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Readings for Sunday, January 9, 2011 Presented by staff and friends of Sunshine Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church affiliated with the Center for.

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Presentation on theme: "Readings for Sunday, January 9, 2011 Presented by staff and friends of Sunshine Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church affiliated with the Center for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Readings for Sunday, January 9, 2011 Presented by staff and friends of Sunshine Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church affiliated with the Center for Progressive Christianity Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA

2 Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin Sunshine Cathedral Chief Programming Minister Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Senior Pastor Sunshine Cathedral Rev. Dr. Mona West Director, Office of Formation and Leadership Development Metropolitan Community Churches Rev. BK Hipsher Virtual Chaplain Sunshine Cathedral Director of Sunshine Cathedral in Second Life Rev. Brian Hutchison Sunshine Cathedral Director of Volunteer Ministries & Assistant to the Senior Pastor

3 Martin Luther King, Jr. and Baptism of Jesus Sunday

4 The Wisdom of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (excerpt from Letter from Birmingham Jail)  “How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a [human]-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an ‘I-it’ relationship for an ‘I-thou’ relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful.”

5  Matthew (NRSV)  13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ 15 But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then [John] consented. 16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved,* with whom I am well pleased.’

6 Rev. BK Hipsher Themes  Critical thinking is required to evaluate the morality of laws  The effect on human beings is the basis of evaluating a law  Blindly following laws without questioning is an amoral act  Transforming religious tradition takes co-operation  Important to recognize that God is working in our lives  Another message of our belovedness  Courageous leaders have some common characteristics: o Break rules o Question authority and tradition o Transform the ordinary so that it becomes extraordinary

7 Rev. Brian Hutchison Exegetical Analysis The Ancient Act of Ritual Purification Throughout the ancient Mediterranean world, purification rituals were common. They were used for two main reasons: Purification: from sin, destruction, death, or taboos. Rite of Passage: from the realm of the profane to the sacred, entering into a new stage in life, entering into a new community. Many different forms of baptism were practiced among Jewish communities; there was no uniform rule for if or how they were to be done.

8 Rev. Brian Hutchison Exegetical Analysis John’s Baptism John’s baptism in Matthew carries an eschatological tone; one of preparing for a time of judgment. John led the baptized to confess their sins and be immersed in the Jordan in preparation for Jesus’ baptism by/with “the Holy Spirit and fire”.

9 Rev. Brian Hutchison Exegetical Analysis Jesus’ Baptism Divine “Sonship” of Jesus: To Matthew, Jesus being God’s Son meant being radically obedient to God’s will. Within the patriarchal system of the time, a son was to follow closely in the footsteps of the father- in profession and in character.

10 Rev. Brian Hutchison Exegetical Analysis Jesus’ Baptism Theological note: God is using the pivotal moment of Jesus’ ritual purification to proclaim the truth of his ministry to come: This human comes to live out God’s profession of “righteousness”. Jesus enters his adult ministry as the Suffering Servant in this humble rite of passage.

11 Rev. Brian Hutchison Exegetical Analysis Jesus’ Baptism Words of affirmation given to set Jesus out to be tempted in the desert: 1)You are my child 2) I Love you 3) You give me great joy (Words that any child would want to hear). In Matthew, not only are these words heard by Jesus, but are spoken to all present.

12 Rev. Dr. Mona West Deeper With the Text At his baptism, Jesus entered into the same water with us to identify with our humanity in all its faults and failures, but Jesus also entered into the same water with us to remind us that we live by God’s grace and forgiveness, and that we are God’s Beloved. Jesus baptism was the beginning of his public ministry. God’s spirit anointed him and empowered him to teach, and heal, and forgive, and to prevail against evil. Through our baptism we share the same water and the same anointing with Jesus.

13 Rev. Dr. Mona West Deeper With the Text God names us in this water. If you follow Matthew’s gospel closely you will find that Jesus is called many things: Messiah, Emmanuel, Son on David, offspring of the Holy Spirit, child of Mary, the Nazarene, the King of the Jews. After Jesus has been given all these names, God finally speaks at his baptism: you are my child, my beloved, in whom I am well pleased.

14 Rev. Dr. Mona West Deeper With the Text Parallel with King’s Beloved Community.

15 Rev. Dr. Mona West Deeper With the Text During times we are tempted to doubt or forget just how Beloved and forgiven we are, we call to mind our baptism, we remember our baptism. (Connection with Lent and temptations of Jesus—“If you are the Beloved….” Sunshine Cathedral in Jamaica Baptism – December 2006

16 Rev. Dr. Mona West Deeper With the Text Holy Conversations resource on Baptism (MCC Website) BAPTISM: Focus - The Sacrament of Baptism is understood and appropriated in a variety of ways both in the church and in Metropolitan Community Churches depending on who you are in dialogue with. The focus of this discussion presents an opportunity for participants to grow in their awareness of how this Sacrament has and continues to impact the spiritual journeys of our brothers and sisters Region 1 Conference2008 Region 1 Conference by Mcc ChurchesMcc Churches

17 Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Theology and the Arts Theology and the Arts Song Suggestions: Wade in the Water We Shall Overcome Lift Every Voice and Sing We Shall Not Be Moved Let My People Go Text Reflections: Birmingham Jail – Buber’s I-It vs I-Thou…dehumanizing the “other” by objectifying them. To see the sacred value of all people is to demand fairness and equality for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc. Matthew – Jesus’ baptism is an affirmation of his sacred value. He is affirmed as a child of God. As a sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, we can make the case that baptism is an affirmation of the sacred value of all people. Compare to Acts where we read God doesn’t show favoritism. The text also suggests that Jesus’ baptism was a moment of anointing and empowerment. Maybe when we feel affirmed, we are empowered to be our best.

18 Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Theology and the Arts Theology and the Arts

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21 Next week’s discussion Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at noon Readings for Sunday, January 16, Presented by staff and friends of Sunshine Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church affiliated with the Center for Progressive Christianity Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA

22 Rev. Dr. Robert Griffin Sunshine Cathedral Chief Programming Minister Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Senior Pastor Sunshine Cathedral Rev. Dr. Mona West Director, Office of Formation and Leadership Development Metropolitan Community Churches Rev. BK Hipsher Virtual Chaplain Sunshine Cathedral Director of Sunshine Cathedral in Second Life Rev. Brian Hutchison Sunshine Cathedral Director of Volunteer Ministries & Assistant to the Senior Pastor


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