This Sunday's sermon is titled "Salome." That is the name of the step-daughter of King Herod who asked for the head of John the Baptist on behalf of her mother. She is not named in the Bible; the name comes from historical record of the house of Herod. She has become the focus of attention for many readers of our passage this morning: Mark 6:18-29. What is her motive? Is she a pawn in her mother's plan? Is she a victim of a brutal and corrupt court or is she a part of it? These are interesting questions that lie in the foreground of a tale that contrasts Jesus' Kingdom of love and justice with a dark and sinister worldly power and some of what I will explore in this passage.
We will also sing a relatively new hymn (Praise God for this Holy Ground) and some old favorites (God Reigns! Let Earth Rejoice, Now Thank We All Our God). Maggie Knauss is our liturgist, Erin McKibben will lead us in singing, and Natasha Kislenko is with us again as accompanist.
We will be meeting in the Window Room and on Zoom at 11 AM after Coffee Hour this Sunday.
We will present a lecture by Jeorg Rieger, entitled “Christ and the Colonial Fantasy: Modern Civilization and Its Discontents” from the series, “GOD & IMPERIAL POWER: Jesus & Economic Injustice.” Professor Joerg Rieger begins his third lecture by making this statement: “It is sometimes assumed that “empire” is a product of the ancient world or the dark ages of the medieval world; that in our modernity we have overcome the hierarchical models of the past.” [For instance, as descendants of colonial Americans who gained national independence from the British Empire, we assume that “empire” is no longer a problem.] Rieger continues, “Modern times in general appear to be much more enlightened than the empires of history that have gone before.” And to be sure, we can list many examples.
In this series John Dominic Crossan and Joerg Rieger expand our awareness of the historic collusion between Christianity and the empires of the west, from Jesus’ non-violent program of resistance to Roman Imperialism under Augustus, to the imperialistic “partnerships” of the 21st Century. Individually, these two scholars are powerhouses. Together, they are explosive.