Sermons

Unless Someone Guides Me

Let me start with a hypothetical situation. If I were to tell you that a white, straight, blue-collar, male, gun-owning, evangelical fundamentalist from a southern state ran into a black, lesbian, academic, female, Bernie-backing, progressive Protestant from a major urban area, and the two just so happened to immediately connect about scripture, and not only would they inspire each other to greater faith, but not a single word would be wasted on all their differences and arguments, but rather the two would come away still more ready to serve God in their own, dramatically different lives, would you suppose for even a second that such a thing could be possible?

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Appointed to this Task

Dear friends in Christ, grace and peace. Amen

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food.

Are you a little confused as you listened to the reading today?

I know what you are thinking – what is this all about? A food fight?

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First Century Fake News

When the women who had gone to the tomb return to the disciples and shared with them what they had seen and heard they received a less than positive response. This is how Luke tells the story – and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.

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Deserve

We hear Pilate’s words, and we know that Jesus “has done nothing to deserve death”, and yet the words that come out of our mouths are “crucify him”.

How did it feel to demand Jesus’ death with your own voice? Did you feel a little removed, because you feel certain that you never would have demanded that? Is it easier for you to remove yourself from this suffering because it wasn’t your fault?

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Good Things

This text does not answer the question of how to get into heaven. You know the answer to that question. I mean, honestly, do you believe that Jesus has saved you?

Seriously, I’m asking you: do you believe that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection have destroyed sin and death for you?

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Compassion and Repentance

Does your Bible use headings before sections of scripture? Many Bibles will have a little subtitle inserted by an editor before each chunk of text to give you an idea of what it’s going to talk about, like a sort of mini-chapter heading. In one of my Bibles, the description that comes before this passage in Luke 13 is: “Repent or perish”.

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God’s Faithfulness

Different parts of the Bible are written in different styles. The Bible contains history, prophecy, letters, and poetry. We should take the style of scripture seriously and read it accordingly. It’s the same reason that we have different subjects in school – you’d never read Shakespeare the same way you read your geography textbook.

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