This week, we cannot help but get into the weeds. Because John's prologue is the Scripture that kicks off the New Testament. And it loves philosophy! So we go through and break down, piece by piece, exactly what John is saying here.
Even though we ran short on time, we still were able to have an abbreviated conversation this week about the Intertestamental Period. The two testaments stand 500 years apart, and a whole lot happened in that time, including stuff that must shape how we understand the New Testament.
For our last week in the Hebrew Bible, we look at Daniel. When we bore down into it, Daniel is resistance literature of a subjugated people living under an oppressive empire. And it introduces us to apocalyptic literature, a genre written by those with no earthly chance of vindication—and which we'll see all over the New Testament.
Today, we explore the ancient practice of Lectio Divina—the Divine Reading. It's a meditative reading that gets us deep into the text. We take a look for what is standing out to us when we listen to the text several times, getting a little different picture each time.
This second week of Advent, we take a look at Mary, mother of Jesus. Rather than solely focusing on her sexuality though (the Virgin Mary), we explore the agency and power she holds as a surrogate for this baby. Looking at the practice of surrogacy in India helps us to understand why, for someone, being a surrogate can lead to the salvation of her people.
Today, we take a wide-view of history to see why calendars are important ways that we mark identity, and set religious and political priorities. The Christian liturgical season of Advent is one of these calendar seasons that differs from the American conception of Christmas. We dive into these issues in this sermon for the first week of Advent 2016.