Dinner

Preaching Peace March 9 Fundraising Dinner with Brian McLaren

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The Jesus Driven Life Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What has happened as Jesus, the rabbi from Galilee, has been displaced as the center of the Christian faith and replaced with false portraits? These ideas and many others are demystified in this new book presented by Preaching Peace.

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XI Pentecost, Year B

Main Text

Gospel Anthropological Reading
Gospel Historical/Cultural Questions
Gospel So What?

Epistle Anthropological Reading
Epistle Historical/Cultural Questions
Epistle So What?


Main Text

Proper 15, Year B

1 Kgs 2:10-12;3:3-14 or * Prv 9:1-6
Ps 111 * Ps 34:9-14

Eph 5:15-20
Jn 6:51-58


(1 Kings 2:10-12)
Then David slept with his ancestors, and was buried in the city of David. The time that David reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. So Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.

(1 Kings 3:3-14)

Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David; only, he sacrificed and offered incense at the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the principal high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I should give you." And Solomon said, "You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?" It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor all your life; no other king shall compare with you. If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life."

* (Proverbs 9:1-6)
Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. She has sent out her servant girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, "You that are simple, turn in here!" To those without sense she says, "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight."

(Ephesians 5:15-20)
Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do notbe foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(John 6:51-58)
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever."

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Gospel Anthropological Reading

All that we can think to say about this section of John is pretty well summed up in the previous few weeks’ work. Forgive us for referring you to these weeks, but we ask you to have a look (if you haven’t already) at:

Proper 12, or

Proper 13, or

Proper 14.

Thank you!

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Gospel Historical/Cultural Questions

All that we can think to say about this section of John is pretty well summed up in the previous few weeks’ work. Forgive us for referring you to these weeks, but we ask you to have a look (if you haven’t already) at:

Proper 12, or

Proper 13, or

Proper 14.

Thank you!

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Gospel So What?

All that we can think to say about this section of John is pretty well summed up in the previous few weeks’ work. Forgive us for referring you to these weeks, but we ask you to have a look (if you haven’t already) at:

Proper 12, or

Proper 13, or

Proper 14.

Thank you!

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Epistle Anthropological Reading

We live in an Extreme Age. Pushing the outside of the envelope, taking chances, is a sine qua non. Today’s text encourages us to avoid this kind of behavior. The author argues that there is nothing good about unbridled inhibitions, particularly using substances that alter our brain and body chemistry so that risks we normally would never take now become limits we easily move beyond.

“Do not get drunk on wine.” Why not? Anyone who has either had a substance abuse issue or has worked with addicts knows that the purpose of drug use is to put oneself into a state of mind that is not the norm. Some of us drink or drug in order to escape the boredom of life, others to numb its depressing realities. We are all looking to escape, to find an exodus from our pain. The problem is that when we do, we also may find ourselves doing things we ought not be doing. I have a contemporary example. It comes from a car crash in upstate New York about two weeks ago where a mother and a van full of kids crashed into another vehicle and killed eight people, including her children. A bottle of Vodka was found in the woman’s car and marijuana found in her system.

We all know not to drink and get behind the wheel of a car; this is common sense. Most of us, if we drink, might consider having a designated driver. But the thing about ‘getting high’ is that it makes one feel larger than life. We are certain we are able to do what we need to do and that we are capable of doing it. In fact, our impaired judgment is incapable of discerning and so tragedies like the above happen.

Now in North America we must acknowledge we live in an addictive society, whether those addictions are socially acceptable or not. Addictions can take many forms, but an addict is one who uses something, be it alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs, food, sex, religion, work, physical exercise or a myriad of other things in order to cope with the trials of everyday existence. I live in a community where alcohol and drug use are frowned upon but overeating and obesity are socially acceptable.

Addicts live quiet lives of desperation, looking to be loved and accepted yet not feeling or finding it. We secretly have our own ways of coping and we have developed strategies for hiding our coping mechanisms from others in order to avoid their judgments. We live in two worlds at once; the world where we have our relationships, such as they are, and the world of our secrets.

The antidote to this, for our author, is the wisdom to gather together and worship. It is in worship together that we can meet the deep needs of our addictive culture. Worship, the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, prayer and consideration of apostolic proclamation may seem a strange alternative, yet when done rightly is capable of meeting deep needs. I am not speaking of Sunday morning church service when I speak of worship. I personally do not find churches I attend to have much to do with worship. They are bouncing around from this to that, with a song interspersed from time to time, usually a boring sermon and a very short narcissistic pastoral prayer. Worship together would mean today, as it would have meant for the house churches of Ephesus or any other ancient city that Christians were spending enough time together during the week to have serious involvement in one another’s lives. In our current busy culture where it almost impossible to spend time together, it is little wonder that we have sought and found alternative sources to cope with our loneliness and pain.

Our text admonishes us to spend more time together as a community, for it is our life together that will heal us. Sunday morning churchgoing is not enough. If we are going to survive the stresses of our daily routines, we must do it together, daily. If we are thankful together on a day by day basis for each other, if we know we are loved and accepted by a small group of intimate friends, if we encourage one another to grow and mature, we have a chance at “making the most of every opportunity.”

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Epistle Historical/Cultural Questions

Nothing important today. Back to top


Epistle So What?

This will be a difficult text to preach if we are honest, for it means we will have to examine ourselves and ask in what ways we find ways of dealing with our pain and loneliness. We may have to be honest with our congregations. There is a saying in A.A.: we are as sick as our secrets, and if there is one thing we fear it is having our secret lives exposed. We fear judgment. Sadly, this is what we often find in the church. This ought not to be so. The church should be more like a hospital and less like a courtroom.

But we may find that when we unburden ourselves of our “dirty little secrets” and come clean that we can find support, and live whole integrated lives. God bless you as you explore ways of “Letting go and Letting God.”

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