Summary: Questions about the past have a way of propelling me forward. At least that’s what I experienced once on a visit to Caesarea Maritima as I stared toward the sun sinking down toward the vast Mediterranean Sea. Knowing how we got somewhere is one thing; where we will go next is not so different a question. The vocations we chase after never end; nor do our attempts to make sense of them and their effects on our lives. I think this is one way that faith works and continues to disrupt and comfort our lives, by giving us the nudge to keep journeying and to keep our sights set on a future that exists–out there, yet to be discovered.
I wrote this meditative article for the publication Thin Places, which offers resources for spiritual growth and is published by Westminster Presbyterian Church of Minneapolis. The article appears in the June/July/August 2021 issue (Issue Number 107). Read the full article at Thin Places.
What Are You Waiting For? (John 18:33-37)
Summary: The conclusion of the church year, Reign of Christ (or Christ the King) Sunday presents preachers with an opportunity to reflect on the future, especially to examine what assumptions about the future influence their own theologies and sermons. The scene in John’s Gospel when Pontius Pilate interrogates Jesus manifests the failure of Pilate’s imagination. He cannot understand Jesus’ identity as a king in a manner other than what he is used to; it must be about power and domination. Pilate’s categories are inflexible. This resembles too much Christian preaching and teaching about the future and about the nature of the gospel. A kingdom or reign that is “not from this world” is one that is unfamiliar to this world and our norms. One piece of a preacher’s job description is to break open our closed minds so that we might imagine and live into a future that is indeed different.
I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on John 18:33-37. It was originally a contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.
Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary
christ the king covid-19 eschatology future imagination kingdom of god pontius pilate preaching reign of christ stewardship