Sunday, August 15, 2010

No Obstacles...

Jan Hus Presbyterian Church & Neighborhood House
New York City August 15, 2010
No Obstacles (Sermon Notes)
©2010 Ray Bagnuolo

If I were a fire and brimstone preacher these passages would rank right up there at the top of my list. Both readings exhale excoriation. In Luke, the frustration of Jesus and in Hebrews, the writer, Paul – maybe or maybe not – challenging early Christians to stay the course, regardless of the temporal conditions.
I’ll start with Luke, listening especially for Jesus’ frustration, almost anxiety in the difficulty he is having at getting his message across. Jesus’ words remind me of his actions on the day he overturned the tables in the temple.
The prophetic tirade that follows must have been especially aggravating since it was likely directed to those close to him, rather than a distant group of "moneychangers" - strangers, in the dusty poorly lit back of the temples.
These were likely people, many of whom we know by names, men and women who had been with him, probably finishing another one of their annoying arguments about who would be first when this new conquering kingdom of theirs is achieved; who among them was the most faithful (read favorite of Jesus); or even the criticism: Why has he not brought down fire and punishment upon these oppressors of the times, establishing himself once and for all?  More: