The story is so well known as not to need reiteration, yet the details of the sharply composed narrative arrests our attention each time we read it. In that way, perhaps he is more like us than we care to admit. But also perhaps like us, God can make something of him nonetheless.
David has his plans carefully designed to present both opulent palace and temple as living symbols of his greatness as king. This text suggests that there is a significant problem with David being the architect of the temple.
Imagine if Herod could stand on a stage, dark except for the spotlight that illuminates him, and offer a soliloquy in which he introduces himself to the audience and attempts to justify his actions in the deaths of both John and Jesus.
All events have conspired to solidify the throne for David. He only lacks one thing: a major religious symbol around which the people of Jerusalem may rally. The fabled ark of the covenant will be just the thing.
Interview with Wes Allen and Carrie La Ferle on their new book Preaching and the Thirty Second Commercial, the first in the Preaching and… Series
co-sponsored by the Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence at SMU and Westminster John Knox Press.
We all have our own internal "Mount of Jumpification." Either we hurl Jesus over it or we follow him with a leap of faith.
We are right to love our country, as long as we know its fuller history, and as long as we recognize that we worship not our country, but the God who is over all countries, loving and challenging all of them, including our own, to seek to follow the ways of justice and righteousness.
Different ethical situations require different homiletical responses. Dr. McClure organizes recent literature on ethics and preaching into four ethical approaches.
In a Gospel where the disciples never seem to get Jesus, never seem to figure out his divine identity, Jairus and the woman with the 12-year flow of blood are better models of faith than the disciples.
People who think of the sea as a scenic view from the boardwalk as they slurp their snow cones don't understand where Mark is coming from in characterizing the sea. People who have been through a hurricane or a tsunami, however, get it.
The book explores the question of what can preachers do to help congregants navigate everyday life with the courage, imagination, and savvy it takes to testify in action and word to God’s mercy and justice.
Chapter four of Mark is taken up with seed parables: the parable of the sower (4:3-8), the seed growing secretly (4:26-29), and the mustard seed (4:30-32). They teach us that God's rule is "something hidden, indirect, surprising in its manifestation and not easily perceived." (Barton, 41-42)