Summary: Believing in God’s love is much easier than trusting in it. Trust implies action and a willingness to open ourselves up. It has become increasingly difficult to trust in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, and God’s love appears not to have motivated the most of our wider society to imitate it. To embrace a passage like the one in which Jesus insists that he has come because “God so loved the world,” we need to do more than just convince ourselves and our neighbors about God’s love and its benefits. We need to open ourselves up to the magnetic power of that love, something we experience less through intellect and more through desire.
I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on John 3:14-21. It was originally a contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.
Public Health (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23)
Summary: When a conversation between Jesus and a group of scribes and Pharisees moves from hand washing to the dangers of moral impurity, preachers have an opportunity to explore the capacity each of us has for doing harm to others. During our current journey with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are already well acquainted with the ways in which the actions or inactions of individuals can have widespread negative consequences. But preachers can find ways to put this Gospel text into conversation with our circumstances to help a congregation see the ways in which our existence and wellbeing are corporate, collective things. Facing the realities of our interdependence and the obligations we have to one another is an important step toward fostering a community that takes healing seriously.
I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. 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
covid-19 gospel of mark handwashing heart jesus judaism moral purity pandemic preaching purity ritual impurity sin