There are better preachers out there. So, if you’re short on time, go and listen to them! However, if you’ve got 26 minutes to spare, I offer “The Challenge of Christmas Light” to you, and would love to hear your feedback.
You can read the sermon manuscript here: The Challenge of Christmas Light Sermon Manuscript.
And you can listen to the audio here (note: it begins just as I finish reading the collect for the Feast of St. John and the collect for the First Sunday after Christmas):
Grace and peace,
Clear, cruciform thoughts from Tim Gombis:
“The cross is not a personal and private matter between me and God. The cross determines everything for God’s people. It claims our bodies, our communities, our loves and longings, and secures an eternal future for those who cling to it.”
Read the rest here: Falwell, Muslims & the Offense of the Cross
IMPROVISING CHURCH AND STATE: OVERACCEPTING AS A SYNTHESIS OF ANGLICAN AND ANABAPTIST APPROACHES
BY: JOSHUA P. STEELE; NOVEMBER 19, 2015
INTRODUCTION: ACCEPTING, BLOCKING, AND STATUS
From the church’s perspective, is the state a promising offer, or a threatening one? At the risk of breathtaking oversimplification, Anglicans have tended to adopt the former perspective, leading to accommodation, and Anabaptists the latter, resulting in separation. Following Samuel Wells in his theological appropriation of terms from theatrical improvisation, the Anglican tradition has tended to respond to the promising offers (invitations to respond) of the state by accepting – maintaining the premise(s) of the state’s action(s). The historical legacy of the Church of England has given Anglicanism, as Anderson notes, an “inheritance of a strong loyalty to the state and a conservatism that has led the church to promote the status quo more often than it agitates for reform.” This inheritance from the established Church of England has coincided with a dual tendency to adopt a high status (a strategy for getting one’s way), in terms of relative privilege and political optimism, and a low status, in terms of frequent subservience in church-state relations.
However, the Anabaptist tradition has tended to respond to the threatening offers of the state by blocking – undermining the premise(s) of the state’s action(s). For many contemporary Anabaptists, as Joireman summarizes, “[T]he state has the function of ordering the social world, and the church should be the visible witness of believers, the primary affiliation of Christians, and separate from the state.” Passively, blocking the state can be “a choice to shut oneself away and keep oneself unsullied by the world.” Most often, drawing upon their sixteenth-century inheritance of facing persecution from Catholics and Protestants alike, Anabaptists have adopted a low status as somewhat of a fringe movement. Actively, however, blocking can be “a choice to take up arms,” as seen during the (admittedly rare) example of high status Anabaptist opposition during the Münster Rebellion of 1534.
“At the centre of Christian faith is the history of Christ.
At the centre of the history of Christ is his passion and his death on the cross.”
~ Jürgen Moltmann
We believe that, during the prefecture of Pontius Pilate, God died on a Roman cross. We also believe that, the third day thereafter, Jesus of Nazareth – the same person who had been crucified – rose again from the dead. How can these things be? How can the immortal, transcendent, omnipotent One come to a weak, immanent end? How can a dead human leave his grave, living?
At this point, we face a crucial choice: between the posited “God” of metaphysical theism and the revealed God of the Christian faith. Should we choose the former, our Christ, canon, and confession are irreducibly docetic – the true “God” is aloof, and merely play-acting, at best. Yet, should we choose the latter, God is irreducibly, ineluctably Triune – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe, we trust that the Triune God is who God has revealed Godself to be. Continue reading A Crucicentric Credo