This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on February 19th, 2017.
If a preacher were to say to a congregation, “Please turn to Leviticus,” I wonder if the congregation would say something like, “Who is Leviticus?” Or might they think, “Did he say, Spartacus?”
Hearing the word “Leviticus” in today’s church might be as foreign as hearing the name of “Spartacus,” the Thracian gladiator, in the church. Indeed, some preachers might feel one must be a gladiator to prepare a sermon from Leviticus.
The preacher might want to start her sermon on Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 by dealing with the book of Leviticus and its regular neglect by many preachers. She may want to address the thought of some that this biblical book is not relevant today and perhaps not easily understood and even boring. One might have the view that today’s world has nothing to do with sacrificial rituals and regulations as emphasized by Leviticus. By contrast, there may be those who see the person and work of Christ in the book as they interpret it through allegory. Notably, the preacher must be resolved on her view of the book before preaching the text.
This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on September 25th, 2016.
Kathleen Norris suggests that when someone asks you if you are a Christian, you should respond: “Here’s a list of my friends. Ask them.”
Would hungry children in poverty-stricken countries say that we are Christian ministers? Jesus’ Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus challenges preachers to talk like followers of Christ.
Once there was a rich man whose friends call him Dives—which is Latin for rich. He enjoys looking through the Nieman-Marcus catalog. He wears handmade suits, custom-tailored shirts, and fancy underwear. The rich man is not a bad guy. He did not make his money as a hit man or a television preacher. He does not run Lazarus off his property or report him to the police. He does not do anything mean. He does not do anything. Maybe Dives noticed Lazarus and said a prayer for him, but he stuck to his policy of never giving anything directly to street people. Dives does not realize that his possessions are a gift to be shared, so Lazarus remains hungry.