Monday, April 30, 2007

PROLEGOMENA: Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Sunday, April 29, 2007

I’d like to prepare us for worship this morning by turning your attention to one word, one word in the reflection quote printed on page one of your bulletin; and that word is the word peripety.

Now, the word peripety comes from the Greek word peripeteia, which is a word used in drama and literature to describe the turning point of a story. In other words, the peripety of a drama is the point where the story is: turned on its head, turned inside-out, flipped upside-down. It’s the point that the story goes from good to bad or bad to good. It’s the point that shifts the whole entire story; and that point in the biblical story is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now, in Acts 2 Peter points this out when he says,

"[Jesus] was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But…God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."

You see, the God we come to worship this morning; the God we come to sing praises to has interrupted history; has flipped everything upside-down; has turned everything we know inside-out the moment Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. So, are you ready to worship the God who had done this this morning? Welcome to worship.

The literary structure of peripety found in the book of Esther mirrors on a small scale the structure of all of redemptive history....We should expect nothing but death, but we have seen the ultimate peripety, the ultimate reversal of expected ends,in another seemingly ordinary human event: the birth of a baby in Bethlehem and the execution of that man on a cross. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our destiny has been reversed from death to life against all expectation.The cross of Jesus is the pivot of the great reversal of history, where our sorrow has been turned to joy.

— Karen Jobes, Esther