A Non-Possessive Life – A Sermon On Luke 12:32-40

Many years ago a close, dear friend gave Cyndy and me a gift. “Open it now,” she said. We unwrapped it and took it out of the box. It was a piece of pottery, about six inches in diameter, beige colored, in the shape of a dome. There was a hole in the top and it was hollow inside. “Oh, it’s beautiful. Thank you so much,” we said. “It’s perfect. We love it.”

Have you ever received a gift and had no idea what it was or what you were supposed to do with it? I wonder if that’s what happens to us when we hear Jesus say, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Continue reading A Non-Possessive Life – A Sermon On Luke 12:32-40

Genesis 29:15-28, Matthew 13:31-33 44-52, Proper 12A, Parable, Kingdom of Heaven, Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Expectations, What You See Is What you Get

Dealing With The Unknown, Unchosen, or Unwanted – A Sermon on Genesis 29:15-28 and Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

The problem is that life doesn’t always work that way. Nor is that, Jesus says, how the kingdom of heaven works. Sometimes real life, kingdom life, is like a net dragged through the sea. It pulls up both the good and the bad. Other times it is like a field that you see day after day. It’s always there. Not much changes. It’s just an ordinary field like any other field except that it is not. Deep within that ordinary dirt is unseen treasure waiting to be discovered. Continue reading Dealing With The Unknown, Unchosen, or Unwanted – A Sermon on Genesis 29:15-28 and Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Beauty, Wilderness, Desert, Sermon, Advent 2A, Matthew 3:1-12, John the Baptist, Repent, Repentance, Kingdom of Heaven

Beauty, Hope, and Repentance – A Sermon on Matthew 3:1-12, Advent 2A

Matthew 3:1-12, Advent 2A If last week’s gospel (Matthew 24:36-44) called us to wake up and be watchful of the worlds within us and around us, then this week’s gospel (Matthew 3:1-12) calls us to respond. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” What does that mean for you? What is John the Baptist asking of us? What has been your experience of repentance? … Continue reading Beauty, Hope, and Repentance – A Sermon on Matthew 3:1-12, Advent 2A

Matthew 22:1-14, Proper 23A, Sermon, Kingdom of Heaven, Presence, Invitation, Parable of the King's Son's Wedding

An Open Invitation – A Sermon on Matthew 22:1-14

My first year in seminary we had a church history professor who would say the most outrageous things. He was funny. He was sarcastic. He was sometimes offensive and he was always challenging. You just never knew what to expect or what he might say next. After a particularly outrageous comment he would look at us and say, “You know I’m given to hyperbole, and … Continue reading An Open Invitation – A Sermon on Matthew 22:1-14

Matthew 21:33-46, Sermon, Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Proper 22A

How’s Your Garden Growing? A Sermon on Matthew 21:33-46

Jesus said to them “Listen to another parable” (Matthew 21:33-46, Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Proper 22A). He could have just said, “Get ready for another confrontation between the Pharisees and me.” Regardless of what you think about the Pharisees you’ve got to give them some credit today. They got it. They understood the parable. They heard Jesus. “They realized he was talking about them.” … Continue reading How’s Your Garden Growing? A Sermon on Matthew 21:33-46

Recognizing the One Who is to Come – A Sermon on Matthew 11:2-11

“Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another” (from Matthew 11:2-11, Advent 3A)? That doesn’t sound like the guy we heard from last week. So what’s happened to John the Baptist? Last week he was a name calling wild man. He stood in the wilderness announcing that the kingdom of heaven had already come near. He demanded that … Continue reading Recognizing the One Who is to Come – A Sermon on Matthew 11:2-11