Sermon on Luke 18:9-17, for the 20th Sunday after Pentecost (C), about the Pharisee and the tax collector. Exploring the themes of self-righteousness and righteousness by faith, repentance and forgiveness, and what is the nature of God that He forgives the repentant sinner?
Sermon on Luke 2:22-40, for the 1st Sunday after Christmas, about Jesus' blessing by aged Simeon and Anna. How are these elderly believers example to us of a lifelong commitment of faith? How does God sustain faith? What is our response to God's Promises? What is the significance of Christian community, in relation to our faith?
Sermon on Luke 3:1-14, for the 2nd Sunday in Advent (3 Yr lectionary...switched back). How do we respond to John the Baptist's sharp call to repentance? How do we see unrepentance in our own lives? How does God break through that unrepentance? What does it look like to bear fruits in keeping with repentance? How do we "see the salvation of God" in Jesus Christ?
Sermon on Proverbs 25:6-14 & Luke 14:7-11, for the 17th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about honor and dishonor. What did Jesus teach about actions that are honorable or dishonorable? What is the definition of honor? Is it right to seek after honor, and if so, how do we do it? How should we NOT do it? How did Jesus live His life, with regard to honor? How do we find a life of honor?
Sermon on Luke 7:11-17, for the 16th Sunday after Trinity, about the raising of the son of the widow at Nain, Jesus' miracle. Why do some people try to "get rid of God" because of the suffering they see and experience in this world? Why does that not make anything better? What truth do Christians cling to, about God's presence and relation to our suffering? How does this miracle comfort us, who do not receive a personal miracle like they did in the reading? What was different about the raising of this boy, and Jesus' own resurrection from the dead? How does having "God in the picture" bring real hope in the midst of suffering?
Sermon on Luke 18:9-14, for the 11th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, and the lessons it teaches in self-righteousness vs. humility, and what attains God's verdict of "justified." What is this verdict about? How does God show His mercy? How is our relationship to God and also our fellow man changed by a proper kind of dependence on God? What is the right and wrong kind of confidence with which to approach God?
Sermon on Luke 1:57-80, for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, about Zechariah and Elizabeth's naming of their son, and the prophetic song that Zechariah sung over his newborn when the Lord opened his mouth from 9 months of silence. What are the main themes of the song? What truth framed the life and ministry of John? How was the kingdom of God "on the move" in John's day?
Sermon on Luke 15:1-10, for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about the parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin, or rather the parables on the faithful redeeming love of God, who faithfully retrieves what is lost. Also a reflection on the fact that God has made a "way home" for us by repentance from our sins. How do these parables reflect the heart of God? How did Jesus live out this redeeming love on earth? How is this a model for our father's to imitate? Happy Father's Day, by the way, to my dad and all other fathers out there. I hope this may be an encouragement not only to fathers but to all men, women, boys and girls to rejoice in God's redeeming love, and also to rejoice in the unique ways that God has made us male and female.
Sermon on Luke 14:15-24, for the 2nd Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about Jesus' parable of the banquet and the guests who wouldn't come. What is astonishing about the refusal of the guests? What does it say about their attitude toward the host? How do people run from God's generosity today? What is the blessing of coming into His feast? How broadly does He open His invitation? Why does He explain that some of them will need to be "compelled" to come in?
Sermon on Luke 18:31-43, for Quinquagesima "Fifty" Sunday (1 Yr Lectionary). How do the episodes of the healing of the blind man and Jesus' third and final passion prediction parallel each other? What is spiritual sight, and how do we "see" Christ by this sight?
Sermon on Isaiah 55:10-13 & Luke 8:4-15, for Sexagesima "Sixty" (1 Yr Lectionary), about the power and effectiveness of God's Word to accomplish His intended purpose. What truth from nature does Isaiah use to make his point? How does God's Word work, and why does it never return empty? What kind of growth does God desire and produce in us?
Sermon on Luke 2:33-40, for the 1st Sunday after Christmas, about the blessings that aged Simeon and Anna gave to Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, at His presentation and naming in the Temple. How are age and youth portrayed positively side by side? What is the meaning of Simeon's last prophecy to Mary? What is the significance of Simeon's prophecy and its fulfillment in the life of Jesus? What particular example does Anna set for us?