October 25, 2014

A Description of Heaven and Hell?

The story of the rich man and Lazarus has long been a fire-and-brimstone preacher’s dream. The reality of the afterlife in black and white terms. The issue of salvation in sharp perspective. The urgent necessity of making a decision for Christ before death, when a “great chasm” will be fixed between the blessed and the […]

Good News for Women — and Men and All Disciples

The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42 CEB This Gospel story provides a brief glimpse into a household setting that must have been common as Jesus traveled around Palestine during […]

A “Good” Samaritan?

What if I were to stand here this morning, after reading what may be Jesus’ most well known parable, and say, “Jesus does not really want us to be ‘good Samaritans’?” What if I were to tell you that is not exactly the point of his famous story? What if I were to say that […]

Sermon: Jesus, a Prophet for All People

Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us!’ and ‘God has looked favourably on his people!’ This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country. – Luke 7:16-17 NRSV * * * Together, this Sunday and next represent one of the reasons I […]

As I Have Loved You…

When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look […]

Which Story Is My Story?

Rise up, O Lord, confront them, overthrow them! By your sword deliver my life from the wicked, from mortals—by your hand, O Lord— from mortals whose portion in life is in this world. May their bellies be filled with what you have stored up for them; may their children have more than enough; may they leave something […]

A Transfiguration Thought Experiment

This morning the pastor asked us to do a “thought experiment” with regard to the story of the Transfiguration. I thought I’d include you and give you a chance to discuss it. The text from Luke reads: “While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered […]

What Did the Transfiguration Mean to Jesus?

“And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.” – Luke 9:29, NRSV What did the Transfiguration mean to Jesus? Often, when we approach Bible stories like this we ask what the event being portrayed means to us, and for us. We would do well to remember […]

Love Passes By the “Righteous”

You see, it really is all Jesus’ fault – he goes and does the one thing you’re never supposed to do, even to strangers, let alone to friends and neighbors: He tells them the truth, the truth about their pettiness and prejudice, their fear and shame, their willingness, even eagerness, to get ahead at any […]

We Are Far Too Easily Pleased

Second Sunday after Epiphany John 2:1-11 I used to not like weddings very much. They seemed like a lot of trouble, and people tended to overdo them. When we had children at home and lots of things on our plate, it seems that weddings always interrupted other plans and caused upheaval in our routine. Plus, […]