Confront: 2021 After Pentecost Sermon Seeds Series

(This Sermon Seeds Series may be used as one series or segmented into three distinct but related series.)

Confrontation involves recognizing, acknowledging, and addressing conflict. Those conflicts may be internal or external, physical or spiritual, temporal or everlasting. Confrontation often arises from and leads to feelings of discomfort, disconnection, and acrimony. Yet, when handled well and with care, confrontation opens the possibility of resolution, restoration, and repair. 

The life of Jesus Christ demonstrates embodied confrontation. Hope confronting despair, love confronting indifference and disdain, and life confronting death radiate through the incarnational story. Yet, confrontation is not limited to the gospel text, the biblical narrative simmers with confrontation. 

This series attends to the confrontation found within the lectionary texts with the focus scripture often in conversation with the other texts. The first part of the series looks at our identity in and through the lens of Christ using the Markan narrative. The second part centers on the story of Job and Job’s wife as a truly human response to adversity. Finally, the third part of the series sets our gaze forward as the narratives help us consider the future, individually and cosmically. The themes and focus scriptures for each week are listed below.  

Confronting Identity

In and Through Christ

September 5, 2021: Mark 7:24-37 | “Be Opened” | Sermon Seed

September 12, 2021: Mark 8:27:38 | “Set Your Mind” | Sermon Seed

September 19, 2021: Mark 9:30-37 | “Wanting Greatness” | Sermon Seed

September 26, 2021: Mark 9:38-50 | “Have Salt” | Sermon Seed

“i found god in myself & i loved her/ i loved her fiercely”

Ntozake Shange 

Confronting Adversity

Through the lens of the experience of Job and Job’s wife

October 3, 2021: Job 1:1, 2:1-10 | “With Integrity”

October 10, 2021: Job 23:1-9, 16-17 | “With Lament”

October 17, 2021: Job 38:1-7, 34-41 | “With Questions”

October 24, 2021: Job 42:1-6, 10-17 | “With Restoration”

“The American church avoids lament. The power of lament is minimized and the underlying narrative of suffering that requires lament is lost. But absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. Absence makes the heart forget. The absence of lament in the liturgy of the American church results in the loss of memory. We forget the necessity of lamenting over suffering and pain. We forget the reality of suffering and pain.

Soong-Chan Rah

Confronting the Future

From Ruth to Revelation

October 31, 2021: Ruth 1:1-18 | “Keeping Commitments”

November  7, 2021: Ruth 3:1-3, 4:13-17 | “Seeking Security”

November 14, 2021: 1 Samuel 1:4-20 | “Seeking Answers”

November 21, 2021: Revelation 1:4b-8 | “Seeking the Kindom”

“Christ has already conquered and invites us to participate in the reality of his reign.” 

“It makes an enormous difference in the way individuals and churches live if we recognize that the entire atoning work of Christ (including his life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension)50 has already made the cosmos mos his. Then our political involvement operates not from the need to change things, but from the desire to make clear what really is the case.”

Marva J. Dawn. 

The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Sermon Seeds Writer and Editor (lindsayc@ucc.org), is a local church pastor and worship scholar-practitioner with a particular interest in the proclamation of the word in gathered communities.