Monthly Archives: May 2014

Forsythia, fifth grade flutes and farewells – existence and revelation


Biblical Text: John 14:1-14
Full Sermon Draft

The text is Jesus’ words “I am the way, and the truth, and the life”. As a church we spend a good deal of time on way and truth but comparatively little on life. What this sermon does is examine the modern problem with experiencing the life (materialism), look at the ways we might get shaken however briefly out of our materialist slumbers, and then it proclaims how god – the life – goes beyond that god knowable to reason and reveals himself as Father and Son (and Spirit). The revelation of Jesus forecloses some conceptions of God and assures us of our place in The Life.

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Leviticus 18:1-7,20-19:8 and Luke 11:1-13

Leviticus 18:1-7,18:20-19:8
Luke 11:1-13
Progressive Revelation, Christ & The Church, The Form which governs Christian Sexuality

Leviticus is a tough text for modern ears. This went a little longer and cut off a little quicker than I might has liked. And I just ignored the NT reading. I think the key to understanding such texts is to understand the special calling of Israel and by fulfillment the church. It is not that what is immoral changes. Jesus re-ups the moral law and in fact increases its weight in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:1ff). And Jesus’ understanding of sexuality is completely governed by the pre-fall vision of the garden (Mark 10:1-12). And notice the two stories that are conjoined with that teaching in Mark 10: the kingdom belongs to the children and the Rich Young ruler. Jesus’ teaching on sexuality is tough. It would have to be accepted as children and grown into. It will also turn away many as just impractical. Yet, Jesus calls us to be a Holy Nation, a Royal Priesthood (1 Pet 2:9). We are to be different from the world. The reason for this difference is fully revealed to us in in the revelation of Christ. The reason doesn’t change the law. What it does hold out is grace. Where Leviticus states is baldly and expects us to keep it without knowledge, the church has been given the Spirit to grant knowledge and grace for living as exiles. It should not come as a surprise that powerful young men walk away. But the answer is not to deny the law. The answer is to be found in grace. Where the land used to gather up the uncleanness and spit out, today the uncleanness is devoured by the cross and the offer of grace.

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Leviticus 17:1-16 and Luke 10:23-42

Leviticus 17:1-16
Luke 10:23-42
The place of sacrifice, How do you know what “god” you have met?, Revelation, Covenant or binding to a place, The strangeness that we have life at all

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Leviticus 16:1-24 and Luke 10:1-22

Leviticus 16:1-24
Luke 10:1-22
The strangeness of the Old Testament, Progressive Revelation of God, Jesus as the Revelation of the Father, Revelation through Faith in the Son

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Leviticus 10:1-20 and Luke 9:37-62

Leviticus 10:1-20
Luke 9:37-62
The Holiness or Otherness of God, Jesus & The Emptying of God, Kenosis, Our path to seeing God

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Leviticus 9:1-24 and Luke 9:18-36

Leviticus 9:1-24
Luke 9:18-36
Two appearances of glory, two acceptances of sacrifice, the gut level effect of pondering the animal sacrifice system

“I am the door” – mapping a metaphor in time and space for eternity


Text: John 10:1-10
Full Sermon Draft

It was mother’s day, it was also the day often called Good Shepherd Sunday, so called because the reading comes from John 10 where Jesus says that he is the Good Shepherd. Except that the lectionary this year gives us not the shepherd but the ten verses often missed where Jesus proclaims himself the door.

The sermon is a mapping of what that could mean. We look at the literal elements of a door brought up by the text: open, closed, proper entry, improper entry, protection. So, when Jesus says that “I am the door” those are the appropriate elements to ponder. What does an open door mean? What does a closed door mean? Since Jesus claims that he himself is the door, most of these things have Christocentric, that is Christ at the center, answers. In particular we examine election, justification and the door to prayer. The sermon proclaims how the door works in these ways and teaches us how we should think of Jesus. We make two moral examples of how we should live today. And the sermon concludes with the eschatological or final things meaning of the door. Jesus has used a figure of speech – the door – to describe spiritual reality, so we spend some time pondering the core meanings. I’d invite you to give it a listen.

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Exodus 39:32-40:16 and Luke 8:22-39

Exodus 39:32-40:16
Luke 8:22-39
Opposing conceptions of reality, the tendency to label as insane what doesn’t conform to your reality, absurdity, the necessity of witness

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Exodus 38:21-39:8, 22-23, 27-31 and Luke 8:1-21

Exodus 38:21-39:8, 22-23, 27-31
Luke 8:1-21
The temptation with numbers/What is needed is always present, The importance of Women to the Jesus enterprise, The Word and the Soils and pastoral concerns

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Exodus 34:29-35:21 and Luke 7:36-50

Exodus 34:29-35:21
Luke 7:36-50
A stewardship lesson, social pressure, the practical thing vs. the gospel thing, staying on mission