Images of God’s Empire

7th Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

July 27, 2014

 

More stories!  A virtual blizzard of images of God’s Empire that lets us think about it in comparison to the empires and systems of our own day.  One of the problems of such a blizzard is that it’s disorienting.  The disciples seem to be cool with all the images Jesus throws at them, but I’m not so   [continue reading...]

Weeds or Wheat?

6th Sunday after Pentecost

July 20, 2014

Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

 

Another story from the Sea of Galilee; another image from the Jezreel Valley where sowing and reaping are the main business.  As you read the Gospels, Jesus has many comparisons – laying one concept alongside another in order to give a clearer picture of something that is basically mysterious, or at least such a new concept   [continue reading...]

“A Sower went out…”

 

 

5th Sunday after Pentecost

July 13, 2014

Matthew 13:1-9, 19-22

 

My favorite part of Jesus’ preaching is when he tells a story to illustrate what he’s trying to share.  Maybe his stories reflect his own experience of God, or maybe he’s just trying to come up with an example that will sink down into a person’s consciousness and stick for awhile. These stories are called   [continue reading...]

Comfort and Affliction

4th Sunday after Pentecost

July 6, 2013

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

 

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  How many times has this invitation been a comfort when our lives feel out of control, or when we are struggling to make sense of circumstances that just knock us out.  The very idea that we   [continue reading...]

Beyond Fear

 

2nd Sunday after Pentecost

June 22, 2014

Matthew 10: 24-39

 

The very fact that this reading sounds like Jesus is ranting should be a comfort to us.  Maybe you are thinking that it’s hard to find “Good News of the Gospel” in this reading.  That’s because you have never lived in a place where being a Christian sets you at odds with the prevailing   [continue reading...]

The Articles of our Faith

Holy Trinity Sunday

June 15, 2014

Mathew 28: 16-20

 

A pastor friend of mine posted a picture on his page of a man in a raging wind with his hands over his face in horror and the message said, ”Warning!  Sermons explaining the Trinity are on the way!”  Yes, it’s that time of the Church Year when intrepid pastoral theologians feel obliged to tackle it.

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Faith on Fire

The Upper Room of Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday

June 8, 2014

John 20: 19-23

 

“Sabachil kher:” Arabic for Good Morning.  It’s amazing to think that less than a week ago, I was standing in the very room that tradition claims is the place where this morning’s story took place.  The Holy Spirit came with a rush and with fire onto the disciples, sending them   [continue reading...]

To Life!

5th Sunday after Easter

May 18, 2014

John 14:1-14 and 1Peter 2:2-10

 

Mansions.  That’s the way I heard Jesus description of heaven when I was a kid.  It takes me back to my former life when I sold the plumbing supplies that went into mansions.  I’ve seen plenty of them. Peter talks about buildings, too.  Talking about cornerstones and living stones and being built up into a house.

 

The reading from John’s Gospel   [continue reading...]

Overflowing Life

 

4th Sunday of Easter

May 11, 2014

Psalm 23 and John 10:1-10

 

The Lord is my Shepherd.  Next to the Lord’s Prayer, this is probably the most well-known and beloved piece of Scripture.  Even by Jesus.  He adopts all the imagery and its connotations in the Gospel reading we have before us this morning.  It seems ironic that the Psalm just before it begins, “My God,   [continue reading...]

Walking

3rd Sunday after Easter

May 4, 2014

Luke 24: 13-35

 

I love this story.  No matter how many times I read it, it lifts me up, warms my heart, touches the deepest places of my trust that Jesus’ promises to his people are trustworthy.  One of my favorite theologians, John Maas, suggested to me awhile ago that this story is Luke’s equivalent to John’s story of Thomas demanding   [continue reading...]