Sermon: Born to Be a Light

homrich-9

Trial for the Homrich 9. Activists blocked trucks from turning off Detroiters’ water.

By Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Saint Peter’s Episcopal Detroit, Epiphany 2, January 15, 2017

Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 40:1-11
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42

Our readings for today echo those of last week. Again we have reference to John, to the baptism of Jesus, the dove alighting upon him, AND again beside it a Servant song from Isaiah.

There is a striking commonality of Second Isaiah and John: both have central figures whose identity is hard to pin down. In the gospel of John it is the “beloved disciple,” identified only by that name. Is this a cipher for John himself, for his beloved community? Is there an historical referent? Even another character in the story? Or is this a narrative figure with which we, as readers, may identify, a call to discipleship by another name? Continue reading

Imagine

Tim VBy Tim Vivian, Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies,
California State University Bakersfield

In Honor of William Stringfellow (1928-1985), Prophet to a Land of Unlikeness, Near the Thirtieth Anniversary of His Death. With thanks to Bill Wylie-Kellerman.

In the midst of babel, speak the truth. . . .
And more than that, in the Word of God,
expose death and all death’s works and
wiles, rebuke lies, cast out demons,
exorcise, cleanse the possessed, raise
those who are dead in mind or conscience.

William Stringfellow, An Ethic for Christians and other Aliens in a Strange Land (1973), 42-43

Imagine someone (you can), in 1856,
inviting you to a slave auction, not as
an observer, certainly not as slaver, Continue reading

30 Years Later: William Stringfellow

StringfellowFrom William Stringfellow (April 26, 1928 – March 2, 1985), lawyer for the least of these and writer for the rest of us:

I believed then, as I do now, that I am called in the Word of God–as is everyone else–to the vocation of being human, nothing more and nothing less. I confessed then, as I do now, that to be a Christian means to be called to be an exemplary human being. And, to be a Christian categorically does not mean being religious. Indeed, all religious versions of the Gospel are profanities. Within the scope of the calling to be merely, but truly, human, any work, including that of any profession, can be rendered a sacrament of that vocation.