Sermon Notes- July 29, 2012

Year B-Pentecost 9-Proper 12

2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14 (UMH 746)
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

Two weeks ago, David danced with reckless abandon before the ark. This week, David does the dance with Bathsheba that shows just how flawed a human leader can be.  The Gospel Lesson is the feeding of the multitudes.  The choices that the preacher have are great this week.  Will you choose to speak the word of God’s grace in the midst of human failures, or, preach God’s abundant provisions in Jesus?

  • It is quite a contrast to go from David the great king to David the great adulterer and murderer.  Though it is what happens when we put too much trust and power in the hands of a human.  We are going to find the flaws and failures.  Some will be more grandiose with their flaws than others.  Even as failed a human being as David is at this point, he is not beyond redemption and not beyond setting a new course.  Though David failed to live up to God’s covenant, God continued to be in covenant with David. We get the story of Jesus centuries later because God is faithful to the House of David. How do we deal with those persons who have failed us and are fallen creatures? (How do we deal with ourselves?)
  • Psalm 14 is short but succinct.  It is the perfect compliment to David’s failure: The LORD looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God.  They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good, no, not one. If we understood this, we might be more quick to confess and slow to point fingers.
  • The Epistle is another lyrical word from Paul. Paul prays for the Ephesians and calls the church to see that all people on earth and heaven are made one in Christ.  That the love of Christ brings all creation together, and he prays that the church might find this same kind of love.  My favorite line (v.18-19): I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
  • The Gospel Lesson is John’s version of the feeding of the 5,000.  This one of a handful of stories that shows up in all 4 gospels, so it is important to give it some emphasis.  If you are not sharing Eucharist today, you are missing a great opportunity to put words into action.  A couple of questions-what is similar in all 4 gospels about this story?  What is unique in John?  The unique features of this lesson are worth a look.  John’s Gospel tries to explain why the 5000 are there, the other Gospels don’t give explanation.  In John, there is a Passover setting–this is unique. The cost to feed them is included (that could be interesting to do some calculations).  And then there is the response of the people: “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
  • Sermon Seeds on John 6
  • Faith Futures (has comments on three lections)
  • Preaching Tip of the Week

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