Thursday, September 13, 2018

Remembering Our Heritage

Sermon for September 9, 2018 

Read Isaiah 43:1-7 and Luke 3:16, 21-38

You might be wondering why I decided to choose one of the classically most boring types of scripture for our passage today. Generally speaking whenever the scripture has long lists of names, one after the other, we skip them in church, knowing that they make people's eyes glaze over and lose interest that you might not get back.

Which is true. But they are also important. It's important because on some level we all want to know where are roots are. Who we belong too. And what these genealogies do is allow people to have a reference point for Jesus. Matthew begins his gospel with this genealogy which stretches back through David and through him to Abraham, two of the most important figures in the history of the Israelites. And it also includes foreigners, women, and kings who failed.  It says a lot about how anyone can play a part, anyone can make a difference; just from a list of names.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Within The Heart

Sermon for September 2, 2018 

Read  James 1:17-27 and Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23  

So, at first glance, in our passage today the Pharisees seem to be overly concerned with hand washing. They come across as overly fussy, looking for something to be unhappy about. But when we look at what the hand washing really means, their protest starts to make more sense. It’s not just a quick rinsing of the hands, but instead a ritual washing followed by speaking the blessing: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments, and commanded us concerning the washing of the hands."