Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thinking about Sermonizin'

Thinking about the 1 Peter 2 text. Here are the ponderings of my SL Lectionary group (it was a very small group, with only myself and Vinnie talking...) A little bit "stream of consciousness" but still good. Still thinking.

There are some great images in this lesson from 1 Peter: living stones, Christ as our cornerstone.
The lectionary leaves out verse 1 "Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander."
This is a great list.
Rid means "lay aside" and is usually connected to the Baptism passages and liturgies
We are to rid ourselves to things that deny life and take up the true spiritual milk that affirms life. If indeed we have tasted that which is good.
yes, we lay aside all the negatives from time to time... but they seem to be within reach a lot of the time It's part of the human condition. Easy to turn to.
This reminds me of the passage from James “Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.”
The word "rid" is the same in both James and Peter.
i keep coming back to this verse about how we often need to become like infants again... no matter how mature we become in the faith – Like Children: -- with the innocence of children -- reminding me of the "suffer the little children unto me."

It goes back to the verse in 1 Peter 1:3 where the author talks about new life.
Pure milk meaning the milk with out deceit/ slander/ etc mentioned in verse 1.
Spiritual milk -- the word is logikos which is related to the word "logos" meaning word/wisdom. I can see a comparison to John 1: in the beginning there was the Logos (the word)
Spiritual milk is also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 3 and Hebrews 5:25 the taste of which causes you to grow into salvation.
:milk... it's so basic to human survival...especially in parts of the world where there is a shortage of clean, safe drinking water
The "Grows into" salvation = perfected in faith?
so it's new life and then growing into perfection. IF indeed you have "tasted" that the lord is good. I like that word tasted.
Tasted -- from Psalm 34 -- it seems that 1 Peter uses Psalm 34 as a structural element.
Many other referenced through out the book.
In addition, there was a story in the Christian Century last month about the image of "the nursing virgin Mary" and how it used to be widely accepted in the Medeival church...somewhere along the way, people gre less tolerant of the image of Mary nursing the baby Jesus, -- there is a squeamishness about that image; People don’t like nursing mothers in public, but it is as God intended.
So those three verses along are interesting. Maybe not enough to preach, but interesting.

The next portion of the pericope is the corner stone bit.
In Matthew 21:24 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'?
In the Greek, in both the Matthew text and in 1 Peter, the word could also be "keystone" meaning that without it, the whole thing falls apart, b/c the keystone is the on up top of a roman arch that holds it all together. So Jesus is the cornerstone; the keystone that keeps it all together. Then this stone calls us to "get stoned"... built into a living wall, so to speak and not throw stones (as in the Acts Text from the Lectionary this week.) Brings to mind that line from Pink Floyd's The Wall... just another brick in the wall...
Who wants to be walled in... it's kind of confining... and yet, belies our commitment to Christ... our willingness to let ourselves be built into something... some BODY
built into a spiritual house -- I'm wondering if that is Logikos, as well.
:House -- connotations to Household/ compare the John 14 text when he talks about "dwelling places" -- so that makes sense -- why the Stephen story and the John 14 text were selected.
1) house - household/family ...whoever believes in him will not be put to shame... Shame and honor are strongly implied in the household of God (household codes)
2) holy priesthood -- to offer spiritual sacrifices (third time word used) through Jesus
Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Have we talked about the word "religion" lately? ...coming from the root "ligament"? how it binds us to a community... a Christ... while allowing freedom of movement?...I'm thinking aobut that as I imaging this living house of stones
bound with ligaments....rather than being smothered by each other (Hey, your elbow's in my ear!)... we're freed to do God's will... stronger as a whole body.. er, house of stones Spiritual Milk, spiritual "house" (family), spiritual sacrifices bound by ligaments of love.
:"Bind us together, lord, Bind us together With cords that cannot be broken. Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together, Bind us together with love. There is only one God, There is only one King; There is only one Body, That is why we sing” ...I was thinking "On Christ the solid rock I stand..." but that doesn't talk much about us being rocks...
BUT he is the cornerstone… allowing ourselves to be built into something more than we could realize alone
yeah, so what about that whole cornerstone language...
“Is that really the one stone upon which the whole arch finds support and is centered in?” verse 6 is from Isaiah 28:16 -- from the Septuagint. yeah -- I like Keystone better than "cornerstone" for that reason.

architecture matters – the word is head of the corner in verse 7
we had a tragic bridge collapse here in MN last summer -- gusset plates bent... bolts needing repair.. another bridge has been closed, slated for replacement this year (near St. Cloud)
I was also thinking about flexible buildings built to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. Houses built flexible to withstand the storms of life. "When the storms of life are raging, stand by me." -- funny how the ancient ruins of some civilizations still stand today...
Isaiah 28:16 “therefore thus says the Lord God, See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: "One who trusts will not panic."

and whom ever believes will not be put to shame. shame and honor are 1st century household ideas. not the code we operate by nowadays. It’s more "eastern" of an idea. If we see Him as precious, we will not be put to harm BUT....:then there are those who stumble over this cornerstone... like us all, I might add....

psalm 118: 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

Here is the gate from last week's text.

Isaiah 8:14-15: “He will become a sanctuary, a stone one strikes against; for both houses of Israel he will become a rock one stumbles over – a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken”.

how to trust in a shepherd with all the school shootings etc Verse 8 is troublesome.: (1-yr anniversary of Virginia tech) yeah -- and the shootings continue.: destined to fall...? makes you want to keep the kids at home. “destined to fall “-- hard for an Armenian -- unless all who disobey fall. It’s the disobedience that causes the failure.

Verse 9 is like the hinge -- the climax -- at least for me. Deuteronomy 7:6 says of the Israelites: “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession”.: called out of darkness... into his marvelous light... like a reformed Sith Lord... fulfilling his destiny as a true Jedi: (Episode VI): ;-)

Chosen race -- royal priesthood Exodus 19:6 but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites." Remember when Darth Vader turns out good in the end? : I love that part! I love that There’s hope for all who trip over that cornerstone!! Redemption.

Isaiah 43:21 “the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.” = God's own people. if we're redeemed... what then? praise = proclaiming the might acts. out of darness into light is John 1 (again) : order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you... Once were NOT my people; now you are -- once you didn't get mercy; now you have it. : Remember that verse (oh, where on earth is it?) that goes: "be ever ready to give a testimony to the hope that is within you" ...or something to that effect? : If we can't express our hope... then there's no point listening to what we have to say. period. : ...and I'm not just talking about Obama-like-goose bumps-hope…

In 1 Peter 3:15, "to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, …” so it's coming up in just another chapter...

there's a whole trust thing here, too allow oneself to be built into this living body as a stone... : it requires vulnerability... and transparency too....trusting in the Lord to make of us a house worthy of our proclamation...

As a pastor... I feel like I’m building a church... Using the building blocks you have been given. -- yet I know it's Christ who builds the church.. Ultimately and who is the real "owner" and architect. the good shepherd text... I preached on how we're all sheep... with a call to be shepherds, too! : and invite others to the flock
We don’t make the blocks, we don’t do a lot of the heavy lifting, we just slap a little mortar on on occasion.

No comments: