105  Lent 3B (March 8, 2015)


For Sunday March 8, third Sunday of Lent, Year B.

SHOW NOTES -  3/8/2015
Episode 105  Lent 3B
For Sunday, March 8, 2015

Welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 105 
for Sunday March 8, third Sunday of Lent, Year B.

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  • The Last Week by John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg

Introduction and Check-in  

  • 5 Things Churches Should Stop for Lent from Ministry Matters
  • Holy Week Round Table- have a question or topic you want us to cover? Comment on the blog, facebook, or Tweet us with #pfroundtable

Quickfire Scripture - 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 God’s wisdom vs. the world’s wisdom

  • Check out episode 48 on this passage from last year: http://www.pulpitfiction.us/show-notes/ep-48-jesus-loves-groundhogs-or-after-epiphany-4a
  • The Christian message- that of a crucified savior is foolish and doesn’t make sense- are we ok with that? Why do we keep trying to convince people this is not the case
  • Who are you looking for? A Davidic monarch who will overthrow the oppressors and guide you into an era of powerful autonomy? A Wise person who will answer your questions or fix your problems? Or a savior who shows you that what you need to be saved most from is you and that faith is not about sustainability, popularity, wealth, power or even survival- it is about love.
  • Faith is not fair or rational- doesn’t mean it isn’t true
  • We believe in the impossible: pigs can fly, the dead can come back to life and the Kingdom of God is at hand

Featured Musician - Christopher Grundy, “As the Moon” from his album Stepping In. Discover more of Christopher’s music at christophergrundy.com. New website - lots of great promise including a lectionary key to songs!

Primary Scripture  John 2:13-22 Jesus clearing the Temple
Initial Thoughts

Bible Study

  • Context - happens right after Jesus’ first “sign” at the Wedding at Cana (cf. 2:11)
    • Passover - Jesus’ death is not his first Jerusalem passover (according to John)
    • Money changers and animal sellers - providing a necessary service of convenience. Are they any different than the beer and hot dog vendors at a baseball game? Or the token vendors at the arcade (might be dating myself on this one)
  • ANGRY Jesus
    • Acknowledge the awkwardness of an ANGRY Jesus
    • Jesus drives them out with a “whip of cords” - YIPE
    • Righteous anger- at this of all things is uncomfortable- not directed at the pharisees or sadducees or Romans, but those profiting from people encountering God
    • Jesus drives the sheep and cattle out, but not the people- they are allowed to remain in the temple
      • Cleansing the temple does not mean driving out the people- even the unfaithful exploiters- it means removing their means of exploitation.
  • Why is Jesus mad?
    • Exploitation - the cost of the sacrificial doves and animals was too high and exploited those seeking grace.
    • Barrier - an unnecessary barrier that kept people from worshiping God
    • Profiting materially from faith and people’s desire to be in relationship with God - are we that much different?
    • “Then my Lord God will come and all the Holy Ones with him...And there shall no longer be traders in the House of the Lord of hosts on that day.” - Zech 14:15, 21
      • “That day” of the Lord’s coming is here and Jesus’ driving out the traders indicates that God has come to the temple incarnate in Jesus
  • Religious Marketplace - are we that much better?
    • Beware using this as a soapbox to condemn external injustices - Jesus is bringing it home to the doors of your church. Is your church a marketplace or a house of prayer?
      • Explicit charging - building use, weddings, funerals, etc
      • Implicit charging - what people wear, how they smell, how they look, are they able to get into your church
  • Temple as the place where you went to encounter God - Jesus is the new temple (v. 22) Through Jesus you encounter God
    • At the time of John’s Gospel the temple has already been destroyed
    • The first passion prediction

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • What tables would Jesus turn over in our churches today? What would he see that would cause him to pull out his whip?
  • What barriers do we put up before people and God? Membership? Confirmation? Church-y language? Inaccessible buildings?
  • Are we willing to worship with the money changers and cattle sellers? Those who have been bullies, exploiters and betrayers?

Psalm Nugget with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan - Psalm 19

Secondary scripture - Exodus 20:1-17 The covenant of the Law
Initial Thoughts

  • We just covered this in October, 17 Sundays after Pentecost. Episode 83
  • If there were actual stone tablet that the people carried with them, they did not have these words. Exodus tells us that these tablets were broken by Moses in Exodus 32:19. A few chapters later the covenant is renewed and there is a different Decalog (Ten Words). Exodus 34:17-28:
  1. Don’t make metal gods
  2. Observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread
  3. Every first offspring is mine.
  4. No one should appear before me empty-handed
  5. You should work for six days, but on the seventh day you should rest.
  6. Observe the Festival of the Weeks and Gathering Festival
  7. All your males should appear three times a year before the Lord.
  8. Don’t slaughter the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened.
  9. Bring the best of the early produce of your land to your God’s temple. (WHAT TEMPLE?)
  10. Don’t boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Exodus 34:27: “Then the Lord said to Moses: ‘Write down these words because by these words I hereby make a covenant with you and with Israel.’ Moses was there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights. He didn’t eat any bread or drink any water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten words.”

Bible Study

  • Parallel found in Deuteronomy 5
    • Explanation for Sabbath is different. Exodus: Because God rested, you should too. Deut: Remember that you were a slave in Egypt
    • Covet Commandment: Deut Separates wife from the rest of household goods. Exodus: wife is included with other things that “belong to your neighbor.”.  
  • Law is a continuing act of salvation.
    • Begins with “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
    • God’s saving work in Exodus includes the giving of the Law. Cannot separate God saving the people from Egypt from the Law.
    • Relationship with God, and what makes the people distinct, is captured especially in the second set of the Decalog.
    • Universal nature of the Law is seen in tying Sabbath to creation. Living with these parameters is both for the people, and for all of Creation.
    • Second person singular phrasing makes the Law not just about the people, but about individuals and how they relate to God and to others.
  • These Laws, unlike things like Codex of Hammurabi, and even our own legal system, does not include companion punishments.
    • “Do not” language actually opens up human possibility. It is not prescription for behavior, but sets limits on what is acceptable.
    • Lack of punishment and 2nd person language places the onus of following the law on self, not on an outside source.
    • Enforceable only by the keystone at the beginning, that God is your God.
    • Living by these Laws is a part of Created Order, not just rules for which you can be punished. God’s will is for all creation to live within these guidelines. If they were followed, it is not just about lack of punishment, the whole world order would shift so as to be more aligned with God’s will and purpose.

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • Should the Decalog be in government squares? If the governments are also willing to remove the punishments assigned to the laws, then by all means. Also wonder why no one is clamoring to place the Beatitudes in courtrooms.
  • The Decalog is expanded upon greatly within the rest of the Books of Moses. These can be seen as the foundation of the relationship with God. The foundation of these laws are the God saves. What could we be saved from if all of creation lived within these parameters?

Tasty Wafer of the Week:

  • Short Lent Videos produced by listener Rev Tay Moss  @TayMoss of the Church of the Messiah in Toronto of the Anglican Church of Canada. Thanks Tay!

TY listeners
Shout Out:

  • @CaseyFitzgerald (not Cathy, as Robb said last week) thanked us for including The Story Divine as our Tasty Wafer of the week.
  • @ReverendJET “Just typed 'lectio divina' & auto correct wanted to make it 'Lectionary divination,' which I guess is what I do #SermonPrep @PulpitFpodcast


  • Christopher Grundy, “As the Moon” from his album Stepping In. Discover more of Christopher’s music at christophergrundy.com. New website - lots of great promise including a lectionary key to songs!

Thanks to our Psalms correspondent, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist) Using Psalms in Lent? Check out Richard’s great album “Sharing the Road” the first album of the Psalms Project which is full of Psalm songs for Lent!

Thank you to Scott Fletcher for our voice bumpers, Dick Dale and the Del Tones for our Theme music (“Misirlou”), Nicolai Heidlas (“Summertime”) and The Steel Wheels for our transition music(“Second of May” from their album Live at Goose Creek) and Paul and Storm for our closing music, “Oh No”.