Post-Sermon Reflection
2010-02-21 by David von Schlichten

The sermon was an affirmation for Maddie and seemed to convey the power of temptation and the even greater power of Christ against it. Thanks be to God. 

Yours,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Satan and Jesus: A Homiletical Play
2010-02-20 by David von Schlichten

I posted my play at the cafe. I will portray Satan and thirteen-year-old Maddie will portray Jesus. She'll be great, thanks be to God.

Scroll down to read some outstanding posts. Thank you to those who have contributed.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





First Fruits Thanksgiving Rwanda Style
2010-02-20 by Rev Tony W. Bouwmeester

    While visiting the Anglican parish of Hanika Rwanda last week I observed a kind of first fruits thanksgiving Rwanda style.  It is customary following the sermon in Rwandan parishes to give thanks for things that happened that week.  The thanksgiving offering is usually a testimony followed by placing a small coin on the altar.
     A young lady came up to give thanks for passing her entrance exam to the highest class of secondary school.  Her girlfriend was kneeling beside her and gave thanks for her friends passing.  She had been praying for her during the entire exam.  Both placed a coin worth a few cents on the altar.  They were followed by a young boy who gave thanks for passing the entrance exam to the first class of secondary school.  He did not have a coin and gave a live chicken to the Lord.
     In the process coming, from the western world, I broke down and cried for the Church, knowing that seventy-five percent of our young people leave the Church when entering secondary school.
     We are so possessed by our possessions.  Will we ever learn however small to offer our first fruits again?




Inside Out
2010-02-19 by Stephen Schuette

Barbara Brown Taylor once suggested this was Jesus’ “Outward Bound” experience.  And it clearly parallels the wilderness journey of development of Israel as a nation as it comes into consciousness of itself and on whom it relies – only in the case of Jesus it’s for 40 days rather than 40 years.  In both cases it’s clearly identity-forming, or at least identity confirming.

I don’t what to make a case (or even prompt a discussion) about original sin.  But I do want to honor what acute observers affirm about humans.  We are born without any differentiation between ourselves and others and the world around us.  It’s all “us” and “for” us.  Maturity, then, involves the differentiation of the self from others and the world and opening the possibility of giving rather than receiving, of living for a purpose beyond the self.  God gives us insight into that maturity in God’s mission…. “For God so loved the world…”  Fulfilling our God-purpose is to change the direction of our life from inward to outward.

When tempted repeatedly whether he might use this opportunity for himself Jesus turns to a larger purpose and calling.

As a society are we maturing and supporting that maturation for individuals?  In faith terms, are we maturing as disciples of Jesus Christ?  Most experts think we’re in a process of regression.  Strauss and Howe suggest it’s “unraveling” (The Fourth Turning).  It could be that this text and the message that might go along with it are crucial for out time.

Gee, God, did I sign up to be the hinge upon which people either grow or regress?  Are you depending on me to speak an uncomfortable but grace-filled Word?  OK.  I trust you know what you’re doing.  Maybe that trust is finally what it’s about.





Satan and Jesus Liturgical Drama
2010-02-18 by David von Schlichten

This Sunday's sermon will be a drama in which I will play Satan and a thirteen year-old girl, Maddie, will play Jesus. I am hoping that the drama will help people to think anew about this famous wilderness encounter.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





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