Process Theology

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.

5th Sunday after Epiphany

February 8, 2004
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 Ronald Farmer

Isaiah 6:1-8

5th Sunday after Epiphany

February 4, 2007
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

Today’s scriptures speak of the glory of God embodied in the human and non-human worlds. God’s glory, like “God’s majesty” and the “praise” of God, is often ignored by progressive and mainstream Christians. To some Christians, glory implies patriarchal and authoritarian relationships and the otherness of God. Sadly, glory and power have been identified in hurtful and oppressive ways. Yet, I believe that images of divine glory and majesty can be recovered in healing and life-transforming ways. I believe that God’s glory is more about wonder and beauty than power and coercion.

5th Sunday after Epiphany

February 7, 2010
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

Today’s readings connect mysticism and mission. Isaiah, Peter, and Paul experience God in dramatic and life-transforming ways that call them to become partners in God’s planetary mission. The world in which we live is an interdependent web of relationships in which certain moments of time may become “thin places,” as the Celts say, where the divine and human are transparent to one another. In the world of process theology, every moment can become a “thin moment” and every space a “thin place” when the divine call and creaturely response are in synch with one another.

4th Sunday after Epiphany

February 1, 2004
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 71:1-6
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:21-30
By Ronald Farmer

Jeremiah 1:4-10
For two consecutive Sundays, the Hebrew Bible readings concern “call narratives,” those of Jeremiah and Isaiah respectively. Call narratives, although personalized to each recipient, typically follow a threefold pattern: the call/commission, the prophet’s objection, and a word/action of assurance from God. This pattern is easily discernable in today’s lection.

4th Sunday after Epiphany

January 28, 2007
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 71:1-6
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:21-30
By Bruce G. Epperly

The season of Epiphany proclaims the ubiquitous revelations—yes, revelations—of God. The omnipresent and omni-active God actively reveals Godself to persons in every nation, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and season of life. Divine revelation is multi-faceted and polyvalent in nature. The source of diversity in religious experience, God is also the fabric that holds our diverse spiritual journeys together. The whole earth, and every moment, is full of God’s glory.

4th Sunday after Epiphany

January 31, 2010
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 71:1-6
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:21-30
By Bruce G. Epperly

Many newly-ordained pastors can identify with Jeremiah’s response to God’s call to prophetic ministry. “Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a young person.” The call of God can seem overwhelming in contrast to the meager resources we see in ourselves, and this is not just an issue for new pastors.

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

January 21, 2001
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:14-21
By Rick Marshall

Luke 4:14-21

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

January 25, 2004
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 19
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:14-21
By Ronald Farmer

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

January 21, 2007
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 19
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:14-21
By Bruce G. Epperly

How can the reading of the Law be a source of celebration? For most of us, the law is something that stifles, inspires fear of punishment, and limits our freedom. “Law and order” is often a code word for harassing the homeless, minorities, and undocumented workers. In church, law has often been used to stifle the voices of sexual minorities and innovative thinkers or to oppose to anything that might encourage creativity, pleasure, or happiness. Accordingly, the use of “law” in scripture, tradition, and sermon must be looked at carefully and critically.

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

January 24, 2010
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 19
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Reading 4: 
Luke 4:14-21
By Bruce G. Epperly

Today’s scriptures celebrate the dynamic order of the universe both in the macrocosm and the microcosm. Plato once noted that the orderly motions of the heavens were intended to inspire people to find order and balance in their own souls. The universe is not, from the perspective of Plato and the biblical writers, a series of random and accidental events; rather, creative wisdom guides the universe in all its dimensions and inspires the creativity and freedom of humans living in community with one another.

2nd Sunday after Epiphany

January 14, 2001
See Also: 
Reading 4: 
John 2:1-11
By Rick Marshall

Last week the assigned text was the story of Jesus' baptism. That story is the first in Luke's gospel narrative of Jesus' adult ministry. It holds an important position by being first in the narrative, and is key in understanding the rest of the gospel. Likewise, John's story of Jesus changing water into wine is the first story and holds a similar position in this gospel narrative; it provides a key in understanding the rest of the gospel.

2nd Sunday after Epiphany

January 18, 2004
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 62:1-5
Reading 2: 
Psalm 36:5-10
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Reading 4: 
John 2:1-11
By Ronald Farmer

Isaiah 62: 1-5

2nd Sunday after Epiphany

January 14, 2007
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 62:1-5
Reading 2: 
Psalm 36:5-10
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Reading 4: 
John 2:1-11
By Bruce G. Epperly

Process-relational thought affirms that hope is ubiquitous and built into the nature of the universe. The future is open and though tragedy is always a possibility, healing, wholeness, and justice are also on the horizon. The wreckage of the past can be the material from which future creativity emerges.

2nd Sunday after Epiphany

January 17, 2010
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 62:1-5
Reading 2: 
Psalm 36:5-10
Reading 3: 
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Reading 4: 
John 2:1-11
By Bruce G. Epperly

This week’s readings continue the theme of global revelation, characteristic of the season of Epiphany and also introduce the question of “how shall we, as moderate and progressive Christians understand and preach about the miracles of Jesus?”

1st Sunday after Epiphany

January 7, 2001
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 43:1-8
Reading 2: 
Psalm 29
Reading 3: 
Acts 8:14-17
Reading 4: 
Luke 3:15-17
By Rick Marshall

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

1st Sunday after Epiphany

January 11, 2004
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 43:1-8
Reading 2: 
Psalm 29
Reading 3: 
Acts 8:14-17
Reading 4: 
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
By Ronald Farmer

Composed following the rise of Cyrus the Great but before his conquest of Babylon (i.e., between 547 and 540 BCE), this passage is an excellent example of the literary genre known as an Oracle of Salvation. Second Isaiah’s charge to “Comfort, O Comfort my people” and “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem” (40:1-2) find special manifestation in this oracle. For people who had suffered much—indeed, for those who suffer today—these lovingly compassionate and personal words were sorely needed.

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