Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sermon - Lent 4 2009

I preached on Lent 4 about the nature of spectacle as an effort for communities to reintegrate themselves by a shared exercise in meaning making. This is done by squarely gazing, as a community, on the suffering/sin we wish to heal. The scripture supporting this is Numbers 21:4-9. I was also heavenly influenced in preaching this by a Jewish sermon on this part of the book of Numbers by Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Berman.

It's like this, people are getting bit by snakes. God says, put a bronze snake on a pole and look at it. Later, we Christians say something similar about the cross. Look upon the suffering of God for love and be changed by faith in that sacrifice. The take home lesson is that transformation comes from the courage to engage the darkness. The light of observation brings healing (cf. the other lections for the day--Ephesians 2:1-10 and John 3:14-21).

I was intrigued by this line of thinking from a theoretical point of view--but it's certainly a complex reality to preach on! And let no one say that I don't preach about the Old Testament lessons!

Here's the audio...

Here's a direct link to the MP3 file...


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