March 24, 2009

Dear John,

Thank you for always being there to confuse me.


What a peculiar pericope we have for Sunday in John 12.20-33.   How do we get from some Greeks wanting to see Jesus to the time being now to the voice of God booming from heaven like thunder?  What does Jesus mean by "now is the judgment of this world"?  Why is the Jesus in Mark one who "came not to be served but to serve" but the Jesus in John promises those who serve him the honor of his Father?  And what in the world is Jesus talking about when he says, "And I, when I am lifted up, from the earth, will draw all people to myself"?

Preaching often means finding a kernal, slowly and patiently heating that one kernal, and then savoring the one beautiful piece of popcorn it creates.  I think that is very true for the preacher this Sunday if (s)he chooses John 12.20-33.  Which kernal will you choose?  The salvation kernal?  The servant kernal?  The hating life kernal?  The God talking kernal?

There are many ways to go this week.  The upside can be huge if proper exegesis is done.  The downside, well it might be even bigger, as a convoluted strange lesson can often leaded to a convoluted and messy sermon.  Prayers for those who preach this text this week - be faithful in you prayer and study and preach the word God has for you and your congregation with boldness.

1 comment:

BillMurrayIV said...

well, you know I have to make a comment or two about John. When Jesus is talking about being raised up and bringing all to him, he is referring to his crucifixion. The critical thing that John presents and challenges us with is that the Cross is Jesus' glory and triumph. It is from the Cross that he judges, that he reconciles the world, that he proclaims God's presence and love in the world . . .