Preaching Jeremiah: Announcing God's Restorative Passion

Preaching Jeremiah: Announcing God's Restorative Passion


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Preeminent biblical scholar and preacher Walter Brueggemann says the book of Jeremiah is not a sermon, but it does sound the cadences of the tradition of Deuteronomy that serve as sermons—that is, as expositions based on remembered and treasured tradition. In this volume, Brueggemann conducts an experiment in homiletics. He wants us to wrestle with the question, What if we allow the canonical shape of the book of Jeremiah to instruct us concerning the shape and trajectory of the sermon? More specifically, he wonders: What if the book of Jeremiah is treated as a long sermonic reflection about the traumatic events that led to exile and displacement for the people of Judah? Why did it happen? Is God faithful? Does God punish? Is there any future?

This theme and these questions can also be related to the crucifixion of Jesus and the displacement experienced by his followers. Brueggemann extends his wonderment further to the displacement experienced in modern American culture, as events jolt our notions of exceptionalism and chosenness. All of those same propensities were at work in ancient Israel in the wake of the displacement of Jerusalem, a wake given voice in the book of Jeremiah.

Brueggemann analyzes the various parts of the sermon through the organization of the book of Jeremiah, looking at Introduction, Body, and Conclusion, comparing them to Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Resurrection Sunday. The task of the preacher mirrors the task of the prophet who seeks to pluck and tear down, as well as to plant and to build. The preacher cannot, as he says, participate in a cover-up. The preaching task requires honesty about what God requires and a clear proclamation of what God has done and will yet do.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506466019
Publisher: 1517 Media
Publication date: 11/03/2020
Series: Working Preacher Series , #5
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary and the author of numerous books including, from Fortress Press, The Prophetic Imagination; Theology of the Old Testament; and The Message of the Psalms. Brueggemann lives in Traverse City, Michigan.

Carolyn J. Sharp is Associate Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at Yale Divinity School and author of Prophecy and Ideology in Jeremiah (2003) and Irony and Meaning in the Hebrew Bible: The Power of the Unspoken in Sacred Texts (forthcoming).

Table of Contents

Foreword Carolyn J. Sharp ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

1 Getting Started in Utterance: The Sermon Introduction 1

2 Reaching an Ending: The Sermon Conclusion 37

3 The Body of Prophetic Imagination: Plucking Up and Tearing Down 81

4 The Body of Prophetic Imagination: Planting and Building 123

A Belated Postscript 163

Notes 165

Scripture Index 177

Working Preacher Books 183

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