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). ..
That’s the title of a summer workshop I will be leading later this month (July 27-29) at Concordia Seminary. It’s a topic I’ve studied, talked, and thought about for a long time. Peter Mead, senior editor at Creative Communications for the Parish , will lead some of the presentations too
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 ..
Simon Critchley, in action Philosopher Simon Critchley writes a thought-provoking reflection on happiness on the”Happy Days” blog on nytimes.com . The ancient Greek proverb above is his launching point into thinking about happiness, death, and the prospect of an afterlife
Giotto’s “Saint Francis preaching to the birds” This is my very first Father’s Day as both a son and a father. Other than the blazing heat that feels more like August than June, it has been a very good day. When we found out we were expecting, a good friend and fellow writer who is also a father urged me to write down thoughts and events as much as possible, as a kind of fatherly discipline
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 ..
Just one example: Chaplain Steve Lee, head of Peace Officer Ministries, at work, somewhere. The police called me from the house of a woman with a gun to her head. That’s the conversation I overheard in the hallway outside my office. (A workshop for chaplains, peace officers and pastors, focusing on effective Christian ministry to and through law enforcement is meeting at Concordia Seminary this week.) The rest of the story involved 16 cats, animal control, health and human services, and the woman ‘gun to her head’ shouting out the window, You’re not taking away my babies! The end of the story involved this particular chaplain talking the woman down, averting disaster, and restoring calm to the neighborhood
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 ..
Concordia Seminary will honor faculty members who have recently published books next Tuesday, May 19, 4:00-6:00PM , in the Seminary’s Koburg Hall ( map and directions ). The celebration will include the requisite fine wine, hors d’oeuvres, and lively conversation. And the writers will be present to sign books