Modern Christian Narrative

Lesson 21: Christ is Risen

Lesson 21: Christ is Risen

Every Easter, we shout “Christ is risen!” to each other with great joy. Chances are, we have a pretty good idea of what we mean, even though we would have a difficult time putting it into words. Most attempts at theorizing sound like nonsense in the modern world. Where is the right hand of God […]

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Lesson 20: Resurrection Appearances as Love Story

Lesson 20: Resurrection Appearances as Love Story

When I was a parish pastor, I felt a great challenge preaching the sermon on Easter Sunday. I realized that this might be the only time a large number worshipped all year. I also knew from experience that some of these were listening to hear if the church offered them any meaning and purpose. And […]

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Lesson 19: The Passion Narrative as Love Story

Lesson 19: The Passion Narrative as Love Story

Holy Week and Easter highlight the importance of a Christian narrative. Christians around the world observe these sacred times by participating in a story that has changed lives for 2000 years. Of course, there will be attempts to explain what has happened and is happening by referring to theological doctrines. The Church has continually tried […]

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Lesson 10: The Love Narrative and Conventional Wisdom

Lesson 10: The Love Narrative and Conventional Wisdom

Many of the best Christians I know have been accused of not knowing how the world operates. In truth, every one of them knows all too well how things work. They just think Jesus shows a better way. Conventional wisdom that passes for sophistication nowadays is really pretty cynical and fatalistic. It believes science’s ability […]

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Lesson 9: New Love Narrative

Lesson 9: New Love Narrative

Before turning to the specific contents of a modern Christian narrative it might be worthwhile once again to point out that this in no way distorts the Gospel message. To give thought to words and ideas that make sense to people living in our time is not surrender to worldly values or agendas. It is […]

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The Phone Call

The Phone Call

I found drama a very effective way to poclaim the modern Christian narrative. I cannot remember the situation when I wrote this the following dialogue sermon for Christmas Eve. I do recall a number of people reported it spoke directly to them. In fact, one said hearing it was a life changing experience. The Phone […]

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The Refugees

The Refugees

I found drama to be an effective way to proclaim the modern Christian narrative. The following is a dialogue sermon I prepared for Christmas Eve during a period when the federal government was speaking against accepting refugees from wars we waged. It would work just as well in our time as the government has taken […]

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Between the Walls

Between the Walls

I found drama was an effective way to present the modern Christian narrative. Below is a dialogue sermon I wrote for Christmas Eve during the Viet Nam war. Between the Walls (Lines are spoken seated on chairs on either side of the altar. The dialogue is slow, somewhat hushed, with long pauses.) P – John….John….John. […]

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Lesson 8: Conversation and Dialogue

Lesson 8: Conversation and Dialogue

We have come to the last of the five reoccurring themes that I found when hastily rereading the documents of Vatican II. Although my intention was simply to refresh my memory, I was pleasantly surprised to find the five could serve as the framework for a modern Christian narrative. Each addresses our present societal problems […]

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Lesson 7: Unity in Diversity

Lesson 7: Unity in Diversity

The call for unity in diversity emerged as one of the hallmarks of Vatican II. It was used in a variety of contexts during the Council and remains a helpful guideline for a servant church speaking to a global society. I think it initially appeared in the first session when discussing the liturgy. Maximos IV, […]

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