By Joel P. Okamoto Notes on the pericope One who wants to preach on the basis of this passage should recognize (as the lectionary does not) that this story, about the death of John the Baptist, is an intercalation, that is, an episode inserted within another episode (in this case, the sending of the Twelve). ..
By Travis J. Scholl Here we are at the first week of July—Fourth of July weekend no less!—and the Gospel of Mark gives us no “summer vacation” from its cruciform sense of faith, discipleship, and the way of Christ. In this text (a continuation of last week’s Gospel text from Mark 5), Jesus has returned ..
By Andrew Bacon Rendezvous with Jesus The healing of the woman and the healing of the daughter are part of a series of four miracles in Mark 4 and 5 which demonstrate Jesus as Lord over creation, over Satan, over sickness, and over death. The Gathering (21) The story begins with Jesus in the boat ..
By Paul Robinson Preface: Sometimes a boat is just a boat Although Mark’s account of the stilling of the storm did not occur in any historic lectionary, Matthew’s version of the story was the traditional Gospel reading for the fourth Sunday after Epiphany. So the story has been preached routinely in the history of the ..
By Thomas Egger Mark 4 begins and ends with references to Jesus as a teacher (4:1, 4:38). Yet it is clear from the central theme of his teaching (the kingdom of God) and from his authority over wind and sea that Jesus is much more than a teacher. In his words and works, the end-time ..
By Jeffrey Kloha This text is perhaps too familiar to the typical hearer. Phrases like “born again,” “the Son of Man will be lifted up,” “God so loved the world . . .” may well wash right over the congregation and not sink in to challenge them in the way that Jesus challenges Nicodemus. A ..
By Robert Hoehner This is Pentecost, a day of celebration; a day to remember and hold fast to our identity as the people of God, and the purpose he intends for our lives in this world, and the new world to come. We are here to give him glory! Our Gospel Lesson is a Pentecost ..
By William W Schumacher The vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of this text are rather simple. In fact, a pastor whose Greek has become rusty would be well advised to return his attention to the original languages with this week’s Gospel lesson. The impact and rhetoric of the text are another matter. Embedded in the narrative ..
By Kent Burreson A Journey for the Ages This homiletical help provides reflections on central themes for the Ascension in light of the liturgical context and hymnography for the feast. The Gospel reading for the Ascension of Our Lord is the Lukan account of Jesus’ final teaching and his return to his Father. It is ..
By Quentin F. Wesselschmidt Preliminary considerations: In his recent book, The Lost History of Christianity (New York: HarperOne, 2008), Philip Jenkins writes: In the late ninth century, an elderly Egyptian monk shocked his Muslim listeners when he explicitly denied that Christianity could be supported purely on the grounds of reason, and agreed that ideas like ..
By Henry Gerike The Great Fifty Days of Easter continue as the Church explores how it stays alive. Christ’s resurrection certainly makes us alive. To remain alive in Christ is to stay connected to him through his Word and the Sacraments. The idea of the vineyard and the vine is not new; it was already ..
By Erik Herrmann The Good Shepherd. It’s such a well-known image. It seems to be relevant in every age—from the earliest times in the catacombs where Christ was so often depicted as a youthful Apollonian shepherd, to the modern Sunday school pictures of the gentle Jesus cradling a lamb, the Good Shepherd continues to be ..
By Bruce G. Schuchard To Seek Him 1. One must look for the right Jesus 2. One must find him where he may be found For them, for Jesus’ followers, something had been and so still was sorely lacking. And the effect upon them was profound indeed. “Why do you seek the living among the ..
By Bruce Hartung Among the many themes clearly evident from this text, e.g., doubt and faith using the experience of Thomas (20:24—29), belief in Christ fostered by the telling of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ (20:30-31), this sermon help will focus on the theme of fear and peace (20:19-22, 26). For sermon helps ..
By Robert Kolb Introductory thoughts: These women appear to be bewildered, to be sure, and somewhat befuddled and bungling. They apparently had just not thought of how they would get to the body, behind that massive stone that blocked the entrance, behind those Roman guards. They could not know, of course, that theirs was a ..
By Travis J. Scholl As seems the case every time we encounter a pericope from the Gospel of Mark, we can start by noticing what is not there. The “Palm Sunday” in Mark isn’t triumphal, at least not with the same sense of triumph that we find in the other gospels. But Mark does give ..