Preaching Connection: Eschatology

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Mere Christianity, in The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics

Christianity says that every individual human being is going to live forever.  Notice an important implication.  “If individuals live only seventy years, then a state, or a nation, or a civilization, which may last for a thousand years, is more important than an individual.  But if Christianity is true, then the individual is not only...
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Additional content related to Eschatology

Luke 16:1-13

This set of verses is a difficult one to bring clarity to while preaching. Forget the fact that there are any number of interpretative directions you can take when sharing this parable: for every way this story can be understood, a fair amount of detail will need to be explained in order for the interpretation…

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Romans 8:14-17

My last surviving parent’s death last year reminded me that inheritance can be complicated. My mom and dad, while never materially wealthy by North American standards, did what they could to ensure that their children as well as worthy causes would inherit something from them. But, of course, so many others also wanted a “piece”…

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Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

Relatively few avid readers that I know enjoy surprise endings, especially to books they’ve come to savor. After all, life seems to end all too often in tragedy. Perhaps partly as a result, most readers prefer our literature to end at least hopefully, if not happily. Sometimes, however, books end not surprisingly or hopefully, but…

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Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5

Revelation 21 is the last stop on the RCL’s “tour” of the book Revelation. That tour is so short that I sometimes wonder if those who constructed it were impatient to get to its happy ending. It’s almost as if they so tired of Revelation’s horrors that they decided to hurdle most of them so…

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Revelation 21:1-6

While we sometimes say, “The devil is in the details,” we might say part of this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s “gospel is in the details.” After all, some of Revelation 21’s greatest news lies in its verb tenses. In it, the Spirit inspires John to see “a new heaven and a new earth” (1). This is,…

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Revelation 7:9-17

When Christians recite the Apostle’s Creed, we profess that we believe in “the holy catholic church.” But sweet Miss Virginia always stayed silent during that part of the profession. “I’m sorry, Pastor,” she once apologized to me. “I was raised to believe that Catholics aren’t Christians. So I still have a very hard time saying…

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Isaiah 62:1-5

These first verses of Isaiah 62 are like a geyser erupting in hopefulness and wild abundance.  This is like a prophetic fireworks display with a never-ending grand finale as color and light fills the skies, eliciting a long string of “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” from those seeing the spectacle.  This is one of those passages so…

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Philippians 4:4-7

The season of Advent is, for many of Jesus’ friends, as well as the culture in which many citizens of the global west live, a perhaps especially busy one. Many of us are busily preparing for various holiday celebrations, even as a global pandemic and political strife continue to rage among and around us. So…

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Luke 3:1-6

This week and next we are listening to John the Baptist, who is set up here as a prophet. The signs are obvious (once you know how to see them). First, there’s the clear shift in the text from chapter 2, as Luke provides political context to pinpoint the actual historical moment that John’s message…

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Philippians 1:3-11

Jesus’ friends would do well to take at least some of our Advent cues from children. This is, after all, a season of waiting. However, children especially sometimes struggle to wait patiently during Advent. In fact, some of them have an almost laser-focus on that which they await. Adults may share some of children’s impatience…

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1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson speaks about waiting during an Advent season that’s largely devoted to waiting. However, it addresses the kind of waiting that runs largely counter to our culture (and at least some of the Church’s) waiting. 1 Thessalonians 3 doesn’t describe, after all, how to wait for our celebration of Christ’s first coming….

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Luke 21:25-36

Diana Butler Bass says it well when she reflects on the way we get right into it. “Advent 1 slaps us with the uncertainty and violence of human history.” From the get go, we’re told that there will be natural signs of turmoil, political distress, and chaos will hover over the earth, seemingly inescapable. Fear…

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Revelation 1:4b-8

There may be little new to say about a passage to which the Lectionary returns twice every three years and about which my colleagues have already so ably commented. Their fine commentaries in the CEP’s library of commentaries provide more familiar approaches to a proclamation of Revelation 1:4b-8. But proclaimers who are looking for another…

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Mark 13:1-8

Between this week and last, we’ve gotten the benefits of a very pensive Jesus. Last week, Jesus sat and watched the Treasury system. This week he takes a seat on the Mount of Olives; from there he can see the entire site of the Temple, and he shares some of his reflections on what this…

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Psalm 16

Probably we misread Psalm 16, or at least its most famous verses about how our bodies will rest secure.  We have all been to our share of funerals that lift out verses 9-11 and put a resurrection spin on them.  And maybe as Christians exegeting the Old Testament there is something right about that.  All…

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Hebrews 9:24-28

Hebrews’ proclaimers as well as our hearers may by now feel a little burned out by Hebrews. That’s the way my colleague Len Vander Zee begins his thoughtful and insightful 2018 commentary on this week’s Epistolary Lesson. Hebrews’ preachers and teachers may feel a bit like investigators at a crime scene that’s so covered with…

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Psalm 146

The Lectionary likes Psalm 146 a lot and so it comes up with some frequency, including only 2 short months ago the first Sunday in September.  The last couple of times that I wrote a commentary on Psalm 146 were pretty similar but this week I will take it in a different direction.  If you…

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Joshua 5:9-12

Why in the world would you preach on this text, when the Lectionary offers you the options of Jesus’ dramatic Parable of the Prodigal (Luke 15) and Paul’s magnificent doctrine of new creation in Christ (II Corinthians 5:15-21).  I mean, this text from Joshua seem so small and insignificant.  Plus, preaching on it will make…

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Isaiah 12:2-6

Comments, Observations, and Questions to Consider Note: During Advent the Lectionary occasionally appoints other readings in place of a Psalm. More than we realize, the Bible is a trove of images, similes, metaphors, and visual depictions.  Throughout Scripture God describes himself through a battery of metaphors that inevitably lead you to form a picture in…

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Joshua 5:9-12

Few of us like new beginnings any more than we enjoy the change that precedes them. A new neighborhood. A new school. A new job. Old circumstances often produce old headaches. Yet new circumstances also produce new headaches. Since Joshua 9’s Israelites have just crossed the Jordan River on dry land, their feet are neither…

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