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Posts Tagged ‘Spirit’

I really think Mark should have done his gospel as manga. I know there have been a few recent attempts to fill the void, but they haven’t met with a lot of critical acclaim. It seems nobody feels comfortable with a comic book Jesus.

Mark’s book, though, cries out for a few visual cues. And the story of Jesus’ first exorcism is one that would have been perfect material for a graphic novel. POW! KA-BAM! WHOOSH!

That Spirit on Your Shoulder

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on 17 June 2012.

(The file is a Windows Media Audio file – if you have problems, right click and download the file to listen.)

Wes Seeliger (1938-2000) continues to influence some of us through the Foundation for Contemporary Theology and through his books, especially Western Theology. It’s a great little book, but be warned – it’s offensive to just about everyone. But then, so is the gospel.

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When I first read the Bible through for myself, as a teenager, I remember thinking, now I’ll find out what the “good news” is. That was the one urgent matter to me, because I didn’t buy the idea that anybody, especially God, could think Jesus’ execution was good news. I understood what it was trying to get at, and I’m deeply moved thinking that Jesus would give his life for us, but pressing the metaphor, to almost any degree, makes it fall apart for me.

What I discovered that year was what Jesus said the good news was – “the kingdom of God is near”. I’ve been chewing on that single assertion for 40 years. And despite the evidence to the contrary, I can’t help myself – I really do trust that Jesus knew what he was talking about. I see it on every page of the Bible – how near to us the reign of God is. As near as the breath of our bodies.

I love the stories of God’s promise to give us life, and new life, and more life. And Ezekiel’s vision in the valley of dry bones is one of the very best. I understand what it’s like to be an old, dry bone. That’s why the promise of the Spirit is so sweet.

These Bones Gonna Rise

Preached at Mt. Comfort Presbyterian Church on 27 May 2012.

(The file is a Windows Media Audio file – if you have problems, right click and download the file to listen.)

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