Why stop there?
2007-11-27 by Tom Steagald

At our study group today we got into a discussion as to why the lectionary committee stopped the Isaiah lesson at verse 5. In fact, vs. 5 begins a new paragraph in the translation and makes better sense in the context of the verses that follow. The vision of vss. 1-5 is a kind of light against the darkness of the balance of chapters 2 and 3, an "in spite of" vision--do not think that what we see now is all there is; a new world is coming.

Perhaps the stopping place can be read in light of the desire we all of us have to receive the blessing while ignoring the judgment, to hear the comfort absent any challenge. We want the victory without battle, the prize without cost. And so Advent long-since ceased to be a penitential season in any measure--we move from purple to blue--and though Paul counsels that we make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires, we have to confess that this time of year that is about ALL we do. Fasting? NOW? Used to, I guess, but not anymore.

We found ourselves reading passages from Bonhoeffer again, The Cost of Discipleship, where he says if grace is a general truth, that allows us to live by the standards of the rest of the world. It is an old word that seems shockingly current.

I reminded us of Barbara Brown Taylor's word that if we lose the language (and, I would say, conviction) of sin, we also lose the language (and, I would say, experience or joy) of salvation. It is the bad news that makes the good news GOOD. We may hear the good news first, but we must also hear the bad news in order for it to be all the news that is news. if you see what I mean.





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.





[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.)