Lectionary Year A
June 16, 2002
(JFC) A. DESCRIPTION OF AUDIENCE
Here is a Presbyterian preaching to a Disciples of Christ suburban
congregation. It is a substantial church, with intelligent, insightful and
committed upper middle class folk. They live in a state capital, much like
those to whom Paul wrote in Romans. They have a lot about which they like
to boast; things in and about their church and things in and about their
vocational lives and things in and about their personal accomplishments. Do
they face their weaknesses, physically, congregationally or in any such
way? Not in this lifetime. Will this passage, exegeted and proclaimed,
bring them any greater truths and/or comfort and/or inspiration? We can
hope, Paul told us we could.
(JFC) INTENDED GOALS FOR THE AUDIENCE
Every Biblical passage can bring comfort to the troubled and can trouble the
comfortable. Romans 5:1-8 is no exception. Since I'm preaching to mostly
strangers this time, I would emphasize trying to comfort the troubled more
than vice versa. More people I know are troubled when they get honest with
themselves. Honesty is good. Will my theological musings provoke any
attempts on their parts to find true hope in God's grace and see that God's
grace stands longer and stronger than anything else into which they might be
tempted to put their trust? Let's try it.
(JFC) C. ADDRESS
"Peace Is Possible" or "Pathways To Peace"
We long for peace. Peace escapes us most days, all day and long into the
I. First Steps Toward Peace
Focus on God. Identify God and Christ via actions they took, e.g.,
justification, Jesus' death for the ungodly and for us so timely; God's
grace, God's glory, as experienced by Old and New Testament characters, e.g.,
Isaiah's call, Jesus' calling the disciples, etc.
II. Second Steps Toward Peace
Acknowledging our sufferings and struggles as real. How we suffer, what
we endure and
how character has been built in and through us as we do/did. E.g., how
to make sense out of the Littleton tragedy and ethnic cleansing in
Kosovo, the rampant
commercialism in which we live, etc.
III. Third Steps Toward Peace
The triune God's total involvement in our salvation = God's love and
passion and death; the Holy Spirit's gift to us = pouring God's love
into hearts. Watch
modalism, emphasize God's total giving.
Christ's Best Example of God's Love Expressed Incomparably. We're
of One sacrificing His life for the likes of you and me! Sinners of
the first order!
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