View Full Version : Proper 12
July 19th, 2011, 08:10 PM
I am filling in on Sunday
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b or Psalm 128
1 Kings 3:5-12
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Romans 8 should be a no-brainer but there are so many verses in there that everyone knows out-of-context that I don't think I could add anything without a really huge study. However, I think a discussion on naznet would probably be enlightening. e.g. when you put v. 28, 31, 37, 38-39 all in context what meaning and application should we derive from them.
So I think I am going with the parables of small things (mustard seed, yeast, etc)
I'd like to use Alton Brown's cooking episode about bread making - belching yeast but I'm not sure that it really adds anything except humor.
So far, I've just starting thinking and reading and meditating. Anyone else working from this passage?
The parable of the sower is stuck in the middle of the passage. Are these shorter parables amplifications or a different way to look at the kingdom
Random thoughts and directions:
small acts that have large consequences. small beginnings.
July 19th, 2011, 08:33 PM
Hi Doug, This week I am using Romans 8: 25-36, "Those Who Love God". Last week was "Children of God" vv.12-25, and week before "The Indwelling Holy Spirit" vv. 1-11. I plan to present vv.25-36 in context with Romans 8. Been working on Romans 8 for three weeks.
July 20th, 2011, 08:11 AM
Well, I got the call from the bullpen Monday evening for this week (our Pastor's daughter is getting married Friday and he decided he probably would rather go away after the wedding than stay and preach).
He's been working with Romans 7 and 8 the last few weeks, so I decided to just continue with the passage.
I'm still processing at this point, but I think I have a rough outline. The previous few sermons have been tough admonitions to do things we don't particularly like to do (deny ourselves and obey God). It's hard work.
I think I'm going to begin by playing off the "wordless groans" image - perhaps even relating it to a child's tantrum. We get to a point where we know who and what we are isn't right, but we're not sure how to fix it. A child who throws themself on the floor from exhaustion more than anything else.
The following verses are sort of like the parents sitting around the kitchen table figuring out what to do. The Father has a responsibility to love the child, which may mean forcing them to do something difficult for their own good. The Spirit acts as a mother, in tune with compassion for the child's feelings and interceding, but knowing that ultimately indulgence helps no one.
The good news is our reminder that God works good in this world. He doesn't put us through bad to teach us, he takes the bad and transforms it. We have this faith; sometimes we need to be reminded of what we believe. Neither death nor life nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God - a God who chose us and loved us from the beginning of the world.
What we need, then - the "so what" - is to be encouraged to press on. God asks for our partnership in life; relationships are two sided. We may have to endure the trials and problems of this world to see God's transforming beauty.
I see Paul's final words - the reminder that we are more than conquerors - as encouragement in the real sense of the word (instilling courage) for the future. I'm reminded of "Once more into the breach, my friends" from Henry V or Dylan Thomas' "Rage against the dying of the light."
Paul's discourse is Romans is very much about fighting a battle on the winning side, but that it is still a fight. We still must endure. It's a decision we must make, perhaps one more difficult for us in this day and age where the decision isn't forced. For Paul's audience, the choice was life and death; for us it rarely is (at least in the immediate).
July 20th, 2011, 08:13 PM
Greathouse in his commentary has many great insights. One on predestined; "We are predestined for Christlikeness."
July 26th, 2011, 09:45 PM
I almost used Ryan's sermon :) It looked really good to me and many in our congregation remember him from when he was a little kid. In fact, Sunday morning, someone was talking about a VBS program he was in ("antsylvania").
Instead of stealing, I decided to go with the parables of Matt 13. I should have started writing from the conclusion since I don't have much time to prepare and that is usually the part that has the least preparation. Yesterday a found a copy of an Oscar Romero poem that would have been perfect, "A future not our own" (http://www.simonbarrow.net/reflect3.html). At any rate, since we are a small church beginning some small groups in the fall, it seemed like "small" would be a good topic. Here is a rough outline which I mostly followed:
What is the Kingdom of heaven or the Kingdom of God like?
Is it a constitutional monarchy like England? Is it a democracy? Is it like the Roman empire?
Jesus described it by comparison rather than defining it.
Kingdom of God is in the small things of life
It is precious. Worth giving our whole lives for. A precious pearl or a hidden treasure.
The kingdom looks like a failure - tiny - but those who understand it see the value. Christians see the insignificant as invaluable.
The Kingdom of God seems insignificant in comparison to the whole:
a little yeast in 60 pounds of flour!
The Kingdom is not where the crowds are. The Kingdom is not where people think they have it all figured out.
It takes no faith to follow the successful, the wealthy, the popular, the talented. It takes faith to see the Kingdom, no matter how small it is.
small actions with profound effects
The distraction of the largest, biggest, huge. The parable of the yeast is not about the flour but about yeast - a microbial fungus. The parable of the mustard seed is about the seed not the 8 foot shrub.
The Kingdom of God must be nurtured - The Kingdom looks insignificant in comparison to the final product
It takes a growing season to get to 8 feet.
yeast was worked into the dough
The Kingdom goes through cycles of life and death
The Kingdom of Godís success is intertwined in the midst of failures
good fish amongst the bad
parable of the sower
some seed falls amongst the thorns
parable of the weeds
if you pull up the weeds before the harvest you will pull up some of the good wheat.
Why doesnít God just end it all as soon as he sees evil - because he wishes that none should perish
We need to be careful not to curse others
July 27th, 2011, 09:31 AM
I almost used Ryan's sermon It looked really good to me and many in our congregation remember him from when he was a little kid. In fact, Sunday morning, someone was talking about a VBS program he was in ("antsylvania").
I do remember that. I think I was five years old.
Here's the sermon I actually preached, for what it's worth. http://www.pennsvillenazarene.org/index.cfm?i=3017&mid=18&g=11323
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