Have you ever been cancelled? It’s not always the gift that we want, but there is life on the other side. In the midst of the temples of our lives crumbling, life as we know it changing, worlds colliding, betrayals and abandonment Jesus gives us hope. Proper 28 - Readings: Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 12:2-6, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, Luke 21:5-1 - Link to article mentioned in the sermon - https://nyti.ms/2NLhBuH; special thanks to the Mockingcast for their discussion on being “cancelled” which was inspiration for this sermon.
We learn at an early age to exclude others for all sorts of reasons. We turn people and whole swaths of humanity into caricatures so we don’t really have to get to know them or see them as human. This makes it easier to assassinate their character and kill them figuratively, and as history shows us - literally. This is not the way of a people touched and saved by Grace. It’s time to wake up and say NO MORE. Proper 24 - Year C - Readings: Jeremiah 31:27-34, Psalm 1119:97-104, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5, and Luke 18:1-8
When my daughter turned four years old I asked her if she would stay four forever. Of course, she would have none of that nonsense, as she was intent on being a princess and a cheerleader and her age didn’t seem like it would help her achieve either. I finally wore her down and she said, “okay Daddy, I will stay four until God turns me five.” The wisdom of children. She intuitively knew that God is the God of today and tomorrow. Our movement into the future is a part of God’s plan. This can fill us with fear. Jesus tells a difficult parable in today’s readings that says something important about moving forward in hope. Proper 20 - Readings: Jeremiah 8:18-9:1, Psalm 79:1-9, 1 Timothy 2:1-17, and Luke 16:1-13.
Do you hear voices? We all follow certain voices in this life. Do this! Don’t do that! Be this! We listen to some and choose to ignore others. Jeremiah has something to say about the voices and idols around us and how to fill our lives with living water. Proper 17. Readings: Jeremiah 2:4-13, Psalm 81:1, 10-16, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, and Luke 14:1, 7-14.
We live in a world where bigger is seen as better and the loudest person in the room is considered significant. Influence and “what and who matters” is often measured by how many likes, friends or accolades we have acquired. It’s easy to feel small or even forgotten. Jesus shows us where God gravitates on the scale of influence and what is really important. Proper 16 - Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; Hebrews 12:18-29; Luke 13:10-17
Have you ever wanted life to stop to you could catch your breath? Maybe it was on the Mind Bender at Six Flags, or possibly something more consequential like a job, relationship or (you fill in the blank). We have all likely been there at one time or another. Sometimes we get off and are afraid to get back on. Jesus always uses love to cast out fear and today’s readings are no exception. Proper 14 - Readings: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20; Psalm 50:1-8, 23-24; Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40
We live in an age of me and mine. We often confuse what we want with what we need and even deserve. These feelings can cloud our view of fairness and justice. They sometimes lead to broken relationships and violence. Today’s Gospel shows Jesus peeling back the veneer of fairness and uncovering greed. Proper 13 - Readings: Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21
Conjunction, junction what’s your function? Conjunctions are a part of our everyday speech. Sometimes, we pepper them in when we are trying to avoid something or talk about something we see as unfair. BUT Mooooommmmmm. The conjunction in Jesus’ encounter with the lawyer in Luke’s Gospel shows us the door to true compassion. Proper 10. Readings: Amos 7:7-17, Psalm 82, Colossians 1:1-14 and Luke 10:25-37.