A Study in Contrasts: The Centurion and the Widow of Nain–Luke 7:1-17

A Study in Contrasts: The Centurion and the Widow of Nain–Luke 7:1-17

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

Moving Beyond Entitlement to Repentance: Two Reactions to Jesus’ Inaugural Sermon (Luke 4: 14-30)

Moving Beyond Entitlement to Repentance: Two Reactions to Jesus’ Inaugural Sermon (Luke 4: 14-30)

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)

Two Births at Christmas

Two Births at Christmas

My daughter was born two days before Christmas. Oddly the delivery room overlooked a cemetery, which seemed very inappropriate.

But the more I thought about it, the more it took on a deeper meaning. Since it was just two days before Christmas, there was an odd juxtaposition of the birth of my daughter, the birth of Jesus and the reminder of death. They were all woven together to create a beautiful cloth full of meaning. Continue reading Two Births at Christmas

Pondering Jesus with Mary–A Sermon on Luke 2:41-52

Pondering Jesus with Mary–A Sermon on Luke 2:41-52

“Never underestimate the ponderings of a mother… Mary is a thoughtful person. Nothing that is happening is getting past her attention. As such, her pondering, her treasuring, her keeping all of the words, should tell us something, something very important about our own responses and reactions to the life of Jesus.” Karoline Lewis Continue reading Pondering Jesus with Mary–A Sermon on Luke 2:41-52