Tag Archives: mission of the church

A Political Act

12113wordle

Biblical Text: Matt 21:1-11
Full Sermon Text

The text for the first Sunday in Advent always seems a little off. There is an alternate to the Palm Sunday Triumphant entry, so I had to check if that was because this was a change in the appointed readings that went along with changing Palm Sunday proper to Sunday of the Passion. But that is not the case. I guess someone else just had the same odd feeling that you don’t expect to show up in Advent and hear Palm Sunday.

But the text actually establishes the time. Jesus is committing a political act declaring himself a king. But not like any King the world would recognize. Neither the Galileans marching him in, nor the residents of Jerusalem, as Matthew makes clear, understand. Both want a messiah of their own making. Not this messiah who comes humbly. Not this messiah who stops to give sight to the blind. Not this messiah who is willing to suffer violence instead of inflicting it.

Nothing has really changed. We still want Jesus in our image. But thankfully we don’t get that. We get a King who comes right now in grace. To those with eyes that have been opened, this kingdom calls us to be its witnesses and its hands. One day this Kingdom will come in glory, but right now, it comes humbly. Through flesh and blood, through word and sacrament.

Fevers

Sermon Text: Mark 1:4-11
Full Text of Sermon

The flu knocked me out for a considerable amount of time this week. And when you are chilling and sweating some different lines come into you head. And I’m sure I didn’t get to refine this one enough. And I feel like I am way out there on a limb. I doubt you find too many preachers willing to base a sermon on first part of Mark 1:5. Maybe the second part, but not the first. But just the parallels and the humanity of that verse struck me, with deep echoes of Jesus as well – “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). A people straying from the Rock Solid Temple to some hippie in the desert…why?

That hippie in the desert offered them Jesus. Yes the temple rituals were the best and were effective and all the other things. But so much must have been in the way or come between the word of God and those people going out to John. All John did was say wait until you see the next guy. All I’ve got is this water to prepare…but that coming one, he’ll bring the Spirit. And it was enough. Because He gave them Jesus.