Process Theology

3rd Sunday in Lent

March 7, 2010
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy

Preaching Lent/Easter I
Preaching Lent/Easter II
Preaching Lent/Easter III

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)



Reading 1: 
Isaiah 55:1-9
Reading 2: 
Psalm 63:1-8
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 13:1-9
By Russell Pregeant

The passage from Luke begins with people telling Jesus about Pilate’s murder of a group of Galileans who were offering sacrifices. One might expect Jesus to have condemned Pilate’s action, but instead he uses the incident as a teaching opportunity to make his own point. The rhetorical question in v.

2nd Sunday in Lent

March 11, 2001
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy

Preaching Lent/Easter I
Preaching Lent/Easter II
Preaching Lent/Easter III

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 1: 
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Reading 2: 
Psalm 27
Reading 3: 
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Reading 4: 
Luke 13:31-35
By John B. Cobb, Jr.

For process theologians, passages like these are particularly difficult. The apocalyptic element in the Bible makes little sense to us. But that does not mean that it should be denied or even belittled. We need to recognize how important it was for many early Christians to believe that soon Christ would come again in glory and that they would be vindicated whereas their enemies would suffer the fate they deserved. It seems that only an assurance of this kind could keep many faithful in the context of suffering and oppression.

2nd Sunday in Lent

March 7, 2004
Reading 1: 
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Reading 2: 
Psalm 27
Reading 3: 
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Reading 4: 
Luke 9:28-36
By

When we search for a common thread that joins our lectionary texts for this second Sunday of Lent it seems to be the manifestation of the transcendent, the holy, the other, God. This manifestation comes in many ways, often unexpected ways. These texts remind us that life is not just what we see and hear around us.  There is a transcendent reality that appears occasionally in our daily round and makes us look at “everyday” reality as not so everyday after all. Abraham, “David,” Paul and Jesus, different witnesses to a reality which

2nd Sunday in Lent

March 4, 2007
Reading 1: 
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Reading 2: 
Psalm 27
Reading 3: 
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Reading 4: 
Luke 13:31-35
By Ignacio Castuera

This second Sunday in Lent is also the beginning of Women’s History Month and preachers have the opportunity to “preach against the text” when dealing with the story of Abram and to lift up the feminine images in the Gospel text as a much needed corrective.

2nd Sunday in Lent

February 28, 2010
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy

Preaching Lent/Easter I
Preaching Lent/Easter II
Preaching Lent/Easter III

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 1: 
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Reading 2: 
Psalm 27
Reading 3: 
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Reading 4: 
Luke 13:31-35
By Russell Pregeant

The Gospel of Luke, as is well known, lacks a notion of the atonement. Although it emphasizes Jesus’ death and resurrection, there is nothing in Luke that suggests the redemptive character of these events. Nor is it legitimate to argue that this motif is implicit.

1st Sunday in Lent

March 4, 2001
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy

Preaching Lent/Easter I
Preaching Lent/Easter II
Preaching Lent/Easter III

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Reading 3: 
Romans 10:8b-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:1-13
By John B. Cobb, Jr.

Paul is often contrasted with Jesus in that in his writings the proclaimer becomes the proclaimed. The juxtaposition of these two passages is a quite dramatic illustration of this move. In the temptation story in Luke, Jesus emphasizes that there is only one Lord, namely, God. Paul unabashedly speaks of Jesus as Lord. That does not mean that Paul simply identifies Jesus with God. On the contrary, this passage from Romans treats them quite distinctly.

1st Sunday in Lent

February 29, 2004
Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Reading 3: 
Romans 10:8b-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:1-13
By

If one wished to find a link among these four texts for the first Sunday of Lent of 2004 it appears to be the confession of faith. Bear this in mind as we go through the reading of each of these texts in turn, inverting the last two for reasons that will become apparent.

1st Sunday in Lent

February 25, 2007
Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Reading 3: 
Romans 10:8b-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:1-13
By Ignacio Castuera

The theme introduced in the Ash Wednesday commentary, ensuring that all eat, and drink and take pleasure in their toil, is reinforced by the Old Testament lesson from Deuteronomy.

1st Sunday in Lent

February 25, 2007
Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Reading 3: 
Romans 10:8b-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:1-13
By Bruce G. Epperly

Lent recalls Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. “Full of the Holy Spirit,” and fresh from his baptism, Jesus is led by the Gods’ spirit into the wilderness. However, we understand the complexities of this story, it is clear that Jesus, like shaman and shamanness before him, must go on a “vision quest” in order to clarify his vocation and claim his future as God’s beloved child. And, only Jesus could have been the source of the account of his retreat and temptation in the wilderness.

1st Sunday in Lent

February 21, 2010
See Also: 

Lenten Candle Liturgy

Preaching Lent/Easter I
Preaching Lent/Easter II
Preaching Lent/Easter III

John Cobb on atonement
John Cobb on redemption
John Cobb on Jesus
Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus (Cobb)

Resource Packet for Families

Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Reading 2: 
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Reading 3: 
Romans 10:8b-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:1-13
By Russell Pregeant

The Gospel reading, Luke’s version of the temptation of Jesus, is a rich text that is classically suited for the beginning of Lent. As Luke T. Johnson comments, the three specific temptations Jesus faces have to do with “the seizure of palpable power” and “would suggest to the Hellenistic reader the threefold categories of vice: love of pleasure, love of possessions, love of glory.” (The Gospel of Luke. Sacra Pagina Series, Vol. 3, p. 76).

Ash Wednesday

February 25, 2004
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 58:1-12
Reading 2: 
Psalm 51:1-12
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Reading 4: 
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
By

This is a text about fasting, an appropriate subject for Ash Wednesday. Fasting was usually performed to publicly indicate repentance and to ask for restoration from God. This is also the intention of Christian Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday

February 21, 2007
Reading 1: 
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
Reading 4: 
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Alt Reading 1: 
Isaiah 58:1-12
By Ignacio Castuera

The beginning of Lent gives preachers the opportunity to update and upgrade the tradition of abstinence and self-denial as a way of sharing the gifts of God with those who, for whatever reasons, are deprived of the basic necessities of life.

Transfiguration Sunday (Last Sunday after Epiphany)

February 25, 2001
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 34:29-35
Reading 2: 
Psalm 99
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Reading 4: 
Luke 9:28-43
By

This Sunday I have chosen to follow the lectionary readings of my own denominations, the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and other mainstream denominations. Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Episcopalian churches celebrate the Transfiguration during Pentecost.

Transfiguration Sunday (Last Sunday after Epiphany)

February 22, 2004
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 34:29-35
Reading 2: 
Psalm 99
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Reading 4: 
Luke 9:28-43
By Ronald Farmer

Exodus 34:29-35

Transfiguration Sunday (Last Sunday after Epiphany)

February 18, 2007
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 34:29-35
Reading 2: 
Psalm 99
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Reading 4: 
Luke 9:28-43
By Bruce G. Epperly

A child in my congregation recently asked, “why doesn’t God talk to people now like God did in the Bible?” As his pastor and as a theology professor, I took his question seriously. Certainly, to quote Karl Barth, mystical experiences and theophanies (appearances of God to mortals) are essential to the “strange world of the Bible.”

Transfiguration Sunday (Last Sunday after Epiphany)

February 14, 2010
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 34:29-35
Reading 2: 
Psalm 99
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Reading 4: 
Luke 9:28-43
By Bruce G. Epperly

Today’s scriptures invite preacher and congregation alike to consider practicing transfiguration. Throughout the season of Epiphany, we’ve be exploring the mystical encounters that undergird and lie just below the surface of everyday life. A number of years ago, Marsha Sinetar titled a book Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics, and such a quest should be part of the Christian life, whether we are pastors or laypersons.

7th Sunday after Epiphany

February 18, 2001
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Genesis 45:3-11, 15
Reading 2: 
Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50
Reading 4: 
Luke 6:27-38
By

Genesis 45:3-11, 15

6th Sunday after Epiphany

February 11, 2001
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 17:5-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 1
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Reading 4: 
Luke 6:17-26
By

Jeremiah 17:5-10

6th Sunday after Epiphany

February 11, 2007
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 17:5-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 1
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Reading 4: 
Luke 6:17-26
By Bruce G. Epperly

This week’s gospel reading proclaims a blessed interdependence that radiates through each of the lectionary readings. The context of Luke’s Beatitudes is a time of healing and preaching. “The power of God came out from Jesus and healed all of them. ” Divine power flowed in and through Jesus to bring healing and wholeness to a great multitude. Jesus’ power to heal is not grounded in his own abilities or personhood, but arises from his constant openness to God’s life-transforming energy. Open to God, Jesus’ touch and words changed lives and restored hope to the hopeless.

5th Sunday after Epiphany

February 4, 2001
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 6:1-8
Reading 2: 
Psalm 138
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Reading 4: 
Luke 5:1-11
By Bruce G. Epperly

Epiphany is the season of illumination. Traditionally, the season of Epiphany has highlighted God’s presence beyond the Jewish world and in the ordinary events of our lives. Today, of course, the season of Epiphany reminds us that the spirit of Christ is universal in scope, stretching far beyond Israel or the West. God’s revealing is not limited to the Christian church, its worship, sacraments, and scripture, but encompasses every quest for wholeness.

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