Jesus sees something in Simon. Jesus has a dream for Simon that will change his life. Jesus realizes that if he goes fishing with Simon, he can catch Simon in that dream. Simon thinks they are fishing for fish, but Jesus knows he is fishing for Simon. Continue reading The Call of the Disciples–Luke 5:1-11
Jesus says, No, the death of the innocents had nothing to do with their sin. However, what he says next is absolutely shocking. “They didn’t sin” Jesus says, “but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.” And lest we missed it, he repeats it a second time, “unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” To be honest Jesus sounds like a fire and brimstone preacher: “Repent or perish! Turn or burn!”
So what does Jesus mean by repentance Continue reading Of Towers, Fig Trees and Repentance–A Sermon on Luke 13:1-9
What happens when a pastor offers a benediction. According to Numbers 6 to bless someone is to “put the name of God” upon them.
There is something beautiful and intimate in this image. When a benediction is spoken it is as though God bends down and tenderly kisses us on the forehead. Continue reading Giving a Blessing
A sermon preached at United Reformed Church of Clifton, February 14, 2021 During the last year we have been trying … Continue reading The Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36)
The first story, set in Capernaum, deals with people enjoying power and status both from the Roman realm and the Jewish hierarchy.
The scene in Nain is decidedly more rustic and lower class. There is a “large crowd,” but there are no dignitaries, no intermediaries, no prepared speeches.
Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t bother with such distinctions. Continue reading A Study in Contrasts: The Centurion and the Widow of Nain–Luke 7:1-17
This post includes clips from the TV series, “The Chosen” to illustrate Jesus’ compassion for all kinds of outcasts and misfits. Continue reading Outcasts and Other Sinners Luke 5: 12-16 and 27-32
As a general rule, I do not believe that one memorable sermon ever changes someone’s life. Rather it is the faithful preaching of the Word over the course of years that shapes and molds us Continue reading The Word of the Lord Endures Forever; the Preacher’s Words … Not So Much
At 1:00 when remote learning comes to an end, I can hear the children loudly bidding each other goodbye. The sound reminds me of a flock of geese preparing to take off. Continue reading Fly! Molly, Fly!
When Jesus preached his first sermon in his hometown, he initially received a very warm welcome.
But Jesus knew better than to fall into the trap of being a people pleaser. Jesus recognizes that their approval is only skin deep and they don’t fully comprehend his message. They’ve heard what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. His message is only for those who know that they are poor and wretched, those who know that they are sinners. His message requires not enthusiasm but repentance.
And so Jesus provokes them.
And when Jesus refuses to cater to their sense of entitlement, their approval quickly turns to murderous hostility Continue reading Moving Beyond Entitlement to Repentance: Two Reactions to Jesus’ Inaugural Sermon (Luke 4: 14-30)
When I was younger, I thought that trekking poles were silly and more of a fashion statement than of any use. But since I’ve begun using them, I have noticed three benefits. Continue reading Thy Rod and Thy Trekking Poles, They Comfort Me