179: Proper 14C (august 7, 2016)


Episode 179 Proper 14C - (August 7, 2016)
Hello and welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 179 for Sunday August 7, 2016, Proper 14, Year C.

Voice in the Wilderness: Lee Saylor, Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 Faith- hoped for an unseen

Featured Musician - Jonathan Rundman, “Wide Awake” from his album Sound Theology

Episode 179 Proper 14C - (August 7, 2016)
Hello and welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 179 for Sunday August 7, 2016, Proper 14, Year C.

Introduction and Check-in  

  • Week away from church

Voice in the Wilderness: Lee Saylor, Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 Faith- hoped for an unseen

Featured Musician - Jonathan Rundman, “Wide Awake” from his album Sound Theology

DONATE: www.pulpitfiction.us/donate

  • Norma Malfatti - About a year ago a lay preacher in my synod pointed me in your direction and now your podcast has become an integral part of my sermon prep. Thanks so much for your honest, relevant and fun sharing of the Gospel! ~Norma

Gospel Reading: Luke 12:32-40 Where your treasure is, your heart will be
Initial Thoughts

  • Uh-oh, talking about money again.
  • “The challenge, of course is how to preach these verses as more than memorable words worthy of plaques to hang in our kitchens or offices.” (Karoline Lewis, Working Preacher)

    • What Bible verses do we make into memes?
    • I’m guessing not “Sell your possessions and give the money to the poor.”
  • “I will begin the discussion of ‘Biblical literalism and inerrancy,’ if, and only if, you sell your possessions and give the money to the poor. Do that, then come back to me and we can talk about ‘taking the Bible literally.’” (paraphrased quote from Michael Kinnamon at Eden Seminary, circa 2003)

Bible Study

  • V. 32-34 feel like the conclusion of the previous passage, but is tied to 35-40, which is  confusing mixed metaphor

    • Starts with Father delights in giving you the Kingdom - Lens
    • ”Fear Not,” is a common opening in the Scriptures, “Typically, "Do not be afraid," is the rhetorical prelude to the announcement of God's mighty and saving deeds. And it is the starting point and anchor for everything else in this passage. It is God's good pleasure - God's intention, plan, and delight - to give you the kingdom! If this is true, then disciples can, indeed, resist the seduction of wealth, not fall prey to constant anxiety about worldly needs, share what they have with others, and wait expectantly, even eagerly, for the coming of the Son of Man.” (David Lose, Working Preacher)
    • V. 22-31 skipped by lectionary.

      • Placed in Sermon on the Mount in Matthew
  • 32-34 - Proper place of money, part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew

    • Matthew 6:19-21 Stop collecting earthly treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.
    • Why does Matthew place these warnings about possessions and worry in the Sermon on the Mount, but Luke places them as a part of the travel story at the start of warnings, conflict, and controversy?
  • 35-40 - Metaphors about watchfulness

    • Like people waiting for their master to return.

      • Master finds them waiting = Happy. Master will become the slave.
    • If the homeowner knew when the thief was coming, the house wouldn’t have been broken into.

      • Is the coming of Jesus like a thief breaking into a house?
      • “The Son of Man will come, and will come unexpectedly. Not only will it be a surprise as to time but it will be disruptive, as would be the coming of a night thief… But readiness is possible, for it consists of contiuing faithfulness at one’s duties. When that is the case uncertainties are no cause for alarm or anxiety (Fred Craddock, Interpretation: Luke, p. 165)
    • Lectionary cuts off 41-48, the unhappy master. The master of servants who beat other servants, get drunk, and are not watchful because they assume the master isn’t coming.
    • Picks up next week with conflicts brought by Jesus.

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • Karoline Lewis proposes a progression: Fear, Treasure, Prepare. This is a formula for the Christian life.

    • Beginning of faith is “Fear Not.” No need to fear, because Kingdom is one of plenty, kindness, and grace.
    • Treasure shifts when we no longer fear. When we fear, we treasure things that seem to bring security. If we no longer fear, we can treasure different things - more permanent things.
    • Prepare is not simply sitting and waiting. “Being ready for Jesus’ second coming is less about any actual time and place and more about imagining Jesus’ activity in the world, when and where you least expect it or imagine seeing it. In other words, waiting around, waiting for instructions, is not going to cut it. Fear, treasure, and being prepared is the pattern for discipleship. Being without fear, knowing the source of your treasure - that is, your identity, your worth - makes it possible to be prepared for and an actual participant in God’s Kingdom.
  • Verse 41: “Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?"

    • Do we really have to sell our possessions and give them to the poor?
    • Do we really have to wait up all night in fear?
    • “The point of almsgiving, I think, is not to elevate poverty - circumstantial or chosen - but rather to extol generosity as a mark of the Christian life. Similarly, the watchfulness Jesus commands is not an anxious anticipation of the end of the world but rather an eager expectation of God's consummation of history. What Jesus is commending is faith - faith that frees one to be generous; faith that enables one to leave anxiety behind; faith that creates in one confidence about a future secured not by human endeavor or achievement but by God alone.” (David Lose, Working Preacher)

Psalm Nugget: Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23 with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist)

Second Reading: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20 An Argument with God
Initial Thoughts

  • On to Isaiah!

    • Typically in 3 parts:

      • 1-39 - pre-Exile
      • 40-55 - Exile
      • 56-66 - post-Exile
    • Longest prophetic book
    • Focus in on Judah (the Southern Kingdom) not Israel, the Northern Kingdom
  • Isaiah the man

    • 8th century prophet in Judah (Southern Kingdom)
    • Most likely did not write the entire book of Isaiah, but wrote Isaiah 1-39
    • Name means “YHWH has saved” or “YHWH may save”
  • Historical Context

    • Assyria was expanding (from what is now Northern Iraq) to dominate Aram (Syria) in 732 BCE, Israel (Northern Kingdom) in 722 BCE and then laid siege to Judah in 701 BCE.
    • Judah is conquered in 586 BCE by the Babylonians leading to the exile which ended in  515 BCE when Cyrus the Persian liberated the Jews from Babylon
  • Theological themes:

    • Sovereignty of God over all nations and all the Earth (not a tribal or regional deity)
    • Righteous justice

Bible Study

  • Sodom and Gomorrah

    • Sets the stage as those deserving the wrath of God
    • Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed for homosexuality, but for their evil, sinfulness, lack of anyone righteous and injustice (Gen 13:13; 18:20; 19:13; cf. Ezekiel 16:49)
    • Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their injustice- so too will Judah be destroyed for its injustice
  • Religious Authorities has become complicit in the injustice

  • Rejection of empty ritual

    • Systematic rejection of every aspect of worship: sacrifice, gathering, offering, incense, public assembly, prayers, supplication, etc.
  • What is required?

    • Stop doing evil
    • Learn to do good
    • Seek justice
    • Rescue the oppressed
    • Defend the powerless (orphan)
    • Give voice to the voiceless (widow)
  • Judgment and Grace

    • Sodom and Gomorrah - judgment is coming to you!
    • Grace - let us argue it out together
    • Offer of redemption and choice- choose abundant life in God’s ways or death.

Sermon Thoughts and Questions

  • We often think of repentance (changing heart and mind toward God) as an individual act. How might we embody this as a church act?
  • Do our rituals match our calling? If so- how do they and if not, do we need to explore new rituals?
  • What does it mean to argue to out with God? What does it mean to worship a God who in the moment of judgment is willing to hear us out and invite us into transformation? Condemnation never separates us as beloved children.

Tasty Wafer of the Week:

Thank you listeners

Featured Musician - Jonathan Rundman, “Wide Awake” from his album Sound Theology

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”).