An Allegory of Law & Gospel – The Law is followed, but the Gospel Saves
The role of The Bride, our role, in the progressive revelation of God
Monthly Archives: November 2014
God’s claims over all the earth
A Break for Charity
Progressive Revelation and God Most High
God’s Rule even of the temporal kingdom
The Fulfillment of that Rule
Biblical Text: Matthew 25:31-46
Full Sermon Draft
The last judgement text can give a Lutheran heartburn, primarily because it inspires the question in the title.
What this sermon does is attempt to put the last judgement within its context in Matthew. It seeks to stay within two guard rails in interpretation: being willing to say ‘I don’t know’ and letting the text tell us what it means. There are two important questions that this is applied to. 1) Who are all the nations? 2) Who are the brothers Jesus references? These two questions form two halves of an answer. They also help I think to answer that title question, or at least lessen its force. The sermon ends with three short applications for our life together.
If we are willing to narrow the scope of the what those phrases mean – which I believe is correct based on the Gospel text itself – we get both a more humble eschatology, a text that is encouragement instead of judgement, and a greater emphasis on faith and church life.
God chooses who wisdom will be revealed to and through
Babylon as seat of power, all power turns beastly, God delivers his people
The transcendent things are removed
Program Note: Sorry for missing yesterday, my daughter was rush to the emergency room, but all is well.
“A people shaped by the practice of the works of mercy will be a people capable of seeing through those who claim to need power to do good, but in fact just need power” – Hauerwas, commentary on Matthew (p212)
Echoes in the Text (Joseph, The Eunuch)
Receiving the Word – those far away are called near
Everything forbids his rise
Divine Irony & Those given perspective
The eternal Kingdom, The Condescension of God
Biblical Text: Matthew 25:14-30
Full Draft of Sermon
The response of the slave who was given 1 talent is remarkably relevant. He ends up saying three things.
1) He knows his master to be a hard man
2) The master will reap where he doesn’t sow
3) The master will gather where he doesn’t scatter
This sermon hazards an interpretation of those three things for our day. The first is a claim to know God. The second and third involve the claims of universalism, not my job and not enough given to accomplish.
The gospel response to all of these is “You know this, do you?” Jesus is the revealed God that we do know and instead of being a hard man he is the icon of love. He does sow abundantly through Word and Sacrament. And part of how He does that is scattering his people in the midst of the world.
Instead of the false beliefs that so much of today’s church is involved in, we would be better to recognize the gifts that have been given to us and get about the job we have been invited to join. That job isn’t always easy. It is a call to the cross. But Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before him. Likewise we have the joy set before us.