Ep. 53: Grace from Snake Mountain or Lent 1A


For Sunday March 9, 2014 the first Sunday of Lent, Year A.

Click read more for show notes!
SHOW NOTES -  3/9/2014
Episode 53: Grace from Snake Mountain or Lent 1A

Opening Music: Skeletor Saves Christmas from the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special

For Sunday, March 9, 2014

Episode 53

Welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, where two local pastors discuss the lectionary reading for the week, and we learned everything we needed to know about life from Skeletor, and luckily Christmas only comes once a year.  This is episode 53 for Sunday March 9, the first week of Lent  year A.


  • He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special
  • Upcoming Thursday Night Special, Christian Piatt
    • Pregmancy, Banned Questions Series
    • Questions for Christian, tweet us @pulpitFpodcast
  • Featured Musician: Richard Bruxvoort Colligan
  • Lent
    • Psalms
    • John (except for this week)

Primary Scripture - Matthew 4:1-11 - Temptation of Jesus

  • Initial thoughts
    • Episode 1 - This passage is the phantom menace
    • Look ahead to rest of Lent:
      • Lent 1A - Jesus and Satan.
      • Lent 2A - Jesus and Nicodemus.
      • Lent 3A - Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.
      • Lent 4A - Jesus and the blind man.
      • Lent 5A - Jesus and Lazarus.
    • Greek tip (from preachingtip.com):
      • the Greek word usually translated “tempted” as in Jesus “to be tempted” (Matthew 4:1) can also be translated “test,” “try,” or “attempt.”
      • The word translated “devil” (Matthew 4:1) literally means “slanderer, accuser.”  
      • The word translated “Satan” (Matthew 4:10) literally means “adversary.” Satan was their term for the prosecuting attorney in a court of law.
  • Bible Study
    • Fulfill physical desire
      • Fasting during Lent is often reduced to “giving something up.”  Self-denial is a good practice, as long as it is a spiritual practice, and not a fad diet.
      • Temptation of hunger parallels Israel’s temptation of wandering in the desert, a temptation that Israel failed when they complained.
    • Testing God’s promise
      • David Lose says the pernicious ‘if’ is the heart of these questions “If you are the Son of God,” is the fundamental faith question of Christianity.
      • At the heart, this question is of Jesus’ presence, and God’s promise
      • No need to put God’s promise to the test, because Jesus has a clear sense of vocation and identity.  Reaffirms what was declared at his baptism.
      • Faith in God comes from God’s promise, not displays of power.
    • Worship another power
      • What might we worship?
        • Capitalism
        • Cultural norms or comfort
        • Celebrity and fame
        • Political power
      • Warning against idolatry is important theme in OT
      • “Amid the numerous options open to people to which they can orient their lives and from which they can find meaning, Jesus alone has proven worthy of trust” (Ceasar Cousar, Texts for Preaching, Year A, p. 191).
  • Preaching Thoughts and Questions:
    • The overall question is “What kind of Son of God is this?”  
    • The follow-up question then is, “What does it mean to follow this kind of Son of God?”
    • The temptations we face are not so supernatural, but they are no less tempting or dangerous.  (Douglas Hare, Interpretation: Matthew, p. 26)
      • We may not be tempted to turn stones to bread, but we are offered to satisfy every desire.
      • We may not be magically whisked to the top of a cliff, “but we are frequently  tempted to question God’s helpfulness when things go awry,” and we forget God’s grace is available.
      • We do not face the same Pagan idolatry, but compromise to the world’s value is no less a temptation than it was 2000 years ago.
    • “The secret in keeping the tempter at bay is out: it is in being faithful to one’s vocation to be God’s child, clinging tenaciously to the divine calling” (Ceasar Cousar, Texts for Preaching, Year A, p. 191).

First Song - “To be Faithful” by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Secondary scripture - Psalm 32  - Happy are those who are forgiven

  • Initial thoughts
    • Lent
    • Remember this is a Jewish text
    • Forgiveness is a central theme of faith
    • SO IS CONFESSION! v. 5
    • The judgement of God comes from not confessing, but from trying to hide from God - self imposed judgement
      • Those who confess are “saved”
  • Bible Study
  • One of the seven Penitential Psalms of the Christian tradition (also Pss. 6; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143),
    • Confession
      • Result of the awareness of God’s presence v. 4
    • Process of confession is much more difficult than simple admitting our faults (is this true or do we make it harder?)
  • Preaching Thoughts and Questions:

Second Song - “Unfailing Love” by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan
click the above link for lyrics and more of Richard’s great music!

Quick Thoughts on the other Scripture:

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7

  • Original Sin? The first decision against God
  • The snake does not lie
  • The shame of sexuality comes from sin - NOT from God.

Romans 5:12-19

  • If all humanity was condemned to death through Adam’s sin and if Jesus’s free gift of justification is greater than Adam’s transgression, then isn’t the free gift given to all people whether they acknowledge it or not? Just as all were condemned - all are saved
  • Grace and faith are the dominion of life, not judgement.

Shout outs:  

  • Deborah Hazelwood  “I have learned to see sin as the enemy between two people. The quicker reconciling takes place the faster friendship can be established. On that note, Jesus never gave prevision to sin. He provided healing and when at times when people refused to reconcile he provided grace. We should give to reconcile and provide mercy. Reconciling and mercy is price we pay for peace.”
  • Sheryle Lyman- “I just listened to you guys for the first time tonight. Very helpful, fun, inspirational. I'll be back often!”
  • Jonathan Tompkins, friend of the show @ReverendJET “Actually shouted 'Amen' today listening to Eric on@PulpitFpodcast. Hear him & Robb drop some homiletical knowledge weekly.
  • Josh Bowron, “At minute 19 this week you all talked about how Superman does not turn the other cheek. Right ,especially in the new movie Man of Steel. as a bit of a comic nerd I will correct one part of that. In the recent All-Star Superman story, available in a collected format, superman defeats the villain through a sharing of his power which gives the villain his perspective. A non-violent atonement!”

Thank you for joining us for another episode of The Pulpit Fiction Podcast!

Our opening music was Skeletor Saves Christmas from the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special

Our featured musician this week was Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

We played two his songs: “To be Faithful” by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan from the 2004 album Worldmaking and  “Unfailing Love” from his 2007 album Sharing the Road, the Psalm Project
You can find out more about Richard’s music at worldmaking.net

Our theme music is Misirlou by Dick Dale and the Del Tones and our closing music is “Oh No” by Paul & Storm.