“One second-century pagan critic of Christianity was willing to tolerate everything else about Christians if they would only worship the gods.”
Season after Pentecost | 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16; (Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32; Psalm 25:1-9;) Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32
In her most recent book, Blessed Are the Consumers, Sallie McFague focuses on kenosis as the key element in shaping a Christian alternative to the pervasive religion of consumerism. McFague says that consumerism consists of those cultural patterns and practices by which people “find meaning and fulfillment through the consumption of goods and services.” We may rightly identify consumerism as a religion.
I begin sermon preparation by reading through the texts and writing a 200-word summary of the themes I observe in that initial reading. I include this summary in an online publication for the congregation I serve. It's called "Sunday is Coming," a title with an edge for the preacher. When I do this reading I I look for trouble—for the obvious, palpable problems in the text.