Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
1. In the Catholic/Lutheran option of the Revised Common Lectionary, this same passage falls on Proper 22C, just four weeks earlier. See the reflections on this text at Proper 22C.
2 Thess. 1:1-4, 11-12
1. James Alison, Raising Abel, p. 120; the skipped-over verses, 2 Thess. 1:6-8, are quoted as an example of apocalyptic language from Paul. Alison takes on the view that Jesus was wrong about expectations of the coming of the Lord's Day. See an excerpt of his basic argument from pp. 124-127, "The Apocalyptic Imagination."
2. N. T. Wright is also challenging the view going back to
and Bultmann that Jesus was wrong about apocalyptic expectations. He
that Jesus used apocalyptic and prophetic language to correctly predict
the "earth-shattering" events of the Roman-Jewish War as the logical
to insistence on military revolt as the way to liberation. For more on
this, see Part
III of "My Core Convictions" essay. (Another good source on
Wright's views here is his Paul
for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians.)
Reflections and Questions
1. Once again I wonder about deleted verses -- in this instance, verses about apocalyptic expectations that especially make sense out of verses 11-12.
1. Andrew Marr; link to his online essay "The
Town of Jericho and Zacchaeus."
2. Robert Hamerton-Kelly, sermon from November 4, 2001 (Woodside Village Church).
Reflections and Questions
1. In 2010 I'm seeing this passage as a companion to last Sunday's
Gospel (Proper 25C), the Parable of the
Pharisee and Tax Collector. Luke's redaction places the end of Mark's
journey to Jerusalem (Mark 10) in between these two uniquely Lukan
passages about tax collectors. But the lectionary skips over the Markan
material to bring these passages together in consecutive weeks, making
it easy for the preacher to connect them. If a tax collector such as
the one in the parable, for example, goes home delivered from his sin
("justified") and empowered by the Spirit to live a life of repentence,
is Zacchaeus an illustration of what that life looks like, by his
promising to pay back his ill-gotten profits to the poor?
Here are some further comparison's between the two stories:
2. In 2004 we moved this lesson up a week to use for our "Commitment Sunday" (stewardship pledge campaign) since it otherwise falls on either Reformation Sunday or All Saints Sunday in the most common of Lutheran practices. It speaks well to the claim that discipleship makes upon one's life. Jesus calls Zacchaeus to be follower and that makes immediate changes upon how he must live out his vocation: "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much" (Luke 19:8).
We paired this text, however, with a different text from the Hebrew Scriptures to help ring out our overall stewardship theme of "Sharing Our Blessings." That text is Genesis 12:1-3:
Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."Link to a sermon "Blessed to Be a Blessing."
3. "I will bless you, so that you will be a blessing" has also been a personal/family motto as we adopt to children from Liberia. Link to an article that appeared in our local Racine newspaper under the banner of this verse, "'You Will Be a Blessing.'"
4. In 1995 I preached a sermon, indebted to Robert Capon's work on the parables (Kingdom, Grace, Judgment, Part 3, Ch. 6, pp. 412-425), entitled "Salvation Makes a Housecall."
Return to Year C Index
Return to "Girardian Reflections on the Lectionary" Home Page
Link to another Resource for Preaching from the Perspective of Mimetic Theory: PreachingPeace.org
Link to "The Text This Week" -- the Most Comprehensive Lectionary Site on the Internet