Henry A. Gustafson is Professor Emeritus of New Testament Theology, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, Minn. He now lives in Santa Fe, N.M. This article appeared in No Other Foundation , Summer, l998, pp. 5-10.
Copyright by the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ and used by permission. This text was prepared for Religion Online by John C. Purdy.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A New Testament scholar analyzes selected scripture used with the Christian calendar.
- Gospel for the First Sunday in Advent: Matthew 24:36-44
Three questions are considered: (1)Who is the Son of Man? (2) When is he coming? and (3) What does this coming mean?
- Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent: Luke 3:1-6
The author places John the Baptist within the ethos and practices of the Qumran Community, and links his preaching with that of the prophets.
- Epistle for the Third Sunday of Advent: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
The author explains that through the gift of the Spirit it is possible to follow Paul’s injunction always to rejoice, pray and give thanks.
- Gospel for Christmas Eve: Luke 2:1-20
The author treats Luke 1:21 as a traditional announcement story, with special attention to these three words used of Jesus: “Savior, “Christ,” and “Lord.”
- Gospel for Christmas Day: John 1:1-14
The author interprets the Prologue to John’s Gospel as a hymn in four stanzas, as the recitation of salvation history in poetic form.
- Gospel for the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany: Mark 9:2-9
The author chooses an interpretation of the Transfiguration narrative in which the time on the mountain is like a spiritual retreat–from which Jesus and the disciples must return to the life of active obedience.
- Epistle for the Second Sunday of Lent (Reminiscere): Philippians 3:17-4:1
The author focuses on two contrasting ways of life that were open to Christians in the third decade of the Movement: to live according to the example of Christ, or to set their minds on earthy, sensual things.
- Gospel for Trinity Sunday: John 3:1-17
The author finds in this passage three distinct terms for the goal of life as manifest in Christ:: Kingdom of God, eternal life, and salvation.