love

Proper 19

September 14, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 14.19-31
Reading 2: 
Psalm 114
Reading 3: 
Romans 14.1-12
Reading 4: 
Matthew 18.21-35
By David J. Lull

Unless otherwise noted, the biblical quotations are from the NRSV.

 

Exodus 14.19-31 and Psalm 114

Proper 18

September 7, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Exodus 12.1-14
Reading 2: 
Psalm 149
Reading 3: 
Romans 13.8-14
Reading 4: 
Matthew 18.15-20
Alt Reading 2: 
Psalm 119.33-40
Alt Reading 1: 
Ezekiel 33.7-11
By David J. Lull

Unless otherwise noted, the biblical quotations are from the NRSV.

 

In your preparation for preaching on today’s readings, you might consider their different approaches and solutions to sin.

  • The Exodus reading and today’s psalm focus on God’s liberation of those who have been sinned against, and God’s fierce judgment against those who sin against others that leaves no room for repentance.

Proper 8

June 29, 2014
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Genesis 22:1-14
Reading 2: 
Psalm 13
Reading 3: 
Romans 6:12-23
Reading 4: 
Matthew 10:40-42
By Ron Allen

The Priestly theologians gave Genesis 22:1-14 its present shape in the shadow of the exile. Two themes are especially important. First, the text rejects child sacrifice. Some of Israel’s neighbors followed this practice (e.g. Deut 12:31; 2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6; 23;10; Isa 57:5; Jer 7:31; 19:5; 32:35), but according to Genesis 21:1-14, God never intended child sacrifice (cf. Lev 18:21; 20:2-5).

Proper 15

August 18, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 5:1-7
Reading 2: 
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 11:19-12:2
Reading 4: 
Luke 12:49-56
By Bruce G. Epperly

Events often conflict with our hopes and dreams. Communities and congregations let us down and may turn away from the divine vision. We may turn away from God’s vision for our own lives. Neither God nor we can avoid the consequences of injustice, racism, and the personal and social sins that harm us and others. Even when we are doing our best to follow God, there are no guarantees that our path will be easy. But, through it all, if we remain awake to this present moment – the sacrament and sin alike of this moment – we discover hope beyond conflict and failure.

Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 12, 2013
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 16:16-34
Reading 2: 
Psalm 97
Reading 3: 
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
Reading 4: 
John 17:20-26
By Russell Pregeant

Jesus’ long farewell to his disciples in John begins at 13:31-35, with his declaration of the mutual glorification that obtains between himself and God and his statement of the “new commandment” to “love one another.” It ends with 17:20-26, which reiterates both themes, so that the discourse is framed by these motifs, identifying them as the dominant thread in the entire section.[1] Although part of the farewell, these verses are spoken to God in prayer, rather than to the disciples. The prayer begins at 17:1 and ends with v.

Proper 24

October 21, 2012
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 Bruce G. Epperly

Job 38:1-7, 34-41

Then God answered through the whirlwind! We continue our journey through Job with a theophany, an auditory encounter in which the Holy One responds to Job’s indictment.

The Nature of Love: A Theology

Author:

Thomas Jay Oord

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Defining Love: A philosophical, Scientific, and Theological Engagement

Author:

Thomas Jay Oord

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Power of Love

Question: 
How does love work?
Publication Month: 
June 2001
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

Nelson Stringer has been teaching and preaching about love for many years.  On Easter Sunday the church of which he is pastor was burned by an arsonist. Of course he has felt pain and sorrow about the loss. But, more important, he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that he and others in his church have received. He has discovered that love is an even more powerful force than he had realized. I'll reflect about that this month from a process perspective.

God & Love

Question: 
"God is love," says the author of 1 John. How does process thought generally answer the issue at the basis of two questions: "Is love an abstract standard outside of Godself that God embodies perfectly?" or "Is love whatever God does, simply because God does it?"
Publication Month: 
May 2000
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

This question harks back to the Realist-Nominalist debates of the later Middle Ages. The Realists, such as Thomas Aquinas, believed that human beings have some knowledge of the distinction between good and evil. God, they argued, is purely good. The Nominalists taught that good and evil have no existence in themselves. Such distinctions depend entirely on the point of view. We cannot place our preferences as absolute, and then judge God by them. On the contrary it is God's judgment that establishes what is good and evil.

Whitehead and Freud's Theory of Eros (Love) & Thanatos (Death)

Question: 
In the later more sociological Freud, there is a great emphasis on Love (or Eros) which, as a newcomer to Process thought and theology, I cannot help but think of as a vision of the process God. Freud, however, found it necessary to balance Love with Death (aggression), and he describes the universe as the arena in which the battle of Love and Death takes place. I am reluctant to follow Freud in affirming this second power, but at the same time I find it difficult not to feel it is needed. In particular, I find it hard to understand why God's (Love's) persuasive power would not be more effective were there not this countering power. In fact, I find it difficult to understand why persuasion toward the good would not be completely effective minus some countering contrary power.
Publication Month: 
March 2010
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

Of course, the categories that arise in one system are not likely to be identical with those that arise in another. But all systems must account for both coming into being and ceasing to be, both life and death, both construction and destruction. In Whitehead the pair of terms might be creativity and perpetual perishing.

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