LectioCastProper 21, September 27, 2015: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22, Psalm 124, James 5:13-20, Mark 9:38-50

These passages challenge us to live in the world in such a way that God is with us, that God being with us matters, and that God in the world makes the world better than it could otherwise possibly be. In the end, we discover that we ourselves might be part of the way that God is present and at work.

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 Daniel thinks Esther is too much trouble to try to preach, but Bo bails him out. Again.

Psalm 124 What if we read it as a commentary on the Esther story? Read in tandem it is a powerful and illustrative pair. Is there a compelling way to name our enemies in a current Western context?

James 5:13-20 How can we cultivate a second naïveté, engaging the world as though we live truly God-infused lives? Bo warns: you will get exposed when you preach on passages like this: your audience will know how you think God is at work in the world. But Daniel’s still worried about over-promising and God under-delivering.

Mark 9:38-50 The disciples model one of our greatest recurring failures: assuming that we ourselves mark the boundaries of the people of God. Bo drops his reminder: Everyone you see is a seat for the presence of God. The recurring surprise is Jesus’ willing identification with both outsider and “the least.”

Books referenced:

Ched Meyers, Binding the Strongman

Michael Hardin, The Jesus Driven Life
Daniel Kirk-202

Daniel Kirk is a writer, speaker, blogger, and New Testament professor who lives in San Francisco, CA. He holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Duke University and is the author of a pair of books, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God and Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? His third book A Man Attested by God: the Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels, is off to the printers. He blogs regularly at StoriedTheology.com  (jrdkirk.com). You can follow him on Twitter @jrdkirk and on Facebook at Facebook.com/jrdkirk.

bosandersBo is wrapping up a PhD in Practical Theology at Claremont School of Theology while in full-time ministry. He is a pastor, coffee shop theologian, tattoo evangelist, and a soccer fan. His field of Practical Theology has an inter-disciplinary approach which allows him to be engaged in a wide analysis of diverse subjects. Academically, he is in conversation with 4 main areas of study including Sociology of Religion, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Comparative Theology.

You can find his HomeBrewed Blogs here. You might want to start with his 3 part series of ‘Why I’m Into Practical Theology‘, ‘Constructivism‘, and ‘When Good Isn’t Enough‘. He also had a popular series this Sumer on the ABC’s of Theology. You can find summaries of that series on his Public Theology Channel on YouTube.

Bo is helping to launch an emergent style gathering at his church in LA called the Loft, and you can connect with him on Facebook or Twitter (@theBoSanders)