I am particularly taken with this notion that God is "relational" rather than "managerial." It opens up God's activity in the world in so many powerful ways.

As I was reflecting on some of what has been said, I keep thinking about the notion of "right relationship". 

In the Christian tradition we often talk about being in “right relationship” with God. Perhaps the Trinity is a symbol of what it means to live in right relationship. One part of the Trinity would not be “God” without the others. Here we experience that God is not whole unless God is related to the various aspects of God’s being in ways that are connected and meaningful, dynamic and active. Every time we experience the Spirit moving within and among us, we know that God, the Creator is also moving and changing. As we live into the redemptive activity of God through Jesus we know that God is breathing new life into all of creation. And, as the Creator groans at the ongoing destruction of the earth, we know that this groaning changes the way in which the redemptive and active parts of God are at work in individuals and in the world. God is intimately interconnected, even as the dimensions of the Trinity are distinctive.

 

So it is also with our relationships with one another, with the earth, and with the whole of creation. What we do individually has an impact on the whole of our relationships and I would suggest it makes a difference in our experience of God and God’s experience of us. It is this dynamic of relatedness that offers glimpses of the suffering and groaning God, as well as the Redeeming and Spiriting of God. As we hear and see the visions of upheaval and chaos in China, we are aware that it is God’s body that is suffering and not simply individuals who live in some other part of the world. Our connectedness to their suffering reminds us that “right relatedness” requires of us an extension of the right hand of fellowship made real in the flesh and blood of workers to assist, money to support, prayers to encourage, and belief in the gift of love and hope.

 

As we watch the unfolding of violence in our homes, our neighborhoods, and in our streets we are ever more mindful of the reality of systemic oppression and pain. We know that our relationship to those who are our “neighbors” requires us to look into the eyes of others, to examine our biases and fears, and to move into the world with renewed vision and hope. We are called to be active disciples on behalf of God – Creator, Judge and Redeemer, Spirit.

 

And, as we participate in the living of those around us through our daily relationships, we are called to do so with a sense of integrity and care. “Right relationship” moves us beyond our individualized understandings of the God of salvation to a corporate belief that what we do in our daily lives makes a difference to God and to the world of God. The Trinity is embodied in our valuing of all of creation, in our movements toward justice on behalf of those who are poor in wealth or marginalized in churches, and in our engagement of the children, women, and men of our communities in ways that offer hope and nurture love.

 

In this way we participate in the “right relationship” the Trinity offers to us.

 





Chaos Reexamined
2008-05-13 by Steve Schuette

            Relatedness is certainly key...

            Along with that relatedness of Trinity I can’t help but think of the fourth dimension – the one whom this Trinity longs to make whole, the focus of the Trinity’s energies, the outlet for all the Trinity’s creative enterprise….the world and we who are made in God’s image.

            I had always assumed that the “chaos” or “original mix” was the object of God’s reorganization in a way that brought order out of chaos…..very Reformed or even Gnostic?, I suppose, thinking of the chaos as having a moral dimension of evil over against God’s goodness.

            And then, in Matthew is the odd tag to the beautiful scene of relationship, “…some doubted.”  There it is:  a little chaos in the middle of it all.  Jesus doesn’t react or get sidetracked.  There’s no attempt to begin a “reform” movement with them.  He simply moves on with the commission.

            So…what if God’s whole creative enterprise is relational rather than managerial?  What if, rather than opposing the chaos with order God works with it like Michelangelo, who claimed that the figures were already in the stone and he was simply bringing them out?  Could God’s objective have been not to subdue the chaos but to work with it creatively?

            I do know that genuine human creativity does not destroy such tensions, but enters into them, exploring them, and sometimes even lives with them until more clarity comes.  Maybe that’s a better option than the way we’ve traditionally understood the “dominion” of Gen. 1:26 both in terms of faith and U.S. policy.  Maybe the image of God in which we are created (and creating) invites us to a very different sense of dominion that honors relationship.  At any rate, I know that it is out of what seemed chaos that my life’s greatest learnings have emerged.





Value, Clarity, and Freedom in the Trinity
2008-05-13 by David von Schlichten

The above traits all strike me as important to the best relationships. Such relationships are ones in which we feel valued, have a clear identity, and have freedom to be ourselves.

Are these traits we see in the Trinity? Each "person" is indispensible, has a clear identity, but also has freedom, I suppose (God, by God's very nature, must be free, yes?). 

I am probably doing my theology backwards by starting with anthropology and then moving to the Trinity, but perhaps there is benefit in my doing so. What do you think?

Thank you to our guest blogger Joretta for inviting us to submit reflections on the relationality of the Trinity. I pray others will step into the tub. I am glad Rosemary and Steve have.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





[First Page] [Prev] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 [Next] [Last Page]

Login - (This login is for administrators and bloggers. Usernames and passwords for GoodPreacher subscribers will not work here.)