Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Motherhood, and the Gospel
2010-05-04 by David von Schlichten

Ninteenth-century American author Elizabeth Stuart Phelps often warned in her writings that being a mother meant that a woman would not be able to pursue a passion such as a career. She was not opposed to motherhood. She just recognized that the patriarchal society in which she lived demanded that women sacrifice their career aspirations in the name of motherhood.

For instance, in her novel The Story of Avis, Phelps tells of a young woman who studies to be a painter but ends up permanently deferring that dream when she gets married and has children. Phelps herself did not marry until she was forty-four and never had children. She knew the price. 

Today, of course, there are more opportunities for women, thanks be to God. Even so, our society expects more from women than it does from men. If a man who is a father neglects his children, it is a shame. If a woman does the same, it is an abomination, or so we tend to think.

As we contemplate how to preach on Mother's Day, it would be wise for us to consider these dynamics. Perhaps Lydia provides a helpful example of a career woman (dealer in purple cloth) who cares for her family (she and her household were baptized) as well as ministers to people in need ("come and stay at my home"), while also being someone who RECEIVES care (from Paul and God).

How do we celebrate mother figures of all sorts, including by helping them to realize, not just family goals, but careers goals, while also tending to their needs, just as they have tended to ours?

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Marathon, Cowbell, and the Proclamation
2010-05-03 by David von Schlichten

Yesterday I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon. Quite a few people had cowbells that they rang to show their support. Early on I was glad to hear the cowbells, but by mile 19 or so, I was sick of them. I would have rather had silence. 

The experience reminded me that proclamation must be tailored to the circumstance. A message that works well in one situation may not be as effective in another. Indeed, occasionally the most effective sermon is silence.

Sometimes runners don't want to hear a cowbell. I appreciated the thought, but I would have been happier with silence.

Oh well. The community isn't perfect. Overall, I was grateful for the support.

Needing a nap, I am 

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Mercy While Running the Pittsburgh Marathon
2010-05-01 by David von Schlichten

Thank you to Stephen Schuette for his thoughts about how we humans are to be open to God's inclusivity.

Tomorrow I won't be leading worship because I will be running the Pittsburgh Marathon, starting at 7:30 AM. All throughout the route will be people who don't know me cheering me (and the other racers) on, and every mile or so strangers will hand us drinks. In other words, this body of people, most of whom are strangers, will support us. A common goal will unite us. 

Sounds like the Church.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Hindrance
2010-04-30 by Stephen Schuette

“Who was I that I could hinder God?” asks Peter. Who indeed!  But we do it, don’t we?  We put walls around God, thinking we’re protecting God.  We begin to think that God needs our help and maybe even our guidance when it is we who need God.

This word “hinder” or at least the idea connects with several other stories.  The most familiar may be when the disciples seek to send the children away from the busy Jesus engaged in adult conversation.  “Let them come to me.  Do not stop them…” (Mat 19:14)  It was “hinder” rather than “stop” in the RSV even though the Greek word behind them is the same verb as here in Acts 11:17:  Koluo.  The disciples could be a hindrance.

Peter, especially, could be hindering, for Jesus seems to direct his most confrontive words to Peter:  “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me…” (Mat 16:23)  

So maybe this story in Acts suggests Peter is making some progress in getting out of the way!

In Acts itself it’s reminiscent of the story of the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch when  after Philip interprets the scriptures the Eunuch says, “"Look, here is water! What is to prevent (koluo) me from being baptized?" (Acts 8:36)  No hindrance.

But the point is that most often we are a hindrance when we are seeking to protect God, like the disciples seek to protect Jesus from the children or as Peter would have sought to protect Jesus from the future.  We are fearful and lack confidence.  We want God to stay within familiar and traditional boundaries.  So we constrain God, thinking small while God is thinking big.  And the Book of Acts seems to push this idea open, that God is at work and God’s Spirit can break through anywhere and anytime with anyone.  Just stay out of the way!

To get us out of our rut there is a radical statement of confidence that Jesus offers:  “Whoever is not against us is for us.”  (Mark 9:40)  Maybe it’s enough to just not be in the way.  God can do the rest.





TweetChat for Festival of Homiletics
2010-04-28 by David Howell

TweetChat

http://tweetchat.com/room/homiletics10

You will need to register for Twitter first.





[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.)