Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Monday, November 17, 2014

Last Sunday of Pentecost: Christ the King Sunday

Here are the Lectionary Readings for this Sunday, the last Sunday of the year, with a new year starting with Advent on 30 November.

Matthew and the Great Assize (read John Wesley's sermon on Judgement Day here), will be my focus as we look at the seldom preached truth that on Judgement Day, we will all be judged by our works,
and will see whether our faith was in fact saving faith, or one of the other brands of faith that are so popular today. How we preach this text sometimes fits in with what Gerhard Lohfink refers to as the ways we tame Jesus

Jesus is tamed and made irrelevant in a terrible way when we cease to speak about his imminent expectation.

Jesus is rendered irrelevant when his preaching of judgment, which makes up a significant portion of the gospel tradition, is ignored and there is talk only of the loving and tender Jesus.

Jesus is tamed when there is no more preaching about his sharp words against the rich. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God,” Jesus said (Mark 10:25).

Jesus is tamed when it becomes taboo to speak of his celibacy. It was not accidental and not a matter of fate; it is connected with his absolute devotion to the people of God….

Jesus is also tamed when we sharply criticize the treatment of divorced and remarried persons by Rome and yet keep silent about the altogether clear and thoroughly well-attested words of Jesus against divorce. …

Above all, Jesus is tamed and rendered irrelevant when he is presented only as a sympathetic rabbi, a prophet mighty in word and deed, or a gifted charismatic—or as the first feminist, a radical social revolutionary, a gregarious social worker. All that conceals his true claim. In all these categories Jesus is shrunken, distorted, twisted into shape, planed smooth, disempowered, and accommodated to our secret desires.

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