Tag Archives: Year C

Miracles: God at Work or Luck of the Draw?

Following on from my earlier Blog on 15 May “Resurrection Stories: Profoundly Exciting or Deeply Disturbing?” the following sermon was preached at Prestbury Methodist Church on 6 June 2010, 2nd Sunday of Pentecost.

SCRIPTURE: (Year C) 1 Kings 17:8-24; Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17

 I was driving home a couple of weeks ago listening to the radio and was told about fabulous prizes available at one of the casinos. “But hurry; you have to play to win.”

Then a minute later I was being told that I simply have to participate in the UK lottery. It had been rolled over so many times that it stood at a quarter of a billion Rand, or something pretty exciting. “You can’t afford not to play,” the voice told me.

The problem is that they are onto a winner here. Someone always wins, at the casino, and wins big; someone always (eventually) wins thclip_image001e lotto and it makes a big story. So they can tell you all about their millionaire winners and it makes you think, “That could be me!” After all, that’s exactly what they tell us: “You, too, can win.” But, of course, every advert for a lottery or a casino, or even just an SMS competition to win free tickets somewhere, tell us “You have to play to win.” Now while that is true, it’s not exactly the whole truth. What they really mean is, “You have to play so that we can win!”

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Filed under Sermons

Resurrection Stories: Profoundly Exciting or Deeply Disturbing?

I’m working on the readings for 6 June (Revised Common Lectionary: 2nd Sunday after Pentecost Year C) which include 1 Kings 17:8-24 and Luke 7:11-17.  The sons of two widows die; both are raised to life: one by Elijah and one by Jesus.  And here they are presented in one set of readings.  I started to worry that people might get the idea that this sort of thing is supposed to be the norm for Christians.  In reality there were plenty of others in Elijah’s time who died in tragic circumstances and who were not raised to life.  There were plenty of people in Jesus’ day, and in the period in between the two, and since.

It made me think of the lottery.  The adverts we hear trumpet the winners.  “Play to win,” we are told.  “You, too, can be a winner.”  But they don’t, of course, tell us about the millions of others who don’t win!  Just the (few) winners.

In these readings, too, we only read about the “winners”.  What do we say to the vast crowds whose loved ones have not been raised to life or saved from tragedy?  What of those whose dreams ended in divorce and whose jobs are gone?  We know God has many things to say to them as well.

Strength and compassion to those of you who will be wrestling with these passages and preparing a word from the Lord.  If you have any comments, I’d love to hear from you.  I’ll try to post what comes out of my wrestling.  But you’ll probably have to wait until 6 June.


Filed under Odds & Ends