Sermon Prep and Lectionary Prayers for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

For July 17, 2016 SCRIPTURE READINGS Colossians 1:15-28 Luke 10:38-42 RESPONDING TO THE TEXT The story presented in this week’s Lectionary reading will be familiar for many. The main characters, Martha and Mary, are also very familiar. While they are mentioned in several other places in the New Testament, this passage is famous for identifying Martha…

To Whom Does Your Heart Belong?

Revelation 5:1-14 At the heart of Christian worship is the belief that God is worthy of worship. What are we here after? Do you ever walk into a room or go to the store and ask yourself “Now what was I here after?” We all know that feeling, don’t we? That feeling of not being so sure…

A season of promise and the lie of a crossless grace

This is the Easter season, post Resurrection, on the other side of the cross. And while some Americans shout “Make America Great Again,” most of the American church has liturgically moved into the season of Easter promises, failing entirely to notice the significance of Easter’s cross. By the cross here, I do not mean that…

Discerning Resurrection in Our Lives

Originally posted on Radical Discipleship:
            The gift of discernment is basic to the genius of the biblical life style. Discerning signs has to do with comprehending the remarkable in common happenings, with perceiving the saga of salvation within the era of the Fall.  It has to do with the ability to interpret ordinary events…

The Repentant Church’s Non-Triumphal Witness

I am alarmed–even frightened–by the arrogant, Pecksniffian, self-righteous confidence that pervades the politics of America’s current presidential campaigns. Yet, I think what we are really seeing is nothing new; it is, rather, the surfacing of a disposition that has always undergirded the status quo, a disposition that almost always goes unchallenged. And for too long, the Church…

Merton on Faith: A Narcotic Dream or an Awakening?

One of the most important books I have ever read is Thomas Merton’s Faith and Violence. In it, Merton talks about racism, war, radical faith, and the “death-of-God” movement. It hits at the core of some really important questions all people of faith should ask. Written in the 1960s, it is a call for the Church to respond to…

Enemy Love: The Test of Christian Faith

On the 16th of September in 1962, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a sermon titled “Levels of Love” which outlined five different levels of love. He concluded by explaining that agape is the highest level of love that exists. Romantic love is the kind of love where we love because of our affection and attraction for…

Bonhoeffer on Learning to Listen

The following quote is from the German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his essay, Life Together. “The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to…