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1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Lent 3B

In a wonderful sermon commentary on this text (from which I drew numerous ideas for this one), Scott Hoezee suggests that there’s a danger in spending as much time in church and around Christians as some gospel proclaimers do. That’s when Christianity becomes commonsensical to us. And we also wonder why Christianity doesn’t make sense…

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1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Advent 1B

This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s “twin themes” of Paul’s thanksgiving and the return of Jesus Christ may seem particularly appropriate this week. After all, this first Sunday in Advent falls just three days after (U.S.) Americans’ celebration of Thanksgiving and at the beginning of the season of heightened anticipation of Jesus’ second coming. However, 1 Corinthians…

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1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Epiphany 4A

In a fine sermon commentary on this text (from which I drew numerous ideas for this commentary), Scott Hoezee suggests that there’s a danger in spending as much time in church and around Christians as some preachers and teachers do.  It’s that this whole Christianity business all starts to make too much sense to us….

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1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Epiphany 3A

The Reformed expression of the Christian faith’s many strengths have not always included Christian unity.  Reformed Christians’ actions have sometimes tweaked an old saying to sound something like, “Where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name … there you have three or four Reformed denominations.”  Presbyterians sometimes talk about “split p’s”. So this Sunday’s…

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1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Epiphany 2A

This Sunday’s RCL’s Epistolary Lesson may seem like a strange way for Paul to begin his first letter to the Corinthians.  Of course, it would not be a particularly strange way to begin most communications.  1 Corinthians 1 begins, after all, with (for its day) a fairly typical greeting.  What’s more, many of us are…

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1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Lent 3B

Are there any other passages that sum up Lent better than these words from Paul?  As I have noted before, this is like drinking from the proverbial fire hose.  In verse after verse Paul scales ever higher theological heights and ever grander rhetorical flourishes as he stares, mouth agape, at the mysteries of God that…

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1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Advent 1B

The theologian Robert Jenson passed away recently.  “Jens” as he was known had the ability to see through to the core of many theological and historical matters.  He once made a curious point in the course of a seminar I attended one week.  Jens said that in history, the Christian Church has, of course, found…

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1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Epiphany 4A

Drinking from the proverbial fire hose, that’s what these verses from 1 Corinthians are like.   In verse after verse Paul scales ever higher theological heights and ever grander rhetorical flourishes as he stares, mouth agape, at the mysteries of God that all coalesce around the cross of Jesus Christ.   Few passages in Scripture so swiftly…

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1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Epiphany 3A

In the previous sermon commentary on the first 9 verses of 1 Corinthians 1, I riffed on Tom Long’s suggestion that Paul wrote those opening verses with tongue firmly embedded in cheek.  He praises the Corinthians for the very things Paul knows full well they were in deep trouble over.  He names as would-be compliments…

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1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Epiphany 2A

If what we call First Corinthians were a contemporary letter, then a good bit of this reading would be like focusing not on the shank or the primary content of the letter.  Instead, it would be like focusing on the part of the letter at the very end that begins with “Well, that’s about all…

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