Sunday, December 1, 2013 — Advent 1 A — Matthew 24:36-44
Five times in the New Testament the coming of God is compared to what we today would call a “home invasion.” It will be like a thief breaking into our house. It will be like getting robbed in the middle of the night. We find other New Testament images of God more attractive: the waiting father, the mother hen who gathers he chicks under her wings and the Good Shepherd carrying a lamb on his shoulders. But God the robber??? From that God . . . we want to run.
→ Continue reading Getting Robbed
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 — Thanksgiving Eve — Luke 17:11-19
Luther always had a knack of getting right to the heart of the matter. Luther does precisely that in his explanation to the 4th petition of the Lord’s Prayer. He gets right to the heart of what this Thanksgiving ought to be about for us Christians. Even though wrote this centuries before our country began to celebrate Thanksgiving, he captures what Thanksgiving Day ought to be. Why celebrate Thanksgiving Day? Why pray for daily bread when God gives daily bread to all people, even the wicked and sinful, whether they pray for it or not?
→ Continue reading Give Us Today Our Daily Bread
Sunday, November 24, 2013 — Christ The King C — Luke 23:33-43
Today the Christian Church Year ends with the festival of Christ the King. The Gospel for today reminds us how “ironic” the Christian Faith is. Jesus is King. Jesus is the Lord of the universe. Jesus is finally calling the shots. But how is Jesus King? Ironically, surprisingly, unexpectedly, in a way that no one in his or her right mind would ever expect . . . from the cross.
→ Continue reading Ironic Superman
Sunday, November 17, 2013 — Pentecost 26 C Lectionary 33 — Luke 21: 5-19
“Pastor, it feels like the end of the world.” If I could have a dollar for every time I have heard someone say that to me over the years of my ministry, I would be a rich man. Losing a job, getting cut from the team, having your best friend move away or getting diagnosed with an unexpected illness may not mean that the universe is coming to an end and Judgment Day is around the corner, but your world is falling apart. What you thought you could count on is crumbling. You are becoming unglued. You have lost your anchor. You are adrift in a stormy sea. It feels like the end of the world.
→ Continue reading Plant an Apple Tree
Sunday, November 10, 2013 — Lectionary 32 Pentecost 25 C — Job 19:23-27a
Such are the questions raised by one of the most troubling and mysterious books of the Bible, the Book of Job, from which our first reading today is taken. Job was a very pious and God-fearing man. He was called “blameless and upright.” He was so sincere about his religion that once, when his kids returned from a party, he offered burnt offerings to God for them, just in case they had sinned. Job was very rich, a man of incredible wealth. He was the quintessential success story of the Old Testament. He was Bill Gates and Billy Graham rolled into one. Even God is so proud of Job that God brags about him to the other members of the heavenly council.
→ Continue reading Questions and Answers
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