Mental Illness and the Church: Righting the Wrongs -- Two Sermons

September 9 — Isaiah 35:4-7a, Psalm 88, Mark 7:24-37

September 16 — 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, Psalm 116:1-9, Mark 8:27-38

Saint Augustine had declared that what separated men from beasts was the gift of reason; and so the loss of reason reduced man to a beast. From this position it was easy to conclude that the loss of reason was a mark of God’s disfavor; His punishment for a sinning soul....Melancholia was, in this view, a turning away from all that was holy. Furthermore, deep depression was often evidence of possession; a miserable fool contained within himself a devil, and if that devil could not be exorcised from him, why then he himself must go.
— Andrew Solomon in The Noonday Demon
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SERMON RESOURCES

Sermon 2 for 9/2/2018: Ask-the-Pastor - On Contentment and Wanting Worship to Matter

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9, Psalm 15, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 20-23

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Jesus tells us to beware when piety gets in the way of fulfilling the heart of the law: loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself. He warns us to beware when our piety separates us from others, for then it is also separating us from God.
— Elizabeth Johnson on workingpreacher.org

I relied heavily on commentary from Elizabeth Johnson in the sermon.  Her article for preachers can be found here: Commentary from Working Preacher.

Sermon 1 for 9/2/2018: Ask-the-Pastor on Reading the Bible

Deuteronomy 4:1-2 and 6-9, Psalm 15, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.
— Martin Luther

Sermon Notes

Some years ago, our denomination began an initiative called The Book of Faith to enliven Lutherans with resources to get back to reading Scripture. They wanted to empower us all to have direct encounter with The Word.  They wanted to cultivate biblical literacy.  David Lose did a series we studied here at church called Making Sense of Scripture.  From this curriculum, I use the metaphor of reading scripture as darts vs. chains.  So I thank this initiative for giving me such a helpful tool in teaching people how to put the grace of God made known as Jesus Christ as the primary lens we to focus on the Word.  Find out more at bookoffaith.org.