Jennifer E. Copeland
Jennifer Copeland is United Methodist chaplain at Duke University. Her book Feminine Registers: The Importance of Women’s Voices for Christian Preaching is forthcoming from Cascade.
If Paul is right, we are living fantasy lives. Anytime we live as though power conquers and wealth protects, we live a fantasy. Anytime we live like death wins, we live a fantasy. Paul tells us about a future that has already happened—yet we live not only like it hasn’t happened yet but like we don’t think it ever really will.
From this side of history, Jeremiah has great resolve. Yet the shifting political allegiances he interprets are not so different from our own uncertainties. Only in retrospect are Jeremiah's claims clear.
It seems a little backward on the Sunday after Pentecost to receive instructions that have already been successfully carried out. Peter and the disciples blew them away last week, preaching up a storm of fire and spirit like a host of Rosetta Stone experts. But today we go back to the place where Jesus told them what to do: Go and make disciples.
In these days of Enron, Martha Stewart and wars waged over phantom weapons, we know better than to defend dishonesty. Then why would Jesus offer a parable lauding it? Upon closer inspection, however, this parable is just one in a long line of stories that Jesus tells about how to handle wealth.
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