NL Sermon Resources: June 12, 2016

I am leading our pastor’s text study this week, so I thought I’d share with you all the commentary snippets I have collected to share with that group:

2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10:

(Proclamation Commentaries: Paul and His Letters, Leander E. Keck): “What does ‘Spirit’ mean in Paul’s thought? To begin with, Paul shares the early Christian understanding of Spirit as eschatological gift of power; the divine presence is a gift received, not an essence released (Rom. 8:15; 1 Cor. 2:12; Gal. 3:2).
Also he regarded the Spirit as a sign that the New Age is already dawning, and receiving it is a mark of one’s participation in the future. The two metaphors that express this understanding appear to be uniquely Paul’s: down-payment (arrabón; 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5) and first fruits…The arrabón is not so much a guarantee (as the RSV renders it) as a pledge (as the EB has); the word used to be rendered ‘earnest’ as in ‘earnest money’ in real estate. Earnest money is paid to indicate that the buyer will complete the transaction without delay…In Pauls’ mouth, both metaphors express the conviction that that Spirit means inauguration, not consummation. Both celebrate the present gift as something that points ahead, as a reality that characterizes Christian life between ‘already’ and ‘not yet.’” p. 98

“The ethical significance of Paul’s theology of body manifests itself throughout his letters…the basic theological position, ‘The body is not meant for immortality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.’ (1 Corinthians 6:12-20). Paul provides several warrants for this. (1) ‘God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?’ Paul’s rationale seems to be the following: (a) Christ’s resurrection transformed him (as sóma/self). (b) His resurrection is the prototype of the resurrection to come, of Christian somatic selves. (c) Christ’s present Lordship lays a claim on the body/self, destined for resurrection. (2) Because body equals self, Paul can express this claim by saying that the sóma of the Christian is an organ (‘member’) in the body of Christ. (3) ‘Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.’ The mortal body/self is not a prison for the Spirit but its shrine. The body/self does not inhibit the Spirit; the Spirit, being stronger, sanctifies the body/self. Sanctification is not an intense religious experience but a moral process which hallows the self. (4) ‘You are not your own; you were bought with a price’ – a metaphor derived from the slave market. Redemption means belonging to Christ, whose death was the (implied) price paid. So the moral meaning of having the Spirit is the imperative: ‘Glorify God in your body’ – the actual selves you are. Paul’s ethics is body-ethics.” pp. 105-106

(Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament: II Corinthians, Frederick W. Danker): “In short, Paul is not concerned about winning cheap laurels from human beings in the present time. As he will state in 5:9, his constant aim is to ‘please’ God. And it is God who will reward him amply for his labors. Everything connected with the present is transitory. Paul wants to possess the things that will abide forever…There is no suggestion in 2 Cor. 4:17 that one can improve a relationship with God through virtuous performance. Such a perception would have nullified Paul’s strong protest against attempts to make bargains with God (cf Rom. 3:20), for reconciliation is God’s gift to the world (2 Cor. 5:19)” p. 69

“Facing the fact that death may take place before the return of Jesus Christ, [Paul] states that God will remedy the problem of present dissolution with a dwelling that is not subject to the vicissitudes of time…The life of resurrected body is in continuity with the Spirit-life in the mortal body. Therefore, when the body dies, the person is not found ‘naked,’ for the Spirit-life is not doffed in the process. Rather, there is more to put on; that is, God guarantees that we will be further clothed.” pp.70-71

“Confident that God will not be remiss in generosity, Paul goes on to explain that God “equips” (has prepared) us for the very goal of realizing the glorious expectation of fullness of life in the Spirit…To that end God gives us the Spirit as a guarantee or down payment for the future.” p. 74

“A few sentences earlier [Paul] wrote about groaning. Now he writes about courage, as he ponders the significance of one of the most important words in his vocabulary – faith. In Paul’s thought faith or commitment is intimately linked with uprightness… [through faith] the way is cleared for the Holy Spirit to create the new life of uprightness…Paul’s pneumatology is intimately connected with his Christology. His thoughts about the Spirit-filled and Spirit-permeated life are dictated by his understanding of the role of Jesus Christ in salvation.” p. 74

“The Greek word that underlies the phrase ‘what they have done’ connotes policy. The term good (agathon) refers to quality performance that in some way benefits others. The term evil (phaulon) denotes that which is substandard. Paul in effect says that Christ will judge whether one’s conduct was first or second class, of value to the public or self-centered. And the body is the instrument for production…In view of their familiarity with the Greco-Roman custom of recognition of public-spirited citizens, Paul’s Corinthians addressees would feel the persuasive force of the apostle’s line of argument, and they would agree, ‘We certainly do not want to appear before Christ as second-class performers.’” p.76

(The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul Barnett): “Paul began to develop his teaching on the believers’ hope of glory at 3:12, as amplified in the ‘we all…are being transformed’ in 3:18. This universal transformation of the messianic people is picked up in their general resurrection (4:14) at which ‘we all’ must be made manifest at the tribunal of Christ (5:10). In a word, 4:16-5:10 engages in theological reflection on his
and their present and future.
Paul sets this out as an overarching eschatological contrast between this age, which is temporary and whose elements are visible, and that age which is to come, which is eternal and whose elements are as yet invisible (4:17-18). The present age ends and the coming age begins at that point when God ‘raises us…and presents us’ to Jesus (4:14), when we will be ‘made manifest’ at his seat of judgment (5:10). The general resurrection/judgment is the point at which the present age ends and the coming age begins. That moment is the hinge around which those eschatological ages turn.
Corresponding to and contingent upon this eschatological dualism is an anthropological dualism. The outer person (exo anthropos), who belongs to the present age, is wasting away, while the inner person (eso anthropos), who belongs to the coming age, is being renewed (4:16). The contrast between the two ages, present and coming, and between the outer and the inner person, is the source of powerful antitheses that characterize the majority of the verses in this passage. Whereas the eschatological dualism hinges on the general
resurrection, the anthropological dualism is created by the eschatological Spirit, whom God gives now as a ‘deposit, guaranteeing what is to come’ (5:5). It is the Spirit who creates the sense that the ‘outer person’ is ‘wasting away’ and the ‘inner person’ is ‘being renewed.’” p. 246

“Consistent with his insistence that, as yet, ‘we are at home in the body’ and therefore ‘are away from the Lord’ Paul canvasses the possibility that death, with its nakedness and bodily divestiture (5:1, 3, 4), could precede the arrival of the new age, though this is not his preference (5:8). It would be ‘far better’ to be ‘clothed upon’ with a heavenly dwelling at the onset of the end time than to be found naked — bodiless — at death, ‘far better’ to be ‘away from the body’ and present ‘with the Lord.’ If the dead will be ‘changed’ by resurrection (cf, I Cor. 15:52), the living — Paul’s concern in this passage — will also be changed at the resurrection by transfiguration, by the superimposition of a dwelling/garment from heaven. Thus while ‘we have a building from God,’ as God’s sure promise to be fulfilled at the general resurrection, we do ‘not yet’ have it in our present experience within this age.
How do we live in the time between ‘now’ and ‘not yet’? Against possible romantic or ethically minimal attitudes from a superspiritual worldview Paul’s attitude toward this ‘in-between’ time is carefully balanced. On
the one hand, there is to be confidence, based on the certainty of God’s purposes for those who are ‘in Christ’ (5:1, 6, 8), Of particular interest are the resumptives in this passage — ‘therefore we do not lose heart’ (4:16), ‘for we know . . .’ (5:1), ‘therefore we are always confident’ (5:6), ‘therefore we make it our goal”— which maintain the trajectory of hope. On the other hand, there is the sober recognition that we ‘groan’ with hope mingled with pain, like a woman in the pain of childbirth (5:2, 4); at the same time, however, God has given the Spirit as a ‘deposit, guaranteeing what is to come’ (5:5), Moreover, Paul sounds the strong ethical note that believers must seek to please the Lord, in light of his judgment tribunal at which all that they have done — whether good or evil — will be brought to light (5:9-10).” p. 248

Textweek.com has some more resources as well:
http://www.textweek.com/pauline/2cor4_5.htm
http://www.textweek.com/pauline/2cor5a.htm

NL Resources: June 5, 2016

Lectionary 10

Color: Green
Readings: Gospel Text: Matthew 5:13 | Sermon Text: 2 Cor 4:1-15 (Treasure in Clay Jars)
Prayer of the Day: Glorious God of heavenly glory, fill our clay jars with your light. Grant us courage and wisdom, so that we might proclaim resurrection life to a world trapped by death and sin. Show forth the treasure of your love in and through us, gracious God. Amen.

Suggested hymns based on the Sermon text:

ELW #779 Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound
ELW #504/505 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
ELW #638 Blessed Assurance
ELW #373 Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!
ELW #553 Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies
ELW #804 Come Down, O Love Divine
ELW #254 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
ELW #625 Come, We That love the Lord
ELW #361 The Day of Resurrection!
ELW #478 Father, We Thank You
ELW #532 Gather Us In
ELW #880 O God beyond All Praising
ELW #526 God Is Here!
ELW #673 God, Whose Almighty Word
ELW #678 God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending
ELW #401 Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading
ELW #786 O Holy Spirit, Enter In
ELW #398 Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
ELW #834 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
ELW #324 In the Cross of Christ I Glory
ELW #815 I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
ELW #658 O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts
ELW #595 Jesus Loves Me!
ELW #754 Jesus, the Very Thought of You
ELW #403 Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song
ELW #759 My Faith Looks Up to Thee
ELW #763 My Life Flows On in Endless Song
ELW #839/840 Now Thank We All Our God
ELW #534 Savior, Again to Your Dear Name
ELW #559 O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright
ELW #800 Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
ELW #671 Shine, Jesus, Shine
ELW #511 Thy Strong Word Did Cleave the Darkness
ELW #667 Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said
LBW #350 Even As We Live Each Day
LBW #291 Jesus Sinners Will Receive (ULICH)
LBW #422 O God, Empower Us
WOV #746 Day by Day
(ELW=Evangelical Lutheran Worship; LBW=Lutheran Book of Worship; WOV=With One Voice)

Suggested hymns based on the Gospel text:

ELW #302 As with Gladness Men of Old
ELW #728 Blest Are They
ELW #540  Go, Make Disciples
ELW #696 Jesus Calls Us; o’er the Tumult
ELW #572 Now It Is Evening
LBW #17 How Blest Are Those Who Know Their Need of God
DATH #64 Brighter than the Sun
W&P #22  Bring Forth the Kingdom
WOV #753 You Are the Seed
(ELW=Evangelical Lutheran Worship; LBW=Lutheran Book of Worship; DATH=Dancing at the Harvest; W&P=Worship & Praise; WOV=With One Voice)

Other options based on both:

Blessed Be Your Name” By Matt Redman, Beth Redman.
God Moves in a Mysterious Way” By Jeremy Riddle.
Here I Am to Worship” By Tim Hughes.
In the Secret” By Andy Park.
Mighty to Save” By Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan.
More contemporary suggestions here.

Prayers of Intercession:

Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

A brief silence.

Fill your church with your light and your love that we might proclaim Jesus Christ our risen Lord in word and in deed. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Fill the air, water, and earth with your glory that we might be inspired by your creation and work to care for it. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Fill the leaders of nations with your love and justice that they might pursue peace, equality, and morality. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Fill the broken spaces of life with the hope that your life might be at work in them. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Fill the lives of all who suffer with comfort and the knowledge of your presence with them that they might know your abundant life at work in them. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

Fill the heavens and the earth with all of your glory and keep us in your word until that day when we join with all the saints in singing your glory in eternal light. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.