Highlights from This Week's Articles in "Lectionary Homiletics"
2007-11-26 by David von Schlichten

I'm enjoying soaking up this week's articles from Lectionary Homiletics as I sit in the hot tub and sip a strawberry daiquiri. It's also great to have William Willimon with us in the tub. Scroll down to read his first blog entry as well as an exciting entry from Tom Steagald. 

In addition, huzzah for the beginning of Year A and therefore the beginning of Anna Carter Florence writing the “Preaching the Lesson” essay for each week. You can read her article for this week free of charge by going to Share It! and then clicking on Free Samples from Lectionary Homiletics.

Her essay starts with provocative questions and later makes use of compelling imagery that you will find enjoyable and elucidating.

Here are other highlights from this week's articles:

Exegesis”

A.K.M. Adams provides an insightful analysis of the gospel from Matthew. Adams teaches that we are to be thankful for a God who cares about judgment, as opposed to a God who does not care about how we treat each other or how we live.

Adams also explains that, according to this passage and Matthew as a whole, the Christian life is full of confusing uncertainties, including when we will stand before God as the Judge. Adams goes on to declare, “Our standing with God doesn't rest on knowing, but on trusting and following the way Jesus set out for us” (p.5).

Theological Themes”

Samuel K. Roberts writes thoughtfully about time and the human longing to measure time and predict the future. Roberts then avers, “There is no logic available to human minds to fathom the ebb and flow of the events of time. It is therefore better to be alert. Alertness is being open to all the possibilities that God has in store for us as we move though time” (p.6).

A Sermon”

In her sermon, “May the Dark Corners and Crevices Be Filled with Light,” Dianne Andrews writes with poedifying power about the “armor of light” image from Romans and applies it with grace to the gospel. She offers photons of eloquence such as this: “In your prayers find the dark corner for which you are going to pray [ . . . ] Go there every day in prayer with your armor of light illuminating that place” (p.11). It is wise to wear such armor while waiting for the Eschatological Advent.

Getting out of the tub to make a turkey sandwich, I am

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Hmmmmmm!
2007-11-26 by David von Schlichten

Scroll down for Tom's intriguing proposal that we may need to wake up God, so to speak. There is certainly a biblical basis for such an idea. Quite intriguing. I need to do some serious meditating, walking, praying, studying and yielding about this.

Also, it is an honor to have William Willimon as our guest blogger this week. Scroll down to read his first entry.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





First Thoughts
2007-11-26 by Tom Steagald

I think Will's post helps set our compass to the true North of Advent...But where is God at work, intruding in the world? I think one of our challenges is to discern God's response to, God's presence and activity in the chaos that swirls around us.

At the same time, I think the task of the church is to prompt God's work in the world--through prayer and worship. Year B's Isaiah text says, "O that you would rend the heavens and come down..." The lament is that God is more silent these days than in former days. Isaiah's word for Year A (this Sunday) is that the time will come when God will intrude and reorder, re-establish and redeem many peoples. Advent is a declaration and an invocation--the time is coming, please God, make it now!

I am reminded of the Gospel accounts of the storm on the sea, when Jesus is asleep in the boat. The terrified disciples have to wake the Lord for him to do his work. A friend of mine in a Pentecostal tradition says that that is how he understands worship (and why it takes longer at his place than mine)--they are waking the Lord.

The second Sunday of Advent will summon God to rouse our hearts. This first Sunday we announce that God will rouse God's-self to do the promised work, and we plead for God to get on with it.





God on the move...
2007-11-26 by Will Willimon

It's Advent.  All of the lections speak of a God who intrudes, moves, initiates, and acts.  Much of our current talk about God, in the mainline church, tends toward Deism--a God who is caring and compassionate but never actually does anything.

Therefore a great Advent challenge for us preachers in the Protestant mainline is to render a God who actually intervenes, acts, and moves.   

At least those are some of my initial thoughts on Advent and preaching on this First Sunday of Advent.





This Week!
2007-11-26 by David Howell

Will Willimon is our guest blogger. He has been called a "Trans-Homiletical-Voyager." Not really...but he does make every list of "best preachers in America", etc. Will is the former Dean of the Chapel at Duke University, and he is presently Bishop of North Alabama (UMC). We are honored to have him share his thoughts this week.

Over in the Sermon Feedback Cafe enjoy a cup of White Christmas Coffee (a combination of hazelnut and cinnamon) and the art of The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis. The Festival of Homiletics will be held in Minneapolis, May 19-23. Dr. Willimon will speak at the Festival. Post your sermon for Sunday in the Cafe, and (if he has time) Will might offer you some feedback.





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