Welcome to this week's blog
2008-01-28 by Bill Carter

Hi everybody - this is Bill Carter, this week's blog host. Glad you've jumped into the hot tub!

I'm a pastor in northeastern Pennsylvania (www.fpccs.org), where I've served in my current church for seventeen years. I'm also a jazz pianist (www.presbybop.com) who weaves some creative music into the rest of my ministry.

We have a "mountain of a text" before us for Super Bowl Sunday -- to say nothing of the Feast of Transfiguration. 

In my next note, I'll post some observations and reflections on the text. Let's stir up a conversation first about what we see and hear on the Mountain. Then, around Wednesday or so, I'll post some possible directions for  developing a sermon.

Get on your hiking boots. Let's climb the mountain together, in the hope that we can hear a fresh Word.

Best wishes to all,

BC 

 





"Lectionary Homiletics" Highlights
2008-01-27 by David von Schlichten

We welcome to the hot tub Bill Carter and look forward to him splashing us with wisdom. Also, don't forget to enjoy the free sample, "Theological Themes" by Paul Galbreath from Lectionary Homiletics, which you can find by going to Share It!

I was unable to spend much time in the tub last week, but I am back. I also will be visiting the Sermon Feedback Cafe.

By the way, if you have not registered for the Festival of Homiletics, which will be in May in Minneapolis, be sure to do so. The feast of preaching will be sumptuous.

Here are my highlights from this week's articles in Lectionary Homiletics:

Exegesis”

David Renwick provides a helpful subheadings of his article on Matthew's Transfiguration narrative. Renwick also offers intriguing insights such as the symbolism of the number six. The Transfiguration happens after six days and so represents Christ leading the disciples to a new seventh day, the ultimate sabbath.

In addition, Renwick writes about the parallels between this mountaintop experience and Old Testament mountaintop experiences on Sinai, of course, but also on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22).

Preaching the Lesson”

Anna Carter Florence reveals that the Transfiguration does not just change the appearance of Christ but alters all. She teaches that the Transfiguration “ [ . . . ] floods our eyes with God-bright light” (p. 11).

As an illustration, Florence draws from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which tells of a Fleur, who is so beautiful that her appearance attracts everyone's attention away from others. On her wedding day, however, she wears a magical tiara that reveals the beauty of everyone around her.

Similarly, while the Transfiguration reveals Christ's pulchritduinous puissance, it also reveals to us our beauty and strength, which Christ makes possible.

A Sermon”

In “Transfiguration: Jesus Redefines Reality,” Scott Cowdell proclaims that the purpose of worship, both corporate and private, is “[ . . . ] to open our hearts and to give us opportunities, so this transfiguring vision will come for us” (p. 12). Christ comes to us, revealing his glory and thereby transfiguring our lives.

Cowdell's proclamation can help our hearers to understand the paradigmatic nature of the Transfiguration. What is more important than whether and how the Transfiguration happened is what it represents: the glory of Christ being revealed to us and effecting a metamorphosis in us.

Soaking up these elucidating thoughts, I am, in the tub and always,

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





This Week!
2008-01-27 by CJ Teets

Bill Carter is "in the house" as our guest lectionary blogger. Bill practices ministry and jazz piano, hoping someday to get both right. He has served as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, PA for the past seventeen years. He is also founder and leader of the Presbybop Quartet(www.presbybop.com), a jazz group that travels nationally in presenting concerts and jazz worship services. A graduate of Binghamton University (B.A.) and Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Bill is a popular preacher, teacher, and workshop leader around the ecumenical church. He is the author of six books, and was selected seven times to preach for the PC(USA) on "The Protestant Hour" (now known as Day 1).

His great vocational love is congregational ministry, where he says, "The Word keeps taking flesh in countless ways." Bill has been a mentor pastor for the PC(USA) program for The Company of New Pastors, and takes delight in encouraging his fellow partners in Christ’s ministry. He has recently returned from a pastoral sabbatical, where he spent a significant time with the psalms, both as prayers and as "texts that have lost their tunes."





Welcome, Everybody!
2008-01-25 by Bill Carter

Thanks for logging on. I'll post some initial thoughts on a text or two on Sunday evening. See you then!

Bill Carter 





Outline of Call
2008-01-25 by rick brand

For the for what it is worth department, I have found the Matthew text to speak to me along this line.

a. How often prison, jails, and bars play a pivotal role in the great moments of history. Mandela, King, Bonhoeffer, etc.

b. The journey to Capernaum affirms that Jesus is a part of a long steady plan of God.

c. Jesus calls his administration for the kingdom

      Jesus calls before we are looking

       Jesus calls without regard to merit of those called

       Jesus calls to service not privilege: to speak and to heal, to preach and reconcil.

        We always have a choice not to respond. We can stay with the nets.





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