Grant Barnes, aka Grantimus Maximus, aka The Nerdcore Theologian. Currently, he is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology with a Masters Degree in Divinity. He graduated from Texas State University Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in English, minor in History. He watches way too many movies, reads too many books, listens to too much music, and plays too many video games to ever join the mundane reality people claim is the "Real World." He rejects your reality, and replaces it with a vision of what could be, a better one, shaped by his love for God.
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Tag Archives: Sermons
Often, I get to come to the pulpit with multiple choices to preach about on a Sunday. The usual choices come often from the lectionary, but today some additional choices are available.
What will it profit you to gain the whole world, but forfeit your whole life?
Christ was the most righteous of us all. Christ did everything so that we might see the light, understand it, and share it with the world. He healed on the Sabbath–doing good, despite those who would use the law against him so that the light would not shine. Continue reading
The practice of wearing ashes is a very old one, older than the church itself. Wearing ashes is a traditional Jewish practice, one used as a way of signifying to the rest of the world that you are in a state of repentance, fasting and sacrifice. We carry on the tradition, not out of blind obligation or because we always do it, but because this practice is important. The reasoning for it is in 2 Corinthians.
“God does not make the mountains in order to be inhabited. God does not make the mountaintops for us to live on the mountaintops. It is not God’s desire that we live on the mountaintops. We only ascend to the heights to catch a broader vision of the earthly surroundings below. But we don’t live there. We don’t tarry there. The streams begin in the uplands, but these streams descend quickly to gladden the valleys below.” The streams start in the mountaintops, but they come down to gladden the valleys below.
What the disciples saw was a blob on a canvas. It wasn’t the full painting, but the beginning of one. And it was only one small part of an infinitely vast painting at that. Jesus was beginning to reveal the kingdom of God, and that is much grander, much more beautiful, and yes, much more different than what they could expect.
Church, we can do some really silly stuff. And sometimes, we can be bullheaded, and stubborn, and yes, even mean. Part of it is because the church isn’t a building, it’s a people, and people are flawed, sinful, and wounded creatures. Yes, we are justified, and loved by God, and transformed by his love, but we’re all works in progress. That means that sometimes, we’re going to fight. But getting through it is the mark of true faith. Continue reading
Every year we promise ourselves that we’re going to do better this year, that we’re going to be better people. We’re going to lose that weight, or write that book, or build that project in the garage. We’re inspired by a new sense of invigoration by the marking of a new year.
The cynical part of me always wants to roll my eyes at this, though. Are we really going to live up to these lofty ideals? Or are we going to break our resolutions immediately at the first hint of weakness? Continue reading