Ignacio Castuero

Proper 25

October 26, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Reading 2: 
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Reading 4: 
Matthew 22:34-46
By Ignacio Castuera

Holiness and finitude are the twin topics for this collection of texts. Even the great first Prophet, Moses, dies without accomplishing all he wished to do. He cannot enter the Promised Land. Like Martin Luther King centuries later he can only say I see it from afar. Reinhold Niebuhr left us with a great statement about finitude and, in some ways, about holiness: Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope.

Proper 24

October 19, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 33:12-23
Reading 2: 
Psalm 99
Reading 3: 
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Reading 4: 
Matthew 22:15-22
By Ignacio Castuera

The self-exclusion of idolatry continues to be contrasted with the true worship of the One who loves all in the texts for our Sunday. In addition a kind of “explanation” for the tendencies toward idolatry is given in the Exodus passage. Even a prophet like Moses has doubts and wants to “see.” Not content with hearing the voice of God now he wants to see the face of God.

Proper 23

October 12, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 32:1-14
Reading 2: 
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
Reading 3: 
Philippians 4:1-9
Reading 4: 
Matthew 22:1-14
By Ignacio Castuera

October 12 is a most important day to remember. Preachers should not ignore the fullness of the meaning of this day for world history. Above all, pastors must not forget the pain of the conquered. In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue AND Spain expelled Muslim and Jew. 1492 brought to an end almost eight centuries of Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula and the universal dimensions of Andalusian Islam were shattered by the tribalistic perspectives of medieval Christianity.

Proper 22

October 5, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Reading 2: 
Psalm 19
Reading 3: 
Philippians 3:4b-14
Reading 4: 
Matthew 21:33-46
By Ignacio Castuera

I strongly suggest checking back to 2002, when Marjorie Suchocki wrote on these texts, to 2005 for Dr. Cobb’s specific take, to 2008 to see what Episcopal Priest Paul Nancarrow shared and to 2011 when Rick Marshall introduces Process thought in a focused way.* These scholars and preachers did a very good job and should inspire preachers for the task ahead this October.

Easter Sunday

April 20, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 10:34-43
Reading 2: 
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Reading 3: 
Colossians 3:1-4
Reading 4: 
John 20:1-18
Alt Reading 2: 
Matthew 28:1-10
Alt Reading 1: 
Jeremiah 31:1-6
By Ignacio Castuera

 

 

This is the day when preachers have the opportunity to speak to many who come to church only for the “high holidays” of our faith. The Scriptures provided for pastors are chock full of opportunities to make a lasting impression on those who come infrequently. On the other hand, the faithful flock also needs to hear the eternal message of EasterEcology,  with new angles, new vigor, well, new life!

Good Friday

April 18, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Reading 2: 
Psalm 22
Reading 3: 
John 18:1-19:42
Reading 4: 
Hebrews 10:16-25
Alt Reading 1: 
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
By Ignacio Castuera

I have read several of the past years Lectionary Commentaries in Process & Faith for both Good Friday and Easter. I also read Ask Dr. Cobb responding to questions about sacrifice in August of 2013.

Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday

April 1, 2007
See Also: 

Year A
Year B
Year C

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

Reading 2: 
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Reading 4: 
Luke 19:28-40
By Ignacio Castuera

It is interesting to note that the people who craft the Lectionary feel free to have a reading from the Gospel of John on the Fifth Sunday in Lent and then again on Easter Sunday but do not do it on Palm Sunday. John is the only Gospel that mentions palms, so it is strange that we do not have here the reading from that Gospel.

5th Sunday in Lent

March 25, 2007
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 43:16-21
Reading 2: 
Psalm 126
Reading 3: 
Philippians 3:4b-14
Reading 4: 
John 12:1-8
By Ignacio Castuera

There are so many themes that jump at us from the texts this Sunday that one might be tempted to preach a very long sermon taking each text as the point of departure for “mini-sermons.” That, by the way, is one model that could be tried. Have a lay person, a woman preferably since this is Women’s History Month, comment briefly and sing a hymn. Repeat the process four times and you will find that several people will like the pattern and might want you to repeat it. You might consider just a “triptych” selecting three out of the four texts for this Sunday.

4th Sunday in Lent

March 18, 2007
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Joshua 5:9-12
Reading 2: 
Psalm 32
Reading 3: 
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Reading 4: 
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
By Ignacio Castuera

Last Sunday’s theme is intensified in this week’s lessons. The open ended character of the Gospel’s lessons last week is replaced with the clear reference to the forgiving and loving nature of God.

3rd Sunday in Lent

March 11, 2007
See Also: 
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 Ignacio Castuera

The texts for this third Sunday in Lent speak mightily to the situation in which we find ourselves in the center of the Empire. As national budgets are discussed and as personal budgets are decided we need to keep at the center of our thinking the words of Isaiah: Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

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.

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.

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.

Proper 25

October 29, 2006
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Reading 2: 
Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22)
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 7:23-28
Reading 4: 
Mark 10:46-52
By Ignacio Castuera

The observance of Reformation Sunday would require that we refer much more to the heritage of the Reformation which allows us now to have a different form of Christianity. It is important to emphasize that the triumph of the Reformation enriched all of our faith and not only that portion which is referred to as the Protestants since then. The Roman Catholic church also became more enriched as it struggled to redefine itself in light of the challenges of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and others.

Proper 24

October 22, 2006
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
Reading 2: 
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 5:1-10
Reading 4: 
Mark 10:35-45
By Ignacio Castuera

This is the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and it offers preachers another good opportunity in October to help congregations imagine a different kind of world.

Proper 23

October 15, 2006
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Reading 2: 
Psalm 22:1-15
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 4:12-16
Reading 4: 
Mark 10:17-31
Alt Reading 2: 
Psalm 90:12-17
Alt Reading 1: 
Amos 5:6-7, 10-15
By Ignacio Castuera

Those connecting with this resource for the first time ever, or for the first time this month need to go back to the October 1 notes in order to get the basic theological presuppositions that inform this October series. It may also be a good idea to read last Sunday’s notes because in at least one case, I am building on suggestions I made on that date’s comments.

Proper 22

October 8, 2006
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Job 1:1, 2:1-10
Reading 2: 
Psalm 26
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
Reading 4: 
Mark 10:2-16
Alt Reading 2: 
Psalm 8
Alt Reading 1: 
Genesis 2:18-24
By Ignacio Castuera

Pastors who did not read the notes from the first Sunday in October need to read the theological foundations that inform all the sermon notes for the month of October so that the fullness of the intended direction of the messages may be best understood.

There are many directions in which one can go with the lessons today. Select only one reading and go with it or point out the connections and build on them. I will offer suggestions for several possibilities.

Proper 21

October 1, 2006
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 20-22
Reading 2: 
Psalm 124
Reading 3: 
James 5:13-20
Reading 4: 
Mark 9:38-50
By Ignacio Castuera

All the October sermon notes are written with the following theological assumptions which flow from a paying close attention to John B. Cobb’s recent publications and public statements.

The ecological crisis of our time and the unprecedented attack on the earth places makes it necessary for followers of Jesus to live out our faith as “earthists,” defenders of the earth.

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