Trinity C: Don’t Mention the Trinity!

Dear Partner in Preaching, So what do you think: is it possible to preach a sermon on the Trinity without mentioning the Trinity? I ask because I have this hunch that we’ve gotten a little off track with our thinking about the Trinity. That is, I think the Trinity was the early church’s way of trying to grapple with a monotheistic belief in one God in light of their actual, lived experience of God’s activity powerfully in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and after an encounter with the power of the Holy Spirit. And the Trinity provided an answer…of sorts. An answer often couched in the language of fourth-century metaphysics....

Advent 1 C: Stand Up and Raise Your Heads!

Luke 21: 25-36 Dear Partner in Preaching, The persistent temptation in preaching apocalyptic texts like the one before us this week is to try to address the question, “When?” As in the disciples’ question earlier this chapter in response to Jesus’ words about the Temple: “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” It’s an understandable question, given that the whole passage is both future-oriented and foreboding. When we read the passage this way, we often look back, naming the destruction of the Temple or some other historical event that prompted this passage. Or we may instead...

John 1:12a

But to all who received him… In literature it’s called foreshadowing. The anticipation of something to come. More than that, it’s the anticipation of the swing from bad news to good, from conflict to resolution. Narrative revolves around conflict. Stories – pretty much all stories –...

John 1:5

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. This, I think, is one of the most poignant lines in Scripture. It first offers an affirmation about the light. The light of the Word, the light of Jesus, shines in the darkness, illuminating, bringing hope, making...

Matthew 24:9-31

“Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the...