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Preaching and eucharist in declining empire

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Preaching and eucharist in declining empire

  1. 1. preaching and eucharist in a declining empire
  2. 2. Empire can be defined in various ways. Duane Clinker offers threecharacteristics: 1. An empire expands beyond normal boundaries, so its national interests extend to include military installations abroad, multinational corporations owned by the empire’s citizens, and the interests of its allies. 2. An empire normally develops extraordinary military power. 3. An empire exerts its influence in a variety of ways—through economics, culture, religion, education, and politics.David Korten offers four characteristics of an empire: 1. Empires embrace the idea of material luxury and excess for the ruling classes. 2. Empires are dedicated to absolute military supremacy. 3. Empires emphasize the masculine values of violence and domination over the feminine values of nurture and cooperation. 4. Empires create a ceiling for human development and impede development beyond their current level.
  3. 3. Responses to Empire: Zealots Pharisees Herodians and Sadducees Essenes Disciples
  4. 4. Stages of Empire Expansion Struggle/Recovery Over-extension Divestment/Collapse
  5. 5. How would you expect an empire to behave after it has passed its prime?
  6. 6. Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles inthe flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is calledthe circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated fromChrist, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel andstrangers to the covenants of promise, having no hopeand without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesusyou who once were far off have been brought near by theblood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who hasmade us both one and has broken down in his flesh thedividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law ofcommandments expressed in ordinances, that he mightcreate in himself one new humanity in place of the two,so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God inone body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
  7. 7. And he came and preached peace to you whowere far off and peace to those who were near. Forthrough him we both have access in one Spirit to theFather. So then you are no longer strangers andaliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints andmembers of the household of God, built on thefoundation of the apostles and prophets, ChristJesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom thewhole structure, being joined together, grows into aholy temple in the Lord. In him you also are beingbuilt together into a dwelling place for God by theSpirit.
  8. 8. Preaching peace ...- Preaching peace through a crucifiedman (not a crucifying man).- Preaching peace through a way of love& service (not conquest & domination).- Preaching peace with a rhetoric ofvulnerability (not coercive speech).- Preaching peace with a call torepentance (not convention)
  9. 9. Preaching peace ...Preaching peace through an act ofguerrilla theatercalled ...
  10. 10. Preaching peace ...Preaching peace through an act ofguerrilla theatercalled ... liturgy.
  11. 11. What are we singing?Harmony, poetry, and hostility
  12. 12. All things bright and beautiful,All creatures great and small,All things wise and wonderful:The Lord God made them all. - Cecil Alexander (1848)
  13. 13. Each little flower that opens,/ Each little bird that sings,/He made their glowing colors./ He made their tinywings.The purple headed mountains,/ The river running by,/The sunset and the morning/ That brightens up the sky.The cold wind in the winter,/ The pleasant summer sun,/The ripe fruits in the garden,/ He made them every one.The tall trees in the greenwood,/The meadows where weplay,/ The rushes by the water,/ To gather every day.He gave us eyes to see them,/ And lips that we mighttell/ How great is God Almighty,/ Who has made allthings well.
  14. 14. The rich man in his castle,The poor man at his gate,He made them, high or lowly,And ordered their estate. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.
  15. 15. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching asto war,With the cross of Jesus going on before.Christ, the royal master, leads against thefoe;Forward into battle see his banners go! -Sabine Baring-Gould
  16. 16. John the Baptist:Baptism, Identity, and Hostility
  17. 17. Baptism wasn’t radical. Ceremonialwashings were commonplace in Judaism.
  18. 18. What would a ceremonial washing mean in terms of identity... overseen by the priests, before entering the temple precincts?
  19. 19. What would it mean for John to leave Jerusalem to baptize?
  20. 20. Where did John baptize? in the wilderness, at the Jordan - not in the temple.He was the son of a priestoperating outside thepriestly system.
  21. 21. But John did not join acommunity of Esseneseither ... They created closed, hyper-exclusive, hyper- puritan apocalyptic communities in the wilderness.
  22. 22. John chose a river ... in a public place.
  23. 23. What does it mean, then,for Jesus to accept John’sbaptism?
  24. 24. What would it mean for theSpirit in the form of a dove to descend upon Jesus?
  25. 25. In Christ ...neither Jew nor Greek ... male nor female ... slave nor free ...
  26. 26. In Christ (in the kingdom) ...neither Jew nor Greek ... male nor female ... slave nor free ...A new citizenship, a new identity, a newsolidarity.
  27. 27. The Eucharist: Table of Fellowship
  28. 28. In the empire, life is a war.
  29. 29. Life is a meal ... a table ... a banquet
  30. 30. We are reconciled ... with God, withourselves, with our neighbors, with ourenemies, with all creation.
  31. 31. In John’s gospel:Bread as manna ...Food for a journey of liberation ... en route to a new land, a new way of life ...
  32. 32. For Paul ...Eucharist as passover ... not day of atonement. Meal of liberation ... Meal of anticipation ...
  33. 33. Meal of unity ... Meal of solidarity ... Meal of one-anotherness Meal of Exodus from empire
  34. 34. All things bright and beautiful,All creatures great and small,All things wise and wonderful:The Lord God made them all. - Cecil Alexander (1848)
  35. 35. Therefore, since we are receiving akingdom that cannot be shaken, let usbe thankful, and so worship Godacceptably with reverence and awe ... Hebrews 12
  36. 36. Colossians 1:15-20
  37. 37. Christ is the image of theGod who can’t be seen.Christ is the image of theGod who can’t be seen. The firstborn of all creation.
  38. 38. In him all things were created. Things in heaven and on earth - Things visible and invisible - Whether thrones or dominions, rulers or powers.Through him all things havebeen created.For him all things have beencreated.
  39. 39. And he is before all things. All things hold together in him.And he is the head of thebody, the church.
  40. 40. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.So in everything he has the firstplace. For in him all the fullness - The fullness of God - Was pleased to dwell.
  41. 41. In Him God was pleased toreconcile all things All things to himself, All things on earth, all things in heaven,By making peace through theblood of his cross.By making peace through theblood of his cross.
  42. 42. Christ is the image of theGod who can’t be seen.Christ is the image of theGod who can’t be seen.Amen.
  43. 43. Therefore remember that at one time youGentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” bywhat is called the circumcision, which is made in theflesh by hands— remember that you were at thattime separated from Christ, alienated from thecommonwealth of Israel and strangers to thecovenants of promise, having no hope and withoutGod in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you whoonce were far off have been brought near by theblood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who hasmade us both one and has broken down in his fleshthe dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law ofcommandments expressed in ordinances, that hemight create in himself one new man in place of thetwo, so making peace, and might reconcile us both toGod in one body through the cross, thereby killingthe hostility.
  44. 44. And he came and preached peace to you whowere far off and peace to those who were near. Forthrough him we both have access in one Spirit to theFather. So then you are no longer strangers andaliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints andmembers of the household of God, built on thefoundation of the apostles and prophets, ChristJesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom thewhole structure, being joined together, grows into aholy temple in the Lord. In him you also are beingbuilt together into a dwelling place for God by theSpirit.

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