Preaching Connection: Repentance

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Reading for Preaching

People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil

Peck quotes St. Theresa of Lysieux on contrition: “If you are willing to bear serenely the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter.”
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Additional content related to Repentance

Matthew 3:1-12

Comments, Questions, and Observations During Advent we follow God’s people to the wilderness and heed the prophetic wisdom of John the Baptist. What was true for waiting for the coming Messiah still holds for those waiting for the second and final advent of our King. Was it John’s eccentric ways that drew the crowds to…

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Luke 19:1-10

Both Zacchaeus and Jesus are depicted as seeking in this story. In fact, seeking, or seeing, is a central and repeated theme in the passage. Zacchaeus wants to see, Jesus is seeking, the crowd sees. We readers are even pulled into the story through seeing: Luke starts with giving us details about Zacchaeus, but does…

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Luke 15:1-10

Taking his cue from the setting given to us in verses 1-3, Justo González says these parables are less for the lost than they are for the “never lost”—those who foolishly think they have no need for the Physician of heaven. Our lectionary passage starts with the grumbling Pharisees. What are they grumbling about? Jesus…

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Micah 5:2-5a

When the Lectionary dishes up just 3.5 verses, skipping the first verse of a chapter and stopping just halfway through the fifth verse, you just know it’s like putting blinders on us readers to keep us from seeing something on either side of the lection.  I don’t know why they made this choice but lyric…

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Psalm 80:1-7

If you are going to choose a Psalm of Lament for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, you may as well include the most Adventy and hopeful part of the Psalm!  But the RCL did not do that, choosing to break off the reading of Psalm 80 already at verse 7.  Had they gone on to…

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Luke 3:7-18

Last week we ended with a consideration of the possibility that these two Advent weeks spent in chapter 3 could be viewed as the covenant obligations on display. Verses 1-6 highlight what God will achieve, and here in verses 7-18 we receive the invitation from God (through the prophet John) to respond to God’s activity….

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Zephaniah 3:14-20

I used to watch a TV show that was quite compelling and enjoyable but it did have one feature to it that I did not much like: in some episodes the show’s characters would find themselves sunk very deep down into dreadfully complex circumstances.  The episode would devote something like 92% of the time to…

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Malachi 3:1-4

Have you ever read a classic book you’d never before read only to run across a line you knew by heart?  “Oh,” you might say, “I didn’t know this is where that saying came from!”  For instance, John Donne’s works are peppered with lines that have assumed a life of their own.  People who don’t…

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Luke 1:68-79

Someone once said that visits always bring pleasure because even if the arrival of a certain visitor didn’t make you happy, his departure will!  The comedic pianist Victor Borge also touched on this topic when he once noted that the mythic figure of Santa Claus has the right idea: you should visit people just once…

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Advent 3: Real Repentance

Homiletics is the theological term for the study and craft of sermon making. Seminarians take a couple of courses on homiletics of course, and there are lots of books on homiletics written for the guidance of preachers. Nowadays, there’s a lot of emphasis on the introductions of sermons. The theory is that the modern audience…

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Isaiah 64:1-9

Sometimes I scratch my head over the Lectionary choices for a particular day or season, but not today.  These words from Isaiah 64 are absolutely perfect for this First Sunday of Advent. I mean, it has all these famous verses, each of which would make for a great sermon text all by itself: verse 1,…

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Matthew 4:12-23

We’ve come to call it “the Holy Land.”  From the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the country of Jordan in the east, from Syria in the north to the Sinai in the south, travel companies, tour groups, and tourists treat this piece of Middle Eastern real estate as a unity.  It’s where Jesus walked…

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Matthew 3:1-12

“Across the United States in recent weeks, there have been tidal waves of accusation and blame, counter-accusations and blame, judgments and more judgments from the left and from the right and from all points in between.  Political parties are said to have been judged by the voters.  Individual politicians are said to have been repudiated…

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Luke 13:1-9

Someday I’d like it explained to me why the Lectionary would assign the final verses of a chapter for the week prior to looking at its first 9 verses.  Nobody reads the Bible backwards like that so it’s not the least bit clear to me why preaching it this way makes any sense, either.  In…

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Isaiah 55:1-9

An old farmer once told me that there are two ways to break an egg—you can smash it with a hammer in a second or you can put it under a warm mother hen for a few days.  An old preacher once told me that there two ways to call a sinner to repentance and…

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Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Like all good preachers, Moses knew how important it is to end your sermon with a story.  After multiple chapters of “do this and don’t do that,” Moses is coming to the climactic end of his sermon to Israel.  They are at the last stop in their wilderness wandering, standing at the brink of the…

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Psalm 80:1-7

If you are going to choose a Psalm of Lament for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, you may as well include the most Adventy and hopeful part of the Psalm!  But the RCL did not do that, choosing to break off the reading of Psalm 80 already at verse 7.  Had they gone on to…

Explore

Matthew 4:12-23

We’ve come to call it “the Holy Land.”  From the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the country of Jordan in the east, from Syria in the north to the Sinai in the south, travel companies, tour groups, and tourists treat this piece of Middle Eastern real estate as a unity.  It’s where Jesus walked…

Explore

Genesis 19:1-29

There’s a good chance that if you selected the entire chapter of Genesis 19 for your upcoming sermon, you’re questioning your choice. After all, reading these words in front of the entire congregation is rightfully uncomfortable; at the very least, it may feel best read after the children have been dismissed for Sunday School. Those…

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Genesis 33

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent,” he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. -Martin Luther Comments and Observations: Early in his monastic life, Martin Luther was consumed with the worry that his righteousness was not great enough.  He tried fasting, praying, and self-flagellation in order to convince…

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