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Showing posts from August, 2010

Sermon for Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, "How Great Thou Art"

Sermon 8/22/10 Jeremiah 1:4-10 How Great Thou Art How Great Thou Art , at least in the form we know it today, has a somewhat of a complicated history. The original hymn, written as a poem, was penned in 1885 by Carl Boberg, and included nine verses. Boberg was a Swedish man who served as a lay minister, sailor, and member of the Swedish Parilament. He was the editor of Christian newspaper called “Witness of the Truth,” and published more than 60 poems and hymns. (1) The inspiration for the poem, which Boberg called, “O Great God,” came when Boberg was walking home from church and listening to the church bells. Boberg’s poem was based loosely on Psalm 8, and he said of his inspiration to write:  "It was that time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest coloring; the birds were singing in trees and everywhere. It was very warm; a thunderstorm appeared on the horizon and soon thunder and lightning. We had to hurry to shelter. But the storm was soon over and the clear s

Lectionary Notes for Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 17, Ordinary 22, Year C)

Readings for 14th Sunday after Pentecost, 8/29/10: Jeremiah 2:4-13, Psalm 81:1, 10-16, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, Luke 14:1, 7-14 Jeremiah 2:4-13: In this passage, it reads as though God is quite simply baffled at the response of God's people? Why do they react by rejecting God after all God has done for them? "My people have changed their glory for something that does not profit." I like this "changed their glory" phrase. Our society is filled with things that might fall into this category, things we have chosen over the glory that comes from God. Two evils are outlined: 1) The people have forsaken God, who is the fountain of living water. 2) They have tried to make do themselves, and tried to make their own cisterns, which are unable anyway to hold water, the source of which they have already rejected. These people are in trouble all around! "Cracked cisterns that can hold no water." I like this imagery, especially read along with other 'vesse

Sermon for Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, "The Old Rugged Cross"

Sermon 8/15/10 Luke 12:49-56 The Old Rugged Cross             You can see crosses everywhere these days – the symbols of the Christian faith. You can find cross tattoos or cross jewelry – I certainly have necklaces with a cross. Churches are adorned with crosses, some simple, but some quite ornate. Crosses on bumper stickers and billboards, crosses made out of every imaginable material. There’s a certain poignancy, irony, that the cross is portrayed in so many ways when it was actually an instrument of execution. That was the primary purpose of the cross, of course – it was used to put people to death, including Jesus, the Christ. But our understanding of resurrection, our understanding of Jesus’ victory over that very death with life leads us to see the cross transformed – not a symbol of execution, but a symbol of forgiveness, salvation, and re-creation. Still, sometimes I wonder if our frequent use of the symbol of the cross leads us to forget the impact of its meaning. Do we lose

My first DMin Project: Looking for your insights!

The first class session for my Doctor of Ministry is over, but my first project is still underway! My project is focusing on the practice of the Eucharistic meal in Paul's churches, and our celebration of the meal, particularly as a symbol of unity of the body of Christ. My hope is, with a group from my church, to plan a meal with celebration of Holy Communion for World Communion Sunday this October. We'll need to write a liturgy and order of worship. I'm particularly drawn to this excerpt from one of our textbooks.  "The unity symbolized by the Lord's Supper, I have suggested, can be seen as a reminder or re-presentation of the liminal transcendence of societal oppositions that was declared in baptism. Now it is commonly asserted that this baptismal unity and egalitarianism is 'merely sacramental,' that is, as a purely symbolic leveling it signifies an ideal state, perhaps a future eschatological state, but has no effect upon actual social roles . . . Fo

Sermon for Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, "Here I Am, Lord"

Sermon 8/8/10 Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 Here I Am, Lord             Today we’re talking about a hymn that tied for fourth place in our Top Ten list, “Here I am, Lord.” Like we talked about with On Eagle’s Wings , Here I Am, Lord is also a song that is a product of a time of musical renewal after Vatican II in the Roman Catholic Church, when changes made allowed the Mass to be celebrated in the language of the people, and music to be more reflective of contemporary styles. The author is Dan Schutte, who wrote these words in the 1980s. Schutte was a founding member of the St. Louis Jesuits, a group of Catholic Jesuit musicians who focused on comteporary music for worship. Dan himself shares on his website what let him to write “Here I Am, Lord.”             He says: When I was a young Jesuit, studying theology in Berkeley, California, a friend came to me one day asked me for a favor. "Dan, I know this is late notice, but I’m planning the diaconate ordination ceremony and need a piece

Modules 11 & 12: Class Notes

Here's my last set of notes from my first DMin class - I really loved it! Now I just have to complete my project! I'm working on a project on Unity/Body of Christ and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. I'll keep you posted ;)  *** Question from student – 1 Cor. 6: Malakoi – the weak ones – sexually, the penetrated one. One who submits his (usually male) body to penetration by a stronger partner for money, advancement, etc. Arsenokoitai – male/those who sleep – those who sleep with men Romans 1: Worshipping humans, birds, animals, reptiles. God hands them over to their desires. Worshipped creature rather than creator. References to Leviticus 18 holiness code. Krister Stendahl “Good exegesis begins with the distinction between what the text meant and what the text still might mean. ” If you skip over first, you can’t determine second. What did this mean to Paul’s first readers? Homoeroticism in the Biblical World – Martti Nissinen (best book on topic) Same sex relationshi

Sermon for Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, "Bigger Barns"

Sermon 8/1/10 Bigger Barns As some of you know, I’ll soon be moving to a new home – I’ve been renting an apartment in Fayetteville, and I’ve been given the opportunity to rent the parsonage of a church in Syracuse that isn’t being used by their pastor instead. Getting ready to move again has made me think about all my moves since I left seminary. My biggest move was going from Oneida to New Jersey. I actually used movers and a moving company for that move. They came to my parsonage in Oneida and they walked around the many rooms of the parsonage with some handheld devices, clicking away entries based on what I have: 5 armchairs. Click. 3 televisions. Click. 4 couches. Click. 7 bookshelves. Click. 12 little end tables. Click. Most movers estimate based on pounds – how many pounds of stuff do you have to be moved? Well, at that time, I had over 7000 pounds of things to take with me to New Jersey, a number that I found a little embarrassing, frankly. I’m one person. OK – I will give my