Outline on Temptations
2008-02-08 by Rick Brand

Since this is Scout Sunday in our church, the message will go in this direction.

a. The hard part about coming an Eagle Scout is that we will expect outstanding leadership for the rest of your life.  The hard part is living up to the name Eagle.

b. Jesus was in the wilderness being tested to live up to the name he had just been given in Baptism of Son of God. The hard part was living up to the Title.

c. The hard part of being called Christians is living up to the name. The temptations are the same: to worry too much about the physical and material, to want to test the reality of God's love, and to believe that Satan can give us all the kingdoms of this world. Satan cannot deliver on any promises.





Festival of Homiletics
2008-02-07 by David Howell

Due to the tremendous enrollment for the Festival of Homiletics in May, we have made some adjustments to the schedule. (Plus we heard your requests to open up Barbara Brown Taylor's, Nora Gallagher's and William Willimon's workshops. So, if you signed up for their workshops, please check for time and location changes.)

Go to Homepage and Festival of Homiletics for complete agenda. But here are the changes and additions below.

Wednesday:

1:15 p.m "Writers in the Round" (OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES) with Barbara Brown Taylor (sermon writer), Nora Gallagher (novel writer), and Beth Nielsen Chapman (song writer)  (Westminster Presbyterian Church sanctuary).

2:45 p.m. Barbara Brown Taylor: "Enlivening the Sermon: Writer's Wisdom for Preachers" (Westminster Presbyterian Church sanctuary) (OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES) and assisted by Nora Gallagher. (Barbara will not be having a Thursday workshop.)

and

Thursday:

1:30 p.m William Willimon, (Central Lutheran sanctuary) OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES

2:30 p.m. Nora Gallagher: "Finding the Thread: Faith and the Practice of Writing" (Central Lutheran sanctuary) OPEN TO ALL ATTENDEES and assisted by Barbara Brown Taylor. (Nora will not be having a Wednesday workshop.)

and Friday we have added:

8:45 a.m. Midnight Oil Productions (Len Wilson and Jason Moore): Creative Worship (Central Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall)





"Lectionary Homiletics" Highlights
2008-02-05 by David von Schlichten

Susan Eastman has provided a salutary blog entry below. Also, you can enjoy Paul Galbreath's “Theological Themes” essay by going to Share It! and then Free Samples from Lectionary Homiletics.

We are lively here in the tub as we splash around the highlights from Lectionary Homiletics, careful not to wash off the ashes on our foreheads.

Here are those highlights.

Lesson and the Arts”

Anne Ramirez recalls John Milton's lesser known Paradise Regained, in which the great poet retells the story of Christ's temptation. Milton presents the three temptations of the story in the Gospels but with embellishments.

First, the devil approaches Jesus disguised as an elderly shepherd searching for a lost sheep. The shepherd beseeches Jesus to change the stones to bread, not just so that Jesus can feed himself, but also so that Jesus can feed the poverty-stricken people who live in this isolated, rural area. Of course, Jesus recognizes the shepherd's true identity and does not fall for the trick.

Later, Satan tries to convince Jesus that he should obtain glory and also be a king, since God the Father is a powerful king. Jesus explains that the time for his kingdom has not yet come and that the pursuit of glory could lead to downfall, as it did for Satan.

Satan also shows Jesus a vision of Rome and says that Jesus can expel the emperor if Jesus draws from the devil for help. Jesus responds that maybe he should expel the devil, who has made the emperor the way he is in the first place.

Finally, the devil troubles Jesus with disturbing dreams. When Jesus awakens, the devil says that the dreams portend what awaits Jesus if he keeps obeying the Father. Jesus can free himself from it all by throwing himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple, but Jesus does not give in to this temptation, either. Instead, Satan plummets back into hell.

Preaching the Lesson”

Anna Carter Florence suggests that the text warns us against “[ . . . ] the temptation to have faith in what we do rather than who we are” (p.19). The devil tempts Jesus by saying, “If you are the Son of God, then do something.” In times when we are famished, we are quick to forget that we are the baptized, God's beloved, and we start to think we need to prove ourselves. The devil tempts us to think that God's love is conditional instead of unconditional, that we need to earn grace, instead of remembering God's mercy and giving thanks.

A Sermon: Not Failing in the Wilderness

One feature of Scott Cowdell's sermon is that he compares Jesus' victory over temptation in the wilderness to Israel's moral failure in the wilderness in the Old Testament. Israel complains about not having bread, showing a lack of faith in God. Israel puts God to foolish tests, such as at Massah and Meribah. Finally, Satan promises Jesus lordship, and the people of Israel must understand that they will not gain the Promised Land on their own but only through God's power.

Remembering that I am dust and meditating on the temptation, I am

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Free Fat Tuesday
2008-02-05 by CJ Teets

Last year on Fat Tuesday we had an open day on GoodPreacher.com. We’ll do the same this year. For a few hours, you may review our extensive library of sermon preparation material. We are loading new material every day (so some sections are not complete).

Username: dh Password: jjj

Enjoy. We’ll do the same thing next Tuesday, if you want to tell other pastors.

Festival of Homiletics 2008 continues to have record registration. Over 1600 pastors are registered. William Willimon’s workshop (that was full) has been opened up to anyone who wants to attend. Keep checking this website for more developments. Hotels are filling up fast, but some rooms (and campus housing) are still available.

Looking forward to Festival of Homiletics 2009, we have Barbara Brown Taylor, Fred Craddock, Walter Brueggemann, Thomas Long, William Willimon, Brian Blount, Gary Charles, Adam Hamilton, Thomas Troeger, Otis Moss III, and many more.





Susan in the Tub and Ash Wednesday
2008-02-04 by David von Schlichten

What fun to have Susan in the tub with us this week. I brought doughnuts for us to share in honor of Fat Tuesday, but they're getting soggy. Sorry.

In any event, Susan has fascinating thoughts about the temptation narrative and Jesus' step downward toward identifying with humanity. Read her blog and respond.

Also, over at the cafe is my sermon for Ash Wednesday. If you give me feedback, I'll buy you a drink and a not-soggy doughnut. Just go to Share It! to get to the Sermon Feedback Cafe link.

Hoping for Hillary, I am

Yours in Christ and in the tub,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





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