Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

In the Liturgical Churches this day is celebrated as the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost. The gospel from the Common Lectionary is John 6:51-58. This is the third week with Jesus as the Bread of life the central theme and some pastors will decide to preach on one of the other lessons or substitute a gospel of their own choosing. Use of the common Lectionary does not require one always stay with the texts as given. Of course, there are purists who think it does but it doesn’t.
The Common Lectionary serves several purposes
1. It lifts up the primary Christian themes in line with the Liturgical Year. Thus they all get covered.
2. With the three year cycle large portions of scripture are read to the congregation. For many people this is their only experience with scripture.
3. It helps all the congregations to be on the same scriptural page.
4. Its use means the pastor puts aside his own themes and works with that text ( Congregations are spared a lot of really poor sermons)
But the pastor is always free to substitute.

Today the people who came to make Jesus King in order to get physical bread become really disturbed at what Jesus is saying. He talks of eating his flesh and drinking his blood. They begin to think this may not be the Messiah but some kind of crazy man. They can not begin to understand what he is saying. They even argue among themselves about it.
If Jesus was looking to drive them away He couldn’t have done a better job.
When he finishes only the disciples will remain.
These are hard words even today.
Denominations fight over what Jesus meant by them. Is he really, physically present in the Bread and Wine?
But they all agree that Jesus is the way to eternal life.
Christians believe that Jesus opens the way to heaven for us.
As a Lutheran I believe Jesus is really present in the bread and wine of Holy Communion but I have never believed that you had to agree with us to receive Jesus.
He meets people’s spiritual hunger in ways I can’t even comprehend.
But I am thankful that on Sunday I meet Him in the Bread and Wine and will today.


Blogger Gattina said...

The churches here are beautiful I took some pictures. They are small but very old. I have a lot of more pictures to show. It's so nice here !

1:13 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

I'm fortunate to say that in all the time I've been at (and even away from) First Lutheran I have never yet heard a poor sermon! Not even from a visiting Pastor! I sO look forward to the sermon each week! And yours too!

Have a blessed Sunday Pastor!

6:17 AM  
Blogger Dulce said...

Beautiful ceremony which I have abandoned for years...

6:42 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Dr. John -- thank you for answering the question I asked last week! I also asked my own Pastor. She said she hadn't used a scripture from the Common Lectionary for her sermon. Then I pointed out that the bulletin says right on it, scripture taken from the Common Lectionary. She said it usually is, but for that one Sunday the Bishop had requested the other verse in honor of our World Missions projects.

And, I have since looked up a Common Lectionary online.

1:38 PM  
Blogger PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Our pastor baked loaves and loaves of bread to distribute slices to everyone in church today in honor of the bread gospels and as part of the illustration during the children's sermon. I think that concrete illustrations help people remember the message.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful sermon Dr. John. :)

5:56 PM  
Blogger Garnetrose said...

I know little of the Pentecost. I am a Baptist and for some reason our church does not talk much about this. I find this sermon very interesting. Thank you.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They begin to think this may not be the Messiah but some kind of crazy man.
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12:07 AM  
Blogger Brother Frankie said...

"With the three year cycle large portions of scripture are read to the congregation. For many people this is their only experience with scripture."

that is such a sad statement, but a reality..

be blessed
thanks for writing

Brother Frankie
A Biker for Christ

8:45 AM  
Blogger a corgi said...

I echo what Brother Frankie said; sad that the only Scripture some people get is when they go to church; they aren't reaping all the wisdom in the Word of God; would make their days perhaps go a little bit smoother if they did :)

sounds like a good sermon


6:59 PM  

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