“The terrifying prospect of Easter is that God called these women (and us) to return to the same world that crucified Jesus and to share with the world that gift of hope.
As we leave the tombs of quarantine, a return to normal will be a disaster unless we recognize that we are going back to a world desperately in need of healing. The source of that healing is an empty tomb in Jerusalem. ” (Esau MacCaulley, NY Times, April 2, 2021) Continue reading Seeking the Living among the Dead – A Sermon of the Resurrection, Luke 24:1-12
At first glance it sounds like Jesus is angry at Jerusalem and that he is calling down God’s judgement on them. This however is not anger but lament. Jesus heart is broken for those whom he loves. Continue reading The Weeping King – Luke 19:1-10
This is a parable of startling contrasts, but its central message is simple: be alert to the needs under your nose. The parable invites us to see ourselves as richer in the goods of the world than many millions.
Without an eye for the needy around us, our life becomes self-centered and callous. Jesus is asking us, his listeners, to open our eyes to what is around us, and to open our ears to the simple command of the Gospel: love your neighbor. Continue reading Lazarus and the Rich Man: a Study in Entitlement (Luke 16: 19-31)
Our Scripture lesson this morning is usually called “the parable of the prodigal son,” but in my mind, a better title would be “the parable of the lost son.” It is one of three parables that Jesus tells in Luke chapter 15—the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin and the parable of the lost son. Each parable has a similar plot. Something is lost, something is found, and then there is a party.
These parables show us the three things about the character of God: 1) God is a God of compassion; 2)
God is a God who loves to party; 3) God is a God of grace. Continue reading The Lost Son–Luke 15:11-32
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
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
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)