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Showing posts from September, 2018

Sermon on Proverbs 25:6-14 & Luke 14:7-14, for the 17th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), "Honor and dishonor"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The theme of honor and dishonor can be traced through all of our Bible readings today. Today let’s explore how God’s Word leads us to a life of honor, and away from dishonor. We should start with a definition. Honor can mean different things to different people. You might be convinced that you are acting with honor, but that doesn’t always prove your actions are right. Honor, like other virtues, can be warped, intentionally or unintentionally. But a definition: the fourth commandment says: “Honor your father and mother.” This commandment gives the definition that to “honor” is to respect and obey. Honor also can refer to a high level of recognition for what someone has done, as when they are “honored” with a reward or medal. Our nation’s highest military award is the “Medal of Honor.” From the Army’s website, it explains the Medal of Honor this way: This award goes to Soldiers who make honor a matter of daily liv…

Sermon on Luke 7:11-17, for the 16th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), "God in the Picture"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Earlier this week I was watching two famous professors debate—one an atheist, the other a Christian. They talked about suffering and the problem of evil. The widow in our reading was a real example of suffering. The Christian in the debate, John Lennox, said that everyone senses that there is too much suffering in this world. You can imagine the widow saying: “There’s too much suffering in my life—how can I bear it all?” When suffering strikes close to home—a husband, a son, or another loved one—we ask “why does God allow this to happen?” “How can God be good, when my loved one is dying?” Many turn away from God or simply say that He doesn’t exist, because of tragedies. But getting rid of God gets rid of the greatest hope and answer to suffering—while still leaving us with the suffering. If there is no God in the world, suffering is just a brute fact of existence, and the universe doesn’t care. If there is no God…

Sermon on Proverbs 4:10-23, 14th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), "Two Paths"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. In several different places in the Bible, God contrasts two different paths. One is the way of the righteous, the other is the way of the wicked. One leads to freedom and life, the other, to slavery and ultimately death. Proverbs 4 is a father to son life lesson talk, from Solomon to his son. There are two different paths, and he urges him to stay on the right path, and avoid the path of the wicked. Over and over in the Bible, this theme of two paths reappears. God grant that we stay on the path to life and righteousness. First, let’s consider the path to AVOID. “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.” It can be sad, humorous or even tragic, when certain “Do Not Enter!” signs in life go ignored. Ignore a “Do Not Enter” sign in a hospital, and you might end up where you’re not supposed to be—but ignore a “Do Not Enter” …