This week the RCL takes us to the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. Both texts proclaim the foolishness of the Good News that Jesus offers the world. The Narrative Lectionary takes us to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, where we have the foolish notion that the creator of the universe actually cares about us and wants to listen.
Revised Common Lectionary | The Foolishness of the Good News in Micah, Matthew, and 1 Corinthians
This week the Revised Common Lectionary takes us to the first section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-12. It is commonly known as the Beatitudes. It also takes us to 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 and Micah 6:1-8. All of these texts work nicely together to show
- the heart of the Gospel, and
- how the message of the Gospel is foolishness to the dominant world systems of power and control.
Scroll down for visuals on all of these texts.
Here are quick links to all the texts for this week:
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Let’s begin with Micah 6:1-8. What does God require? Act justly. Walk humbly. Love mercy.
The Apostle Paul opens his letter to the Corinthians with the declaration that the cross is foolishness to the Greeks in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.
Here is an image I created when I preached on this topic a few years ago (read post).
Leslie Newbigin wrote a book titled Foolishness to the Greeks, where he discusses this idea (read my review). This sketch tries to capture the basis of his argument. The secular age of today is an alternate plausibility structure in which our Christian hermeneutics of the scripture don’t compute. We need to find different ways of discussing the Good News with people who don’t “have ears to hear.”
The image below comes from a series of images from my post on The Theology of the Cross.
Finally, our Gospel reading is from Matthew 5:1-12. Jesus declares that the blessed in the commonwealth of the heavens are the people that don’t even make it on the list in the kingdoms of the world. I discuss this in the video below.
Feel free to use any or all of these slides and images in your own preaching and teaching.
Narrative Lectionary | Matthew 6:7-21 | The Lord’s Prayer
This is part two of the NL’s three-week series in the Lord’s Prayer. See the video and PowerPoint above for the downloads.
Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:7-21. The image below reminds us of the larger context in which this familiar prayer was given. One of the points Jesus is trying to make in this section of the Sermon on the Mount is that you don’t have to put on a show or beg to get God’s attention.
God loves you because you are a beloved child of God. Prayer is not a religious ritual designed to conjure up the divine. It is an intimate conversation like a child has with a good parent.
The image above comes from my post on The Lord’s Prayer.
A Cartoonist’s Guide to the Lord’s Prayer
Join me every Monday at 4:00pm Central Time for a live Bible study on Zoom.
These sessions include:
- a presentation of the visual resources for the lectionary texts for the week,
- live discussion around the texts,
- previews and behind-the-scenes peeks at what is happening at A Cartoonist’s Guide to the Bible
The video of the session remains available on the network to view at any time, in case you can’t make it for the live session.
This is a part of the Cartoonist’s Bible Network. I’d love to have you join us.
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