Preaching Peace Lectionary

Christmas C, Year A

Gospel Anthropological Reading

In the beginning. In the beginning.

That which we have come to know of God in the birth of the one we call Jesus, that which is revealed in him, was from the beginning. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him. Life. The light of all people. Light that will not be overcome by our darkness.

John came to testify to the light, but could not be the light because he was, as we are, born of blood, and the will of the flesh, of human will. He was no less entangled in the victimage mechanism than we are. But he testified to the light.

But the Word, the Word who speaks our freedom, who names our forgiveness, who re-creates us by the sound of his voice, has dwelt among us, and to those of us who believe is given the power to become. Not to be, but to become. We will not, in this lifetime, escape fully the snares of blood, or the will of the flesh, but we can become, we can be on the Way. (Lest we make scapegoats of those who do not believe and are also entangled!)

Back to top


Gospel Historical/Cultural Questions

We have no Historical/Cultural comments on this passage at this time.Back to top


Gospel So What?

How do we preach on this passage without becoming poets ourselves? The glory, the majesty of these few words leaves us humbled, awed.

Still, the power of belief to set us on the road to freedom is gauranteed. We are not condemned to live as we have lived, as children of blood, of the will of the flesh, of human will, that is to say, of mimesis. We are empowered to become, to move toward a new way of being.

We look to the One in whom, for whom we were created, to the One who became our scapegoat to break forever the power of scapegoating, and in believing we are free. Merely by believing that God is this way and no other, that it is God, and no other revealed in the Son, we break the chains of myth that bind us in darkness.

Back to top


Epistle Anthropological Reading

This section of this particular page is not yet completed, but will be done a few weeks before the Sunday in question. It will be the heart of the discussion, offering an anthropological (“Girardian”) reflection on the lectionary texts. It will be complemmented by the other sections, but this will be the primary material.Back to top


Epistle Historical/Cultural Questions

This section of this particular page is not yet complete. In it, there will be materials pertinent to the historical/cultural setting of the texts under consideration, to the extent that they contribute to a non-violent understanding of the text. (We won’t re-hash historical/cultural materials that are well known and add nothing to the “peace” discussion.)Back to top


Epistle So What?

The “so what” section for each week will go here. Less scholarly, more reflective. In this section, we’ll try to give our answer to the questions, “Okay, that anthropological stuff is nice, but “so what?” How do I use this in a sermon? How do I relate this to my congregation’s world?”Back to top