Tag Archives: don’t be stupid

Preaching the Good News to the Poor

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Biblical Text: Luke 4:16-30
Full Draft of Sermon

Following the season of Epiphany texts we’ve been looking at the ways that God reveals himself. We’ve structured it around what I’ve asserted is the question of the age: How do we see/meet God? Our culture and even many of our churches have attempted to claim or put forward an unmediated experience of God. And if we don’t have that direct access, then we turn away or search in another spot. The biggest problem with that is that God has promised to work, to be present, through means. The grace of God comes to us through the means of grace. The last couple of weeks were baptism and the Lord’s supper. This week was first confession and absolution. Those are the proclaimed word reduced down to their essence. Today, in your hearing, is the year of the Lord’s favor. The eternal Jubilee has been proclaimed by Jesus and the church has been proclaiming that release ever since.

The second slowly dawning epiphany that this should point toward is the false spirit nature of any movement or group that says you don’t need a church or a congregation. Because the church is the focus of those means. Where ever two or three are gathered, or as the text for this sermon says, it was Jesus’ custom to go to church on the sabbath. That is an anachronistic claim, the real word is synagogue, but it stands as the text shows the basic structure of that OT service. The synagogue was brought together around the word – written and proclaimed. The OT sacramental word was found in the temple. We are the inheritors of Word and Sacrament. God has always primarily worked through Word and Sacrament. It has always been grace, through means. Those means following Christ are found in what we call a church.

Reform without Repeal

This is Ross Douthat starting with the March for Life, but quickly getting deeply wise and insightful real fast.

I tried to find an excerpt, but its a short op-ed to begin with. Each phrased seems necessary. This is just the conclusion…

For its part, if the pro-life movement wants not only to endure but to triumph, then it needs an answer to this argument. That means something more than just a defense of a universal right to life. It means a realist’s explanation of how, in policy and culture, the feminist revolution could be reformed without being repealed.

He’s right, and this is a call from a practicing Roman Catholic to recognize a couple of things about civil society. However much ongoing harm the sexual revolution has done, repealing it in civil society is not possible, and some portions of it none of us would want to repeal (I’m thinking the equal pay portions and the access to occupations). As Mr. Douthat starts his column, the heroic generation of this cause is passing away. Heroic generations are revolutionaries or in this case counter-revolutionaries. Our generation is about recognizing the limits of revolution. That doesn’t mean making peace with it, but it does mean being smart and finding the places where life can win and start being seen as legitimate reformers instead of calling for the whole structure to be removed by the axe at the root of the tree.