March 8, 2015
John 2:13-22
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19

Wiser than Wisdom, Stronger than Strength
Lent 3

Click here for the full installment

Dean Feldmeyer

As we know all too well from our news headlines, the world is a dangerous place -- and in situations of mortal threat, psychologists tell us that human instinct is to react in one of two main ways: fight or flight. Many of the responses one hears about how the West should react to the deteriorating situation in the region controlled by ISIS fall into one of those two categories -- either we ought to remain safe and not get involved (why should humanitarian workers be easy targets for kidnapping and execution?), or we should take up arms and join in a holy war against evil. But in the next installment of The Immediate Word, team member Dean Feldmeyer notes that Paul identifies another approach -- one that may seem utterly foolish by our normal ways of thinking, but which is “stronger than human strength.” And that, of course, is to “proclaim Christ crucified” -- even if it means placing ourselves in danger, as was the case in Nigeria last week for an American woman doing missionary work. Putting ourselves in a position that potentially could result in martyrdom seems completely irrational -- but as Dean points out, it is indicative of the type of full-on commitment to live out our faith that should be on the minds of those of us who practice a much safer, less threatening brand of religion. How committed are we to what we believe? And Dean asks us to consider if we truly grasp deep down in our souls what Paul is telling us... that God’s ways are wiser and stronger in the long run than what we usually realize. Here’s a preview:


Wiser than Wisdom, Stronger than Strength
by Dean Feldmeyer
1 Corinthians 1:18-25

What shall we do about ISIS?

It’s one thing to talk about loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you when you’re doing it from the soft comfort of the family room sofa or the safe elevation of the pulpit. But what about when ISIS is murdering your father or your brother on a beach in some far-off corner of the world? And what about when they are kidnapping your family and secreting them away to some nightmarish fate for no other reason than that they are Christians? That’s what’s happening in the real world, far away from our couches and pulpits.

It was easy to be philosophical when they were murdering Muslims, but now they are killing Christians.

What shall we do about ISIS?

Shall we go quietly to the slaughter, victims with heads humbly bowed?

Shall we take up arms, forget about loving our enemies, and show them that we Christians can kill and maim other human beings just as ruthlessly and efficiently as they can? Maybe even more so?

Or does Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, offer another, third alternative?

What does it mean to proclaim Christ crucified to people who are intent on killing each other?

>> Click here for the full installment

>> Subscribe to The Immediate Word

What is The Immediate Word?

The Immediate Word gives a theological perspective on today's headlines and popular culture for your sermon, children’s sermon, and worship service. The Immediate Word gives a theological perspective on today's headlines and popular culture.

Cutting Edge: THE IMMEDIATE WORD gives you the tools to be cutting edge ... to put you in touch with today's most critical issues and to aid you in crafting messages and presentations that will truly help your congregants understand the Gospel in the context of what is current and most important to them.

Collaborative: THE IMMEDIATE WORD is a unique collaboration of some of the sharpest, most contemporary clergy of our day in an Internet-based service that gives you weekly information, inspiration, and presentation materials for your sermon, children’s sermon, and worship service.

Enabling: THE IMMEDIATE WORD will enable you to create high-impact sermons, children’s sermons, sermon outlines, worship services and compose pastoral prayers that help people pray with you, write compelling pastoral columns for your newsletter, arm your Sunday school teachers with meaningful, up-to-the-minute discussion sermon material, speak more constructively during the "Concerns of the Church" portion of your sermon, children's sermon and worship service about matters that worry your parishioners, advertise timely discussion topics to draw people into your church, and more.

Interactive: THE IMMEDIATE WORD is a dynamic, interactive process. First, among the team of clergy that creates it every week. Secondly, with you: you can personally participate in the creation process by providing your input and reactions to the input of others on new sermons, children’s sermons, sermon outlines and worship resources.

Timely: THE IMMEDIATE WORD sends participants the topic of the week on Friday and the final product on Tuesday afternoon, giving you time to digest the sermon and worship service materials and then incorporate them into your preparations for the coming Sunday service to deliver high-impact sermons and worship services.

Satisfaction Guaranteed: THE IMMEDIATE WORD is not only guaranteed to satisfy you, we believe it will actually energize your ministry. We are so confident that you will find THE IMMEDIATE WORD to be such a great value that if you are not completely satisfied with the service we will refund the balance of your subscription payment, no questions asked.

>> Subscribe to The Immediate Word
Immediate Word Team
(Click on photo
  for author's bio.)

George Reed

Mary Austin

Ronald H. Love

Dean Feldmeyer

Leah Lonsbury

Chris Keating