Archive for February, 2007

     There is much that has been said and could be said concerning the intimate relationship between the preached Word and the Sacraments.  But I want to briefly comment on something that came up in a class of mine yesterday.  The question was asked how, as a preacher, we would balance the pastoral with the prophetic in our preaching.  Now, in the context of this question the professor was making it clear that by prophetic he was thinking more in social justice sense of the word – what he called the “mainline” church’s understanding.  Yet, I think the tension can still be there if you understand the prophetic voice being that of covenantal justice – which is how I would understand it.

     This tension can certainly be felt between the prophetic and the pastoral aspects of preaching.  And there is much that could be said here as well.  But I do think that joining Word and Sacrament at least helps in bringing these together.  By uniting these two the preaching can be sharp, harsh and heavy, but at the table we are tangibly reminded of the grace of God.  That, though we are undeserving, though we may come to the table weak, beaten, and bruised, at the table we are nourished by God’s grace.  And it works the other way around as well.  The sermon could be full of grace and mercy lacking in any call of repentance, but if we are not reconciled to one another, if we are harbouring sin in our hearts, the Table can become a place of conviction and even condemnation.

      Truly, the Word and the Sacraments belong together, with the Spirit working them in perfect harmony.


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A Lenten Reflection

Here is a piece I put together for my church’s newletter.  It relates Ash Wednesday with Holy Week and Easter Sunday: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

     On February 21, a handful of people gathered at the church to celebrate the beginning of a new season.  No, this season was not ushered in with leaves dropping, snow melting, or birds chirping, as seasons change in different climatic regions; there was no special halftime show, pregame commentary or a Speed Week  involved, instead this season began with the sobering message of, “From dust we have come, to dust we will return.”  


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     I want to apologize to those of you who may stop by here from time to time for not posting as of late, but I have updated my Currently page and this should give you some insight as to why.  I will continue to post, but probably not as frequently as I would like to.  At this point graduating this Spring and finding a pastoral position is of more importance.

     So if you do think of me from time to time I would appreciate your prayers.  When I am done with the spill over of my January class into the Spring semester, I have 19 credits to be completed before the end of May.  The books you see in the Currently section just point to what I have to read, this does not include papers, tests, sermons, translations, etc..  Also, I have responsibilities at the church I am interning at, and as I said I am looking for a pastoral position.  Moreover, I have worked hard to avoid my wife becoming a “Seminary Widow,” and I would hate for that to happen in these last few months – though I think she is more resolved to be done than I am.

 Thanks – Steve

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     For those of you who might be interested, my friend Uri has been thoroughly analyzing Mere Christianity on his blog, when I mean thorough I mean every “jot and tittle.”  So if you like C. S. Lewis and would be interested in something like that you should visit by clicking here or the link in my friends/ family section.

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