Our gospel text—and the excruciating lesson of Emmet Till’s funeral, which launched the most significant social movement in U.S. history—challenge us to embrace the beat up bodies of both marginalized people and degraded places around our earth mother. As we do so, we will be motivated also to embrace the militant evangelistic vocation Jesus leaves his companions at the end of Luke’s Emmaus narrative: to “proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in my name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (24:47). It is we who must continue the prophetic struggle to turn history around from its captivity to our terminal addictions and compulsions—that’s the meaning of “repentance.” Resurrection as Insurrection! And as Jesus notes, this good news is not just for individuals, but nations and systems, starting at the centers of power— for Luke, Jerusalem, for us, Washington DC. Continue reading
A Prayer and Commentary from Ken Sehested
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be:
Commentary on the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, DC
Saturday 24 March 2018
I am not ashamed to admit it. They made me do it. Cry. More than once. “They” being the uncommonly common students who led the March For Our Lives rally—three-quarters of a million strong—in Washington, DC. The day may well be accounted as among the most significant in our nation’s history. Continue reading
Touch, however, is always ‘touchy.’ It crosses boundaries. In U.S. culture, we have a presumption against touch. ‘Look, but don’t touch’ describes behavior toward objects, but is also used to describe relations between people…. Jesus … allowed himself to be touched by the bleeding woman who reached him through the crowd and the woman anointer at Bethany. He received Judas’ ambiguous kiss and the violent soldiers’ blows. After his death women touched him, washed him, rubbed oil into his skin, and wrapped his body in linens. Even resurrected Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Touch me and see. No ghost has flesh and bones like this. — Rose Marie Berger
Since 2007, Brian Blount has been the president and professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA, and Charlotte, NC. Before that, Dr. Blount was the professor of New Testament Interpretation at Princeton Theological Seminary for 15 years. In this interview, we focus on his most recent publication Invasion of the Dead: Preaching Resurrection (2014).
RD: What led you into researching and writing Invasion of the Dead?
BB: I initially wanted to write about our contemporary understanding and misunderstanding of apocalyptic literature. I was very interested in trying to help the church read apocalyptic literature in the context of the 21st century, particularly in light of the way contemporary popular culture was reading apocalyptic language and imagery. This concern developed because of my sense that popular culture had really taken a liking to material that the church had given up on, even though apocalyptic imagery is a part of Christianity’s birthright. The more I worked on it, the more I realized that there were many persons, like my former teacher, J. Christiaan Beker, already speaking to this issue. What they were not speaking to more specifically was the language of resurrection, which is consummate apocalyptic language. As I focused more and more, my interest went more and more to reading resurrection as an apocalyptic theological reality.