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…

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…

Pacific Activism: What is it?

Being a peacemaker means seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly (Micah 6:8). Pacifism is often mistakenly understood to be passive–a politics of retreat which makes those in the middle look like spectators who fear conflict and choose not to take sides. This is caustically humorous, since there are many pacifists who see their actions as igniting nonviolent revolution. In response to…

Ethics and the Will of God: The Peacemaking Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In this clip, Krista Tippett, from America Public Media, examines the life, theology, and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It overviews Bonhoeffer as a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi, and founding member of the Confessing Church. He was involved with the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) and associated with groups that sought to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He…

“Why Do the Members of Christ Tear One Another?” By Dorothy Day

As we prepare this week to celebrate World Communion Sunday, our text this week (Matthew 21:33-46) reminds us that the world is not as it should be. As news from Hong Kong, Syria, and other places continue to remind us, indeed, we are a world filled with people still fighting for their voices to be heard….

O God of Deep and Troubled Storms

O God of deep and troubled storms, Of peace yet tempest tossed; O Comforter of hearts that mourn For life both lived and lost, Teach us how to pray. Cannot our violence be dethroned? Will nations cease to rage? Does darkness triumph all alone? Can night be bright like day? Teach us how to pray….