162: Easter 3C (April 10, 2016)


162: Easter 3C (April 10, 2016)

Featured Musician -  “All God’s People,” by Rob Leveridge, from his album Dancing on the Mountain

Hello and welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 162 for Sunday April 10, 2016. The third Sunday of Easter,  Year C.

Introduction and Check-in  

  • Eden Spring Convocation special round table
  • Thinking about Pentecost already?

Featured Musician -  “All God’s People,” by Rob Leveridge, from his album Dancing on the Mountain

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Gospel Reading: John 21: 1-19 Resurrection fishing.
Initial Thoughts

  • The ending of John...part deux
  • WTF!? Jesus said he was sending them and yet they have returned right o where Jesus found them- fishing on the sea of Galilee /facepalm

Bible Study

  • Miraculous Catch

    • Connection with Luke 5:1-11- John makes is a resurrection story (in Galilee)
    • From Call story to post-resurrection story

      • Possible the author of John has access to Luke (Crossan)
      • Are we to see it as our own call story now?
  • 153 Fish – does this matter?Maybe...but probably not

    • 153 was the number of nations at the time of John’s writing (David Ewert)
    • 153 was the number of different kinds known species of fish at the time (Jerome)

      • Matthew 13:47
    • 153 was the size of the local early Christian community
    • The number doesn’t matter- there simply were enough fish to provide for the disciples as they began to share the Gospel (John Wesley)
  • Jesus- was he present physically or spiritually?

    • Is this a full resurrection appearance or does the appearance of fish and the act of breaking bread together change them

      • They remember breaking bread and fish with Jesus (miraculous feeding)
      • They remember the miraculous catch (call of Peter, James and John)
      • In remembering they are inspired to do what Jesus asks them to do: Go out and share the good news!
  • Miraculous Feeding

    • Eating bread proved he was not a spirit/ghost but was bodily resurrected
    • Eucharist?

      • Earlier depictions of the Eucharist were of bread and fish not bread and cup
      • Reminiscent of the multiplication of loaves and fish
      • Not all the eucharistic verbs- only took and gave
  • Peter and the Three Questions

    • Traditional Interpretation - the three promised are Peter’s way of repenting his three denials, rededicating his life to Jesus and symbolic of Jesus’ forgiveness
    • Greek geek Interpretation - It’s all about love and the special form of love that is used: agape v eros or philo AND the difference between knowing oida and deeper knowledge ginosko

      • Jesus asks “Do you agape me?” and Peter says “I philo you”
      • Peter first says oiko the first 2 times and ginosko the last
      • Gail O’Day of the New Interpreter's Commentary is not impressed by either of these (and neither is Eric)
    • Faith is tied to action

      • If you love Jesus - do something about it
      • The love of Jesus is transformative- it changes you and makes you show that love to others through concrete action - it should move you out of your life before Jesus, not lead you back to as if nothing happened.

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • How do we live out our faith in action? When will be get beyond the old argument of faith and world and realize that it is both- love is shown through action and action must be rooted in articulated love.
  • How do we experience Jesus in our midst in the Eucharist, other sacraments and worship? In what way can we facilitate these Jesus moments?
  • How are you transformed by the love of God in Jesus? How has it changed your life? And if it hasn’t then have you truly accepted Jesus’ call to discipleship?

Psalm Nugget:  Psalm 30 with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist

Second Reading: Revelation 5:11-14 Praise for the lamb
Initial Thoughts

  • For the love of God, please don’t call it “Revelations.” That is worse than pronouncing the ‘s’ in Illinois.
  • Apocalypse = apo: from, kalyptos: covering. As Barbara Rossing says, the purpose of the apocalypse is to reveal something. The purpose of Revelation is like Dorothy pulling aside the curtain to reveal the power of the Wizard was a fraud. Revelation is pulling back the curtain to reveal the power of Rome is the same.
  • This passage introduces the most important theme for the rest of the Book of Revelation, and that is “Lamb Power.”

Bible Study

  • Read all of chap 5

    • To get a proper perspective of the tension that is broken in this passage, include 5:1-5 at least, and probably the whole chapter.
    • The point of this passage is posed in v. 2 “Who is worthy to open the scroll?”
    • Without v. 1-10, the surprise twist that is found in 11-14 is lost to the reader.
  • The Lion who is actually a lamb

    • There is great mourning over who will open the scroll.
    • Weeping for no one was found worthy.
    • V 5 "Don't weep. Look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has emerged victorious so that he can open the scroll”
    • V. 6 “I saw a Lamb”
    • They were expecting that the one who would open the scroll would be the victorious lion, but instead it was the lamb who was slain. This, in a nutshell, is the gospel.
    • The people expected a victorious Lion to save them, but received instead the Lamb.
    • Without the beginning of the chapter, this surprise is lost. Essential part of the vision is the twist that is verse 6.
    • “The appearance of Jesus as the slain Lamb rather than the lion in chapter 5 of Revelation gives us the first and most important image for God’s model of conquering, the image of Lamb Power.” (Barbara Rossing, The Rapture Exposed, p. 117)
  • All worship. Universal nature of Jesus’ rule.

    • Who was saved? “persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation”
    • Who worships? Millions and Millions.
    • Who praises? Everyone everywhere.
    • "Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and might, and honor, glory, and blessing." The song is more than praise. It is a direct affront to the Emperor. “Worthy is a well-known political term in the Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire.” (Walter Tayler, Working Preacher)
    • “Concentric circles from God through Christ to the living creatures, to the twenty four elders, to an innumerable host, to include absolutely everything that is“ (Eugene Boring, Interpretation: Revelation, p. 112)
    • “Absolutely no one and nothing is excluded from this picture. Given this mind-expanding picture, it is impossible to see any part of the universe as ultimately rebellious and lost, just as it is impossible to see any part of the universe as existing apart from the creative weill and activity of the one creator God.” (Eugene Boring, Interpretation: Revelation, p. 112)

Sermon Thoughts and Questions

  • “Lamb Power” is the prime model for the book of Revelation. The lectionary doesn’t take us deep into the war-like images, but all of the battles and wars and destructions needs to be read through the lens of “Lamb Power.” The ending of the book is foreshadowed here at the beginning of the grand vision. The final victory over Rome - whose power is summarized as four horsemen - comes not through the power of the conquering lion, but through the power of the Lamb who was slain. Lamb Power - not Roman power.
  • This glimpse of the victory gives the readers strength to endure all that is to come. The Lamb does not end the war, plagues, and famine. Nor does the Lamb bring them. “We need to put 5:11-14 into the context of what follows, as well as into the context of what has preceded.  In what follows, the six seals are opened, and the end-time woes or sufferings begin, and the battle with evil is engaged once again.  But those listening can handle the images of destruction and death, because they know that the message does not stop with the coming of the four horsemen, the plagues, and violence, but goes beyond them to the word of salvation and joy announced in our text.  The glimpse of heaven also reminds us that the decisive victory has indeed already been won--which is why we are in the season of Easter.  The future triumph is already present in heaven.  What is left for us to do is to join in the worship.” (Walter Taylor, Working Preacher)
  • “The powerful metaphor of Jesus as “the Lamb who was slain” will become the central christological symbol of the entire book. This scripting of Jesus as a lamb is an obvious signal not to interpret the imagery of Revelation literally, but rather metaphorically. Just as Jesus was not literally a four-legged sheep or lamb, so Revelation’s other symbols and numbers should not be read literally. Revelation’s profound truth is not as a series of predictions to be figured out, but rather a deeper-than-literal truth -- a journey into God’s vision of hope for our world.” (Barbara Rossing, Working Preacher)

Tasty Wafer of the Week:

Thank you listeners

  • “Appreciated the time spent on Maundy Thursday in your Palm Sunday show.  I Did the sermon on foot washing and when I have time will share insights gleaned from you guys!  You are a part of my life. Hope to meet you one day.  Enjoy meeting your Thursday night special guests too.  Thank you.  Lynn”



Featured Musician - “All God’s People,” by Rob Leveridge, from his album Dancing on the Mountain

Thanks to our Psalms correspondent, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist). Thank you to Scott Fletcher for our voice bumpers, Dick Dale and the Del Tones for our Theme music (“Misirlou”), Nicolai Heidlas (“Sunday Morning”, "Real Ride" and “Summertime”) and The Steel Wheels for our transition music(“Nola’s First Dance” from their album Lay Down, Lay Low) and Paul and Storm for our closing music (“Oh No”).