This Sundy’s sermon is for Easter 6B, and the lections are 1 John 5:1-6, Revelation 20, and John 15:9-17. This is my first draft, and I’m working a little ahead, since I will be away most of the week for the Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity conference in Washington, DC. I’m following a little bit of a series: Easter 4B (“Good Shepherd Sunday,” as it’s known to some) was a Girardian reading of the 23rd Psalm, the sermon was titled “The Sheep as Victim.” This morning’s sermon for Easter 5B was on John 15:1-8 (the beginning of the “abide in me” discourse) and the Acts 8 story of the conversion of the Eunuch, titled “What is Cut Off from the Eunuch.” The theme is following the Girardian teaching of the voluntary vicitimization of Christ being the logical exit out of systems of vicitimization.
Jesus says “You do not choose me, I have chosen you.” This might sound all well and good, but we hear Jesus say this, and we can contrast it to the image of God separating the good from the bad at the end of time in Revelation 20. So which is it—God chooses all of us, or we choose the ways of God?
Is this question not at the heart of all of the controversies surrounding mainline Protestant Christianity right now? Two weeks ago the United Methodists at their General Conference were debating a resolution acknowledging the deep divisions in the church, stating that the church can be faithful in disagreement over human sexuality. Right before the vote was taken an African delegate stood up and likened gays to those who practice bestiality; and then the denomination voted against the resolution stating that there is division in the church. Read the rest of this entry »