F. Dean Lueking
F. Dean Lueking is a Lutheran pastor in River Forest, Illinois.
This week is Palm and/or Passion Sunday, and choices will vary as to the form of worship and the point at which the sermon falls. Palm Sunday, with its palms waving and salutations sung to the Savior, is an event that children will enter into readily even if adults are a bit shy. If the choice is for a Passion Sunday emphasis, a dramatic reading is memorable for those who speak the parts and those who listen--and the passion narrative lends itself particularly well to this approach. It is, after all, the greatest story ever told. Another option is to focus on the second lesson.
Epiphany is the season uniquely applicable to us who are Gentiles, the grafted-on branches to the tree of salvation, those who do well to marvel at the magnitude of the grace of God Christ that includes us. This is not common in our religiously pluralist setting, especially in our part of the world where the common assumption is that we're not grafted on at all--we're mainstream.
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