Tagged: witness

Jeremiah 31:27-34

This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on October 16th, 2016.

Friedel Dzubas

This sermon series began two weeks ago in Lamentations 1:1-6 and ends next week in Joel 2:23-32. This series allows the pastor to trace the arc of redemption as told through Israel’s story with God. This is the foundation of Christ’s coming, through which this story finds its fruition and fulfillment. Such a series permits a congregation to re-engage the movement of their own life with God through this story, starting in Lamentations with disorientation over their own sin and its consequences. This confrontation with sin is necessary if a church is to engage in the faithful application of hope toward Joel’s vision of life and land indwelled with the presence of the Spirit.

Last week in Jeremiah 29, the text focused on living in the tension of brokenness and hope. Today’s passage moves from the midst of this tension into the promise that is to come. Here the prophet promises renewed relationship and renewed covenant. This is hope on the move; hope that propels a people into the practice of a future freedom right now in the present. This hope is on the move because God brings renewal. This God-moving renewal establishes relational wholeness. This relational wholeness is expressed in human life together and covenant life with God.

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Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on July 3, 2016.

ByzanticonThere are few better metaphors for the spiritual life than “journey”; the concepts of movement, growth, purpose, and destination resonate with and illuminate our experiences. The same metaphor is equally apt for congregational life, especially as we consider the church’s presence, identity, and mission in our current cultural landscape. Luke’s long and intriguing motif of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem can be instructive. For the pastor looking to sustain a congregation’s self-understanding and growth during the more relaxed months of summer, Luke provides plenty of material for reflection. In the crush of preparing weekly sermons, many of us get in the habit of reading only the assigned Scripture, or perhaps also the passages immediately before and after it. Given the importance of the journey motif in Luke, the preacher would be well served by reading this entire section (Luke 9:51-19:28). This overview can give a helpful framework for preaching from now through October, and might help the pastor even structure the sermons over this sweep of time as a kind of journey with Jesus.

This passage from Luke 10, which follows immediately from the previous week’s lection, takes place very soon after the journey has begun. Jesus had been rejected by a village of inhospitable Samaritans (Luke 9:53) and then pursued by some enthusiastic would-be followers (Luke 9:57-62). Having previously sent a pair of messengers ahead of him to prepare a village to receive him (and before that, having appointed and sent out the Twelve to heal, to exorcise demons, and to proclaim the kingdom of God), Jesus now commissions a much larger group. There is a sense here already, this early in the journey, of the growth of his mission.

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