Festival Blog

2018 Festival of Homiletics - Washington, DC

"Preaching and Politics"

 

Relinquishing and Re-imagining: Tuesday at #Homiletics2017

Tuesday, the first full day of the festival, began with worship at both Travis Park Methodist Church and the Scottish Rite Theater. Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, liturgist Dawn Hand and musicians Ashley Cleveland and Joshua Sommerville started the morning out with our minds stayed on Jesus at Travis Park, while Nadia Bolz-Weber, David Gambrell and William McConnell brought us into worship with all our hearts.

Walter Brueggemann shared his wisdom before we got a peek into “A Week in the Life of a Neurotic Preacher” with Nadia Bolz-Weber. Bolz-Weber candidly took us through her writing process on some of the tough weeks and ended the lecture with a Q & A session. She began by reflecting on the fearlessness of Jesus we are to replicate. “While danger isn’t optional, fear is,” she reflects. “Maybe for my community, the good news is not to be fearless in the face of danger ... but where Jesus refers to himself as the mother hen.”

Her next sermon transitioned to an in depth reading of the Good Samaritan where she helped us imagine this story in our world today. What if the first to pass the sufferer of violence was a Lutheran pastor so wrapped up in what to preach about violence in our world that they miss the human dying in front of them? What if the second to pass was a director of a Christian non-profit so focused on making ends meet in their organization that they miss seeing the body beaten and bruised right in front of their eyes?

In the afternoon at Travis Park, Anthony Bailey got us thinking about temptation at a spirit-filled worship service. “What if we could re-purpose temptation?” He asked. Bailey called us to transform temptation from something of Satan’s domain, into an invitation to do good saying, “we can tempt them by our testimony.” The afternoon concluded over at Scottish Rite Theater with an engaging, interactive lecture with Claudio Carvalhaes who brought us back to the theme of this year’s Festival, “Preaching at the Borders” building his very own wall on stage. 

After a dinner break, the evening concluded with some storytelling and song from the incredibly talented Ashley Cleveland and Minton Sparks. Looking forward to more to come this week!

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