A terrible text

Mark 6:14-29
If preachers are ever inclined to take a break from the rigors of the lectionary, it is in the middle of the summer, when the blackberries are ripe for picking and the pews are thinly populated. I have a special place in my heart for those who bravely shape and roll out a summer set of sermons based on “Terrible Texts” or “Passages I’ll Bet You Didn’t Know Were in the Bible.” By the time the fireflies have gone, the congregation and the preacher have struggled through the account of poor Uzzah’s being struck dead for reaching out his hand to steady the ark when it wobbled on its way to Jerusalem (2 Samuel), or the heartbreaking saga in Judges about Jephthah’s daughter, who lost her life because of her father’s foolish promise. These will surely make the summer hit parade.


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