Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sun. Jan. 25, 2009 (J. Evan Kreider)

J. Evan Kreider spoke from three lectionary texts to illustrate God raising up new voices to tell us age-old truths. In the book of Jonah, a satire with some clearly fanciful elements, marks powerfully the honesty of its protagonist. Jonah, called twice to follow God’s call, finally heeds Him, and prophecies to Nineveh. The prophecy takes less than a verse of the book, and, stunningly, the citizens, right up to and including the King, repent in sackcloth and ashes, and are not destroyed. Jonah reacts badly to the effects of his own prophecy. He did not understand his own message - that anyone can repent and be forgiven by God. In the 1Corinthians passage, Paul asks people not to be so invested in the rituals of their present life, for the more important task is to live as if the end times were coming. Last, in Mark 1, Evan explains the beauty of the brevity of Mark’s stories as only a reminder for people who already knew the full story through oral tradition. Evan notes that we, like the citizens of Nineveh are called to repent: from the voices of false prophets like financial advisors, with pensions at risk and profits eroded; from voices speaking truth such as Barack Obama, who called to people and commerce alike to political and economic repentance; from Al Gore, speaking the voice of environmental repentance; and when the church was strangely silent on torture at Guantanamo, God raised up other secular voices to call society and the President to repentance. Despite this, Evan notes how hard it is for him to hear calls to repentance. He will not sell his house and give the money to the poor. A two-degree rise in temperature is hard to understand. But Evan calls to us not to despair - God will raise up new voices to call us all to repentance, and when we truly hear the call, the path will seem easy, and the burden will be light. Because the end times are indeed near. [AP] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday Jan. 25th, 2009 using your browser's preferred media player.



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