Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"Is It Fair?"

Sermon Notes for September 24, 2017

Read Matthew 20:1-16, where laborers earn a day's wages for a day -- or less -- of work.

Take a moment right now, and decide if you think this is a fair story.

No, right? Anyone who grows up in a culture where the work is supposed to match the pay, will immediately say that this isn't fair. That fair would be a proportional amount for everyone based on the number of hours they put into the field.

But is it a good parable? Does it make you think? Does it fill you with hope and joy about what comes next? I think we'll find that changes greatly depending on who you identify with. Because if you see yourself as one of the people who were out there at first light, ready and willing to work, this is a frustrating parable. This is a story about working harder for the same pay.

But if you identify with the people at the end of the day, the people who had been looking for work, but just didn't find it, the people who were still in the marketplace and hoping against all odds, this is a story of generosity and grace.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Sermon Notes for September 17, 2017

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." Jesus spends a lot of his ministry trying to build his followers into communities. Care for each other. Learn from each other. Eat with each other. Gather together in my name. Part of being a disciple is about being in community. That's my concern about people who identify as spiritual, but not religious Christians. Usually when people call themselves spiritual, what they mean is that they have a close personal relationship with God. It's just them and God far away from the rest of the world. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have such a relationship with God. It's a good thing to go off and find God away from people. The trouble comes, when we have to go back into the world. We can't stay in our spiritual retreat forever and the world is full of people we have to deal with.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Now What?"

Sermon Notes for September 3, 2017

Our passage this morning continues with where we left off last week in Paul's letter to the Romans. First he told this early church that they have to come together as one community, as one body, even though they are very different people with many different gifts. This week he tells them how they are supposed to behave when they come together.

Paul tells them that they must begin with love. The root of the church is a community that loves like Jesus showed us how to love.