Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christ the King

Sermon Notes for November 26, 2017

Read Matthew 25:31-46, where Christ separates the sheep from the goats.

When we come to today's passage, we tend to think of it in terms of who we are. Where do we fit in. Who am I? A sheep or a goat? It seems like an important question. Where do I fall on this spectrum? How am I going to end up on the last days?

And it's not a terribly comfortable question is it? Because it's not a comfortable passage. Because if we think about it, we all have days when we're a goat.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Giving Thanks

Sermon Notes for November 19, 2017

Read Luke 17:11-19, where ten lepers are healed, but only one returns to express his gratitude.

There are times when it is easy to say thank you. For instance, when something goes incredibly right in your life. Or when a disaster you thought was headed your way gets averted. And in our story today, ten men get their lives returned to them.

Because finding out they had leprosy ended their lives. It was not just that it was fatal, though it was. Leprosy meant that they were immediately cast out, away from their lives, from their homes, from their friends and family and everyone they loved. Leprosy meant that they were doomed to exile until the disease finally ended them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Sermon Notes for November 12, 2017

Read Matthew 25:14-29, where servants manage bags of gold for their master.

This is one of those passages that seems unfair at first glance. I mean, the servant was scared and so he was left with nothing, how is that fair? And the line "For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away" has been used to justify keeping people in poverty and misery for centuries.

But, if you look deeper, you see the passage isn't talking about that at all. It's a parable about faith and risk, trust and fear. It's a parable that speaks to the very nature of how you live your life and how you see God. Let me explain.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Sermon Notes for November 5, 2017

When we hear the word saint, most of us think of the Catholic definition of the word first: men and women who lived centuries ago and who did miracles.  Maybe there is a particular saint you are drawn to, Saint Thomas or Saint Augustine. I've always been partial to Saint Francis. Catholics believe that you can ask the saints to intercede on your behalf when it comes to prayers. That a prayer has more weight if the saint is asking than if you are.

As protestants, that's not what we believe. We do all of our praying direct to God ourselves. We still have saints, but we believe that when we die we join the Communion of Saints. So all of those who have gone before us are now saints. Far from a club for people who lived perfect lives or believed without doubt, sainthood is a state achieved not by good deeds but by dying in the faith of Christ's grace and love. We will never be perfect. No human is ever going to get it all right. But it's not about us being perfect, it's about the grace of God that was given to us freely.