A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lectionary Bible Commentary for January 13

January 13 Sermon – “A River & a Beach”

Acts 8:14-17

-       Laying on of hands & the Holy Spirit. This started the tradition of pastors laying hands and blessing confirmands when they join the church
-       Who were the Samaritans? Jews who remained in Israel during the exile to Babylonia.  When exiled Jews returned, there was great friction between the two groups.
-       This is a rehearsing of the Day of Pentecost!
-       We believe that baptism and the giving of the Holy Spirit are connected.
-       When we remember our baptism, we remember that God has given us the Holy Spirit.
-       Who is the Holy Spirit? The presence of Jesus in the world.

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

-    John the Baptism was baptizing as a way of challenging people to be God’s people, the light of the world, the sign of God’s presence in the world.
-       John is preparing the people for the 2nd great exodus story, not from Egypt, but from slavery to sin. He points to Jesus, not Moses as the one who would lead them.
-       During that time, Herod, who was working for the Romans was rebuilding the 2nd Temple.  He saw himself as the “King of the Jews.”  John the Baptist pointed people to Jesus who was the true “King of the Jews.”
-    The people were attracted to John and his message because of their longings for
-    The water is symplic of the renewal we long for in our lives and in our church.

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