From the Edge

June 6th, 2013 by MMiller

Rev. Dr. Melanie Miller

June 2, 2013

Listen to Sermon

Contemporary Testimony: Rowan Williams, Archbishop’s speech to the International Bonhoeffer Congress, Poland, 3rd February 2006

[T]here is one story, which contains all others; and the center of that story is the perpetually displaced God who addresses us from the edge of human affairs, who has chosen the place of the excluded. Culture is not to be rejected or given theological legitimacy; it is a fact with which we have no choice but to engage. However, our engagement as Christians must be determined by the question of who or what the culture is currently forgetting, since it is there that we are likely to find God waiting for us. This cannot therefore be a prescription for liberalism or for conservatism. The more fashionable a cause, the more likely that the crucified God has moved on; the more embedded a practice or trend, the more likely that God is elsewhere. There is nothing to be recommended except the daily development of the mind of the crucified, what some recent theologians like James Alison (following René Girard) have come to call “the intelligence of the victim.”

 Biblical Testimony:  Luke 7:1-10

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he enteredCapernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even inIsraelhave I found such faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

The Invitation to the Table:  Only Speak the Word, A Blessing by Jan Richardson

You might not have guessed how far this blessing can travel.

But it is worth believing that it is built for crossing distances for stretching itself for making its way without hesitation to the place where it is needed most.

Only believe— or, failing this, latch onto someone who will believe for you, who will ask on your behalf, who will plead for this blessing to come.

Trust one who knows with a certainty fierce as fire that this blessing will find its way to you, that it will treat miles and time as nothing, that it will push through each boundary, cross every order, pass through all obstacles to reach you.

Trust that these words know the path into your anguish, that in your ache they will become balm
and in your pain they will become soothing. Trust that they will be for you a sweet and stunning peace.

© Jan L. Richardson. janrichardson.com.