Ep. 43: The Charlie Browniest Podcast or Christmastide 1A 


For Sunday, December 29, Christmastide 1A

Click read more for show notes!
SHOW NOTES -  12/29/2013

 Opening Music: Christmastime is Here! by Vince Guaraldi

For Sunday, December 29
Episode 43
Welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, where two local pastors discuss the lectionary reading for the week and we never thought it was such a bad little tree, really. Maybe it just needs a little love. This is episode 43 for Sunday December 29, the first Sunday of Christmastide. We will be discussing:


Primary Scripture - Matthew 2:13-23- The Flight to Egypt

  • Birth Narratives conflict
    • Both Luke and Matthew are focused on the “why” not the “how”
    • They are not giving historical accounts but making theological statements
    • Matthew - Jesus is from Bethlehem, heralded by a star and worshipped by Kings
    • Luke - Jesus is from Nazareth, forces to be born in Bethlehem, laid in a filthy manger, attended by shepherds
  • The New Moses
    • Historically
      • Very unlikely this actually occurred
      • Or is was only in Bethlehem which only account for between 7-20 children
      • Herod died in 4 BCE which means Jesus was probably born in 6 BCE - Dionysius Exiguus (who calculated the Common Era) did so in 533 CE. It was based on the birth of Jesus in relation to the founding of Rome and had the death of Herod off by 4 years (Herod died 750 years after the founding of Rome, not 754). - R. Alan Culpepper, Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary - Feasting on the Word – Year A, Volume 1: Advent through Transfiguration.
      • Obviously not the same Herod as later in the Gospel - that is Herod’s son, Herod Antipas
    • This sets Jesus us as the new Moses and Herod/Occupying powers as the new Pharaoh
    • The Wise Men become the new midwives - only not as great
    • God is in control - Susan Hedahl Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary - Feasting on the Word – Year A, Volume 1: Advent through Transfiguration.
    • God works through agents, but ultimately is in control- not Herod
      • Similar to God being the master of life and death, not Pharaoh
    • Joseph, like his namesake is a dreamer  - he is open and led by his dreams
  • Three Movements:
    • Flight from Egypt
      • God’s Call
        • God leads Joseph out of Egypt
    • Killing of the Innocents
      • God’s Politics
        • Herod is a child killing monster, why? because he is afraid
        • Herod was dominated by fear
          • Killed all his relatives
          • Built fortresses throughout his kingdom so he would never be far from them
          • Ordered the death of all political prisoners upon his death to cause the land to mourn
      • Questions of Evil
        • Why didn't God warn the other parents of Bethlehem?
        • Did the advent of the Savior bring with it the death of innocents or rise from among it?
    • Return from Egypt
      • Quotes is from Hosea 11:1
      • God’s Provision
        • God returns Joseph and his family to the promised land
      • Salvation is found in the faithfulness of Joseph who trusts in God
  • Preaching thoughts:
    • What does it mean that the Holy family was a family of refugee immigrants?
    • People may point to violence and pain in the world as the absence of God, but God was born into reality, not a fairy tale
      • Luke - Jesus is born in a world of economic injustice, poor, homeless, forced from their home in Nazareth
      • Matthew - Jesus is born to in a world of political injustice, where the poor are slaughtered, Jesus is forced from him home

Transition Music: “Sinnerman” by Nina Simone

Secondary scripture - Isaiah 63:7-9 - Remembering God’s mercy

  • The steadfast love of God is the central theme of this passage.  Moreover, it is the central theme of the Biblical story.
    • Context of this passage needs to be broadened.
      • Comes after passage of vindication and judgment against Edom
      • Comes before Isaiah says “But they [Israel] rebelled”
      • Christopher Seitz (in the New Interpreter’s Bible) calls it the introduction to a greater story of supplication and confession, calling the whole section a “communal lament.”
      • This introduction sets up the love of God as the grounding theme before expounding more on Israel’s failure.  These failures seem all the more tragic because of God’s fidelity and mercy.
    • This passage serves as a summary of relationship between God and Israel.  
      • Israel knows God by two traits: faithfulness and mercy.
      • God knows Israel as falling short of the covenant time and again
      • Yet, God “lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
        • Reference to Passover, and other saving acts of God.
        • Reminder that Jesus comes not when we’re ready, or when we are good enough, but in the midst of our brokenness (as evidenced by Herod’s reaction)
  • Important translation issue with verse 9.
    • NRSV stands against CEB, RSV, and NIV.
      • NRSV: “in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
      • RSV: “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them”
      • CEB: “During all their distress, God also was distressed, so a messenger who served him saved them. In love and mercy God redeemed them, lifting and carrying them throughout earlier times.”
    • So which is it? Was it a messenger or not?
      • Seitz says, “The textual problem cannot be easily resolved…  I would argue that any translation provided must hold on to the fundamental idea of a contrast between God’s presence and a potential go-between, however that contrast is rendered into English.  The NRSV has done this” (NIB, v. vi, p. 526)

Transition Music:Christmas Time is Here by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan and Chris Kattan

Closing -
TY: listeners
Opening Music: “Christmastime is Here!” by Vince Guaraldi
Transition Music: “Sinnerman” by Nina Simone
Transition Music:Christmas Time is Here by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan and Chris Kattan
Theme Music: Dick Dale and the Deltones “Misirlou”
Closing music,Paul and Storm, “Christmas Eve Eve”

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Shout outs:  

Facebook - Gabi Jacobs Tucker, “thankyou so much for the podcast for 15 December 3Advent - helped me so much as we celebrated the Joy Advent - and the death and celebration of Nelson Mandela's life here in SA”Brian Caughlan, who told me he always looks forward to what song we will pick for the final bump, and told me his church is using the Blue Christmas liturgy as found in our Pulpit Fiction resources.

Twitter - @dareimagine Dare Stevens
Pulpitfiction.us,@pulpitfpodcast,facebook.com/pulpitfiction, iTunes,