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1 Corinthians 15:19-26

Easter Sunday

Comments, Observations, and Questions Death stinks – both literally and figuratively. While such a reminder may not seem like a particularly popular (or common) way to begin an Easter proclamation, it is the context within which we begin any and every proclamation of Easter’s great news. Even after Jesus rose from the dead, death still…

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1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Lent 3C

Comments, Observations, and Questions Gospel proclaimers who don’t have a strong working knowledge of the Scriptures’ original languages benefit from access to a good Greek and Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible. After all, English translations of the Scriptures sometimes obscure important points that the Holy Spirit makes through their original languages. This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson provides (at…

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1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50

Epiphany 7C

One of the central questions some Christians have about the resurrection is, “Will we recognize each other’s resurrected persons in the new creation?” It echoes this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’ verse 35 where Paul quotes some people as asking, “With what kind of body will [the dead] come [to life]?” Both questions suggest that Christians sometimes…

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1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Epiphany 6C

Paul calls Jesus’ resurrection “of first importance.” Yet does it really matter whether Jesus rose, in John Updike’s lyrical words, “as His body” (Seven Stanzas at Easter), or as Gerd Ludemann insisted in a 2012 debate, the Scripture’s accounts of it were just a “legend, not objective description”? Does it really make any difference whether…

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Epiphany 5C

I am a child of the North American 60’s who grew up watching some Saturday morning cartoons. So I can hardly hear 1 Corinthians 15:10a without hearing Popeye’s, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.” That might seem like a rather strange onramp to a consideration…

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1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Epiphany 4C

1 Corinthians 13 is among the loveliest and most lyrical chapters in all of the Scriptures. It virtually sings in praise of love. Its truths are also, through the work of the Spirit, timeless. All of that and more, however, makes it easy to forget that Paul grounds this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson in the first…

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1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

Epiphany 3C

Balkanization is a concept we generally link to the breakdown of countries, regions or even society into various, often competing factions. Careful observers of the 21st century Church, however, also sense balkanization within the Body of Christ. North American Christians who label themselves “evangelical” or “progressive” often view each other with suspicion, if not outright…

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1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Epiphany 2C

An old cliché suggests that the more things change, the more they stay the same. However, Christians might like to think that the Church is immune to such inertia. After all, among the Reformers’ most cherished claims about the Church is that she is “always reforming.” Yet a comparison of Paul’s first letter to Corinth’s…

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Easter Day B

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul tries to clear up some theological misunderstandings about the resurrection. Yet he insists that the Corinthians’ confusion about it isn’t just one among many problems that he’s already addressed. Lack of clarity about the resurrection isn’t like confusion about, for example, sexuality, food offered to idols and lawsuits that plague…

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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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