Friday, May 30, 2008

A "Typical" Kevin Little Sermon

There is an emerging new theological language among mainline churches and it uses words like empire and authentic discipleship. I’ve read good books on the topic by authors like John Dominic Crossan and Ched Myers but to date my favorite is “Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire” by Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat. The thesis here is fairly straight forward, Paul’s letters and the four Gospels were written at a time when the fledgling Christian community was under assault from the Roman Empire and the religious establishment symbolized by Temple worship. In an attempt to counter this ideology Jesus lived, spoke and acted as a man in conflict with empire.

When I compare this analysis with that I was given in confirmation class at age 13 or as a seeker of wisdom in my 20’s, this is highly engaging. I heard and read mainline theology that was pious, sentimental and largely personal. The mainline churches, “the establishment at prayer”, were not challenged by a Jesus who looked like them, prayed alone, and preached a message easily confused with any issue of the Reader’s Digest.

The earliest Christian creed was the three words “Jesus is Lord;” a direct affront to the empire’s mantra “Caesar is Lord.” Caesar was not only the political leader but a deity as well. Land was the basis of wealth, and a det system where poor peasants worked farms they could never own. Jesus spoke of riches and privilege as idols that stood in the way of fidelity to God, not as proof of being one of the elect. Fidelity to a God who stood with the poor and the citizens of other lands was odd at best and treason at worst.

It is hard for Christians today who...(the whole thing here)

via The Man Himself

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sermon: Pentecost 2 - Year A

“Stewards of God's mysteries.” I love that phrase. Especially when I don’t know what it means.

What do you think when you hear the word “steward”? In ChurchSpeak, stewardship usually means money. A “Stewardship Campaign” is a euphemism for fundraising. But as soon as people say that they are quick to add “but stewardship is not JUST about money.” lest they leave the impression that Christians are only interested in peoples' bank accounts and not the state of their souls.

Or we think of stewardship of the earth, taking care of God's creation and not treating it like a rental car.

But Paul talks about being “stewards of God's mysteries.” Being 'caretakers' of God's mysteries.

When I was ordained the bishop asked me “Will you...(the whole thing here)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Famous Lutherans: to make us feel important.

In the spirit of Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song.

A little dated (Rehnquist is no longer CJ of SCOTUS) and a couple factual errors (Garrison Keillor isn't Lutheran, he grew up Brethren). But fun nonetheless.


via Erik

Monday, May 19, 2008

Movie Meme

Erin tagged me for this new movie meme. So here it goes:

1. One movie that made you laugh
Life of Brian

2. One movie that made you cry
Schindler’s List

3. One movie you loved when you were a child
Bad News Bears

4. One movie you’ve seen more than once
Fight Club

5. One movie you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it
If people don’t share my taste in movies they can suck radishes.

6. One movie you hated
Snake Eyes

7. One movie that scared you
Poltergeist 2

8. One movie that bored you
A Room with a View

9. One movie that made you happy
Babette’s Feast

10. One movie that made you miserable
The Fog of War

11. One movie you weren’t brave enough to see

12. One movie character you’ve fallen in love with
Arwen in Lord of the Rings.

13. The last movie you saw
Alvin and the Chipmunks (with my two daughters)

14. The next movie you hope to see
Indiana Jones 4

I tag Sara, Garth, and Erik

Monday, May 05, 2008

If Jesus Had a Blog - via LFCK

So this one religious guy walks up, and he's got this rep for knowing all the rules. And he goes all like, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

So I said unto him, "What is written in the law? How readest thou?"

And he answering said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."

And I said unto him, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."

...and lo, he was not cool with that. At ALL.

Posted 1:34 p.m. in Category "Check Me Out I'm Talking in Elizabethan English"




Can't say I blame the guy. You just wrote off studying scripture, being baptized, repentance, the church -- the whole works -- as worthless.

Maybe he was hoping for someone to actually help, instead of a simplistic sound bite.

-- savedbygrace313

I usually like your blog.

But you totally had a chance to seal the deal with this guy, and you just gave him an answer you knew would upset him. You could have prayed the sinner's prayer with him, could have showed him the chart-thing with the two cliffs and the stick figure on one side and God on the other and how the cross would bridge the gap, but instead you do this, knowing he'd be ticked off. I don't get it.

-- phillyphan22

And how are we supposed to quantify "love"? How do I know I'm saved then?

How is this answer supposed to help? How do I check this off?

I'm with "savedbygrace". Instead of being simplistic, why not just give him the right answer?

-- studytheword111

Wow...just wow.

-- i_always_say_wow_just_wow24

this is neat because i love GOD a LOT an d i cant do much right sometimes so i love that you said that

-- jess

Sure, it's really neat that a carpenter from backwater Nowhere can wipe out 2000 years of theology in one blog post.

Seriously, do some reading before you make up simplistic answers to eternal questions.

-- theophilus_phd

This is why I LOVE this blog. You tick off religious people, and make people like me feel like God loves me. God actually *loves* me. That is so wild to think about sometimes!

-- marymags123

Jesus Christ, I don't know where you get this stuff.

I realize it's "hip" and "emergent" now to say it's all about love, blah blah blah, but there IS such a thing as the Bible, and we do have rules about the Truth, and it's not just "love". Sorry.

Jesus, it's amazing what people will believe when we get away from solid teaching.

-- rootedintheword1972

I think what Jesus REALLY meant to say is that this guy wasn't particularly loving, so he needed to love. He did everything else just fine, like tithing and keeping the Sabbath, and love is just another one of the things you're supposed to do.

That's the way I look at it. Jesus was just saying love is another thing to check off the list, and this guy was doing a good job on the list, and so it's just one more thing. Right Jesus?

-- sallyann

No, Jesus REALLY means that you have to take this in context with all of the Bible. Jesus knew that guy would eventually have a New Testament, so he could understand that Jesus didn't really mean that eternal life wouldn't really be based on loving God with heart, soul, strength mind, and loving neighbor. God knows it's not that simple. If it were, I could preach in less than 35 minutes.

-- RevBoy22

No, what Jesus REALLY means is that God has a wonderful plan for your life, and you need a daily quiet time like NOW or else you're really blowing it, big-time, and you need to start witnessing more fervently, and memorizing The Word.

-- goterrapins1990

No, what Jesus is REALLY trying to say here is that we've lost a sense of right and wrong, and especially kids these days. Which isn't surprising, because we don't even pray in schools! Pass this on to ten friends if you love Jesus!

-- huckafan2008

huckaby sux

-- blinkrulz

I think what Jesus is REALLY saying is that he's freaking nuts.

Imagine if we really started believing this stuff. All we have to do is "love" God, "love" our neighbor as ourselves, and we live eternally in the Kingdom of God. So everyone who doesn't "love" God, even if they tithe, pray, preach, evangelize, memorize, all that stuff -- won't be in the Kingdom?

Is that what you're saying? So I guess we can just do whatever we want then. Neat. Hellooooo chaos.

-- disappointed_with_this_blog

Hey "disappointed"...if you don't love God here, why would you even *want* to go somewhere where He's FULLY in charge? Think about it. Maybe people who don't love what He's about here would really hate heaven anyway.

-- hunterboy99

i like ur blog jesus and i love you lots!!!!!!!!!

-- horsegirl1999

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sermon: Easter 7 - Year A

I don’t know about you, but for me, Jesus’ prayer in the garden is a powerful challenge. Yes, it’s important to strive for Christian unity. Being unified in the gospel is a tremendous witness to God’s love in action in a constantly fragmented world.

But I get tired just thinking about it. For me, Christians getting together is like the family reunion that you dread. There’s Aunt Peggy who smells like Windex and talks to you like you’re in kindergarten. Uncle Joe is pounding back his sixth scotch and it’s only 2:30 in the afternoon. Your cousin Jim is still nursing the grudge from 20 years ago when you gave him ex-lax and told him it was a piece of chocolate. And you know it’s only a matter of hours before Aunt Sheila and Grandma Jones will start their yearly screaming match. If you have family reunions, you know what I’m talking about.

Christian unity, to me, is a lot like that. When Christians get together I know what most of the conversation will be. From the United Church, I’ll be asked to defend Martin Luther’s involvement in the Peasants’ Rebellion of 1524. From the Anglicans I’ll be teased about our “fixation” on Martin Luther. The Roman Catholics will try to make pleasant conversation, not really knowing what to talk about, like the introverted uncle who sees you only once every five years. And the evangelicals will natter on with a curious mixture of superiority and inferiority. At least that’s how I experience it.

Then there are the voices that are NOT there. Other...(whole thing here)