Faith at the Borders
2010-10-06 by Stephen Schuette

Interesting things happen along borders where differences meet.  Just some observations…  How do you approach someone while at the same time “keeping their distance?”  There are obvious custom boundaries at work here too influenced by purity laws.  The one who is made clean and returns carries many I.D.’s.  He’s first a leper, an all-consuming identity.  Then he’s a leper made clean, Samaritan, foreigner, and finally one whose faith has made him well.  Is the suggestion of the story that this final ID overcomes all the others which separate and divide and focus on borders?

There seems a connection with Timothy and “wrangling over words” as the source of many false borders.

And what do we say of borders today, those places where differences collide and persons encounter each other?   This could be the physical borders between the US and Mexico, the 39th parallel or the waters around the Koreas, or between Israel and Gaza.  Or it could be the borders between city and suburb or the non-physical borders between white collar and blue collar or Republican and Democrat or white and black.

It’s common to feel uneasy around borders (which may be the reason there are borders in the first place?).  But I was intrigued by the Time Magazine article this week entitled The Laughing Bishop.  Desmond Tutu seems to have an ability to turn the table of that uneasiness away from doubt and pass the dis-ease back to the enforcers of the borders who bear the responsibility for it.  He was able to come into crowds and persuade both armed police and protesters to walk away.  How?  By faith!  (See Time, Oct. 11, p. 42)  Borders are powerful.  Do we believe our faith is powerful?





Un-Other Sunday; Love One Another: Un-Other One Another
2010-10-04 by David von Schlichten

To treat someone as Other is to treat that person with prejudice and to regard that person as inferior to yourself. Given the almost-Qur'an-burning and teens being bullied into suicide, I decided that this Sunday will be Un-Other Sunday.

To commemorate the day, I will peform a one-person play based on Jonah, a book which deals well with the issue of un-othering. We will also take up a collection for our local suicide prevention organization.

I invite my fellow preachers to preach this Sunday on loving one another by un-othering one another. Both the Naaman story and the gospel from Luke about the ten lepers address un-othering.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Thanks!
2010-10-04 by David Howell

to

David von Schlichten

and 

Rick Brand 

for posting their sermons this week in

Sermon Feedback Cafe


 

 





Ain't it Awful?
2010-10-01 by David Howell

Ain't it Awful?
By Richard Brand

is in

Sermon Feedback Cafe





Stephanie's Sermon
2010-10-01 by David von Schlichten

Thank you to Stephanie Sorge Wing, our guest blogger, for posting her sermon. It's an excellent application of Psalm 137, Lamentations, and the lament-tradition in general.

I would tighten the sermon by about 200 words and make sure that the connection among lamenting, World Communion Sunday, and stewardship is clear. The sermon might be trying to do too much, but perhaps some tightening of wording (so as to eliminate distracting phrases, sentences, and the like) and sharpening of transitions will do the job.

The sermon provides a much-needed proclamation that takes suffering seriously while also, through the Good News, lifting the hearer above that suffering. Great job, Stephanie.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





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