Bringing the Text to Life

Outgrowing the Truth Fairy Mark 9:38-50

When we were children, the Scriptures tell us, we thought, spoke, and felt as a child. But when we grow up in our faith, we must "put an end to childish ways." What are the childish ways of thinking, feeling and speaking that we must put away today?

This is a chance for you as preacher to be a "scop." Pronounced "shop," scop is the medieval term for the spy-poet, the person who crosses boundaries, even goes "behind enemy lines" to be with his or her people. Walter Wangerin has recently resurrected this phrase, and used it to argue for a contemporary role of the pastor as analogous to the medieval scop. Scops were people who followed the folk, attended the crowd, entered with the people into their daily lives and then, in the evening, in the mead hall, retold the stories and struggles of the people. We need storytellers rather than strategists, Wangerin argues, chroniclers rather than census takers. We need parables more than programs and planning.

This sermon presupposes you have lived with your community; you have not shut yourself off from the surprising ways God is working in the capers and cavortings of your people. To adequately deliver this sermon you need to have listened to their fears, their struggles, even and...

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