Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reminder: Preaching the Second Sunday of Advent

Just a reminder that this blog has a series of posts on the appointed RCL reading for this Sunday. Just click here, here, here, and here. Enjoy!

As you prepare a homily or sermon on the reading, please add a comment or two on what you are discovering or where you plan to go. I would love to make this more of a "conversation."

I would also love to hear how you react to exposition of Malachi over against some of the other things you'll read on the internet, such as at Dylan's Lectionary Blog (click here). Frankly, I have worries about some of what she says. For example, she writes, "What has to change before you meet Jesus? Nothing. He even seems to be completely indiscriminate."

If Malachi is right, and he is, then being a part of Jesus' reign to come means that almost everything about us will indeed have to change. We'll even have to die to self, and orient ourselves outward to others! If Malachi is right, and he is, Jesus' reign is radically inclusive, but in no way "indiscriminate"!

Comments welcome...

5 Comments:

Blogger PamBG said...

OK, I'm a Methodist, so the concepts of prevenient grace, saving grace and scantifying grace are available "to hand" - but I wouldn't think that any catholic would have significant disagreements with them.

Through God's prevenient grace (the grace that goes before), God offers salvation - citizenship in the Kingdom - to all people who have ever lived. There is no such thing as a person who God has predetermined will remain outside the Kingdom. His offer of citizenship in the Kingdom is totally indiscriminate.

I really like that expression of the Gospel message which I first heard from Kim Fabricius: "You are forgiven, therefore you are free to repent". (Paul Fiddes also uses this model.) I.e. God's forgiveness come first and it elicits our repentance; it is not our repentance that elicits God's forgiveness. This is all pure grace and it's totally indiscriminately given like seeds thrown everywhere by the handful.

Prevenient grace makes as free to repent and choose God, when we are saved by God's saving grace. We participate in the New Birth that was made (in my view, see John 1) ontologically possible by the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

Scantifying grace is about our on-going conversion. Our on-going turning toward God and our on-going repentance.

From a Methodist point of view, we should be suspicious of a person who say that they are "born again" but who is not displaying any on-going growth in their discipleship.

The person who realises that God's forgiveness is gratis, and who trusts in that forgiveness, becomes more and more free to repent and more and more free to grow in Christ.

It's a long way of saying that I agree with both of you. But I think that there is something important in the ideas that: 1) all are offered new birth, but not all accept it and 2) on-going repentance/conversion is evidence of "New Birth".

Sat Dec 09, 11:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Thanks, PamBG. So, I guess you could say that God's offer of grace is indeed indiscriminate, but the reign of God includes those willing to be transformed through God's initiative. Malachi would say that we should start taking part in that process of transformation before this world's current "season" of Advent is over and done. ---S.

Sat Dec 09, 11:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger PamBG said...

So, I guess you could say that God's offer of grace is indeed indiscriminate, but the reign of God includes those willing to be transformed through God's initiative.

Hey, I could have said that if I'd come up with those eloquent words, yes. :-)

Sat Dec 09, 02:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Carlos said...

I like what Pambg said; that'll preach for sure...but is Malachi speaking about John the B when he states, "he is like a refiners fire etc"? It would seem to me that we read that as a prophecy that Christ fulfilled and if so, than Christ is the one doing the refining. Simply said, we are being made righteous by Christ so that our lives might be pleasing offerings to Yahweh.

Fri Jun 22, 10:54:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight - though I would suggest being a little more careful in your quotation. The actual piece on Dylan's blog reads, "What has to change before you meet Jesus? Nothing. He even seems to be completely indiscriminate regarding with whom he'll break bread."

I think that last bit you cut off makes all the difference in the world.

Mon Nov 30, 02:59:00 AM GMT-5  

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