People today have lost the ability to think in broadly metaphorical terms. So, our difficulty interpreting the Bible today is “not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they took them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.” That line from John Dominic Crossan surely applies to how we must understand holy words. It reminds me of another apt phrase: that all the Bible is true and some of it actually happened. Our two stories today about the “Fall” in the Garden of Eden and Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness have that character: they are true and non-factual. We must be smart enough to take them symbolically. Human wholeness depends on it. Continue reading
Well, aren’t we in a pickle! We had quite the positive sermon series begun between Pastor Karin and me, but now this! Two weeks ago I observed how Jesus gathers us together and makes us by his saying so “blessed” when we are mocked and persecuted for bearing his name. Of course, the presumption was and is that we are so distinguished that we are mocked and persecuted. Pastor Liebster spoke similarly, declaring that we all together are created by Messiah Jesus to be salt and light for this community and the world. Continue reading
Based on Matthew 5:1-11
God creates what God says. God says, “Let there be light.” Then there is light. God says, “From dust I have made you. To dust you shall return.” And so we are created and we are returned to the stuff of which God makes us. Jesus, Messiah, Son of God does the same. Messiah says, “You are light.” And it is so. Messiah says “On the third day I will rise.” It was so! Messiah says, “And all shall be raised up with me.” It will be so. Continue reading
Based on Isaiah 49:1-7; 1 Cor. 1:1-9; John 1:29-42
It is right there in the words you heard from Isaiah. God says that it is not enough that you should encourage and restore God’s people. More than that—which is quite a lot!—God gives you as a light to the nations so that God’s mercy and justice will embrace all the earth. That’s what Isaiah 49: 6 means. If you don’t like it, I lovingly invite you to take it up with God. And, today, each of the other biblical readings agree. Continue reading
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Christ the King Sunday is a gift from Pope Pius XI. Only ninety-four years ago, in 1925, he established a new festival to be celebrated on a Sunday late in the year, called Christ the King. Christus rex, Cristo rey.
Pius gave this gift to the church and to the world to declare that Christ the King is the true focal point of the desires of history and civilization. His was an act of protest and objection against the destructive forces of the modern world.