Posted by: Keith Clark | October 8, 2011

Sermon Scraps – 10/2/11

My sermon Sunday (“Bad News“) wrestled with how challenging it is for us to receive bad news and attempted to help us be faithful to that difficult task, especially when the bad news is a result of God’s desire to rid our lives of all that is unholy and unfaithful. As I prepared the sermon, I was struck by the poignancy of Walter Brueggemann’s analysis in his outstanding A Commentary on Jeremiah: Exile and Homecoming:

The sin of Judah is an effort at theological, political, historical autonomy, the nullification of Yahweh’s governance of public life. That problem of social autonomy is a contemporary issue, but it is not only a problem of modernity. It is a recurring temptation for every concentration of power to imagine itself self-sufficient and therefore free to order its life for its own purposes without the requirements of Yahweh . . . . As we shall see, in Jeremiah it is the disregard and nullification of Yahweh’s sovereign will (expressed in social practice, religious activity, and policy formation) that regularly evoke the dismantling to come. (29)


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