Showing posts from March, 2013

Happy Easter!!!

I have posted the audio of my Easter sermon on the Wartburg Parish website - The title is "No!/Yes!" - Look for the sermon dated 3/31/13 Have a blessed Easter!

The Book of Revelation

Making Sense of The Book of Revelation During the season of Easter the scripture lessons that are appointed to be read in worship for the 2 nd reading – the Epistle – will all come from the book of Revelation.   This gives us an opportunity to focus on this biblical book for the six weeks of the season of Easter.   And while in the space of seven weeks we cannot possibly cover the entire book we can still experience some of its most important and beautiful sections and begin to get inside this most confusing book of the bible.   The lessons themselves are listed below and will be the basis for a sermon series on those texts. In preparation for these readings and the sermon series, I want to use this space to provide some basic information about the book of Revelation.   Probably there is no other book in the bible that is as misunderstood, but yet which has captured the public imagination as much as this book. The prevailing interpretation of the Book of Rev

Reflections on the Passion – St. Luke 22:1-23:56

--> Marc Chegal WHY? - FOR YOU! If you have ever watched one of the film versions of the life of Jesus you know that no matter how hard they may try to soften the violence done to Jesus it is impossible to be faithful to the account of the Passion without representing the violence.   The old Franco Zeffirelli film, “Jesus of Nazareth” (for example) tried to tone down the violence, while maintaining the intensity of the story. Other films, most notably Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” and the new made for TV series “The Bible,” almost seem to glory in the violence that is then depicted in excruciating detail.   The fact is, that Jesus died a very violent death.   Crucifixion was a method of execution that the Romans had devised to drag out the violence and misery as long as possible in order to send a message; and that message was “Don’t mess with us!” We Christians believe that this man, who died in such a terribly violence way, is none other than God in

Reflections on the text – Lent V – St. John 12:1-8

Read the text here: John 12:1-11 Mary: Model Disciple When you hear the word disciple what, or whom do you think of?   My guess is that you probably think of those 12 men that Jesus called to be his followers in the Gospels.   The most prominent of these are Peter, John, James, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas and Judas. Because of this we could almost get the idea that a disciple was someone who had a special status in relation to Jesus and that this select group was limited in number (12 only) and that only men were allowed. During the time of Jesus there were many travelling Rabbis who would attract students (the Greek word – mathetes – translated as disciple actually means student) .   There were several different classes of students. The first group were the beginners.   This group tended to be a larger group of young men, but after a certain period of time, and after covering specific material this group would reduced substantially to a much smaller group of more se

Reflections on the text – Lent III - Isaiah 55:1-11

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9 Pastor Eugene Peterson has published a new contemporary language translation of the bible (called "The Message") and in his work the verses above are translated like this: ‘ I don’t think the way you think.   The way you work isn’t the way I work.’ .. . ‘For as the sky soars high above the earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.’”   Think about this for a minute.   If God is truly God, that is if we really believe that God is the creator of heaven and earth, that God is incarnate in Jesus, that God is available to each and every one of us, then we have to acknowledge that God is ultimately outside our ability to understanding or even comprehend God’s immensity.   But yet, w