The Least, First

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Jesus, ooey-gooey, and The Onion (Sermon of Nov 23)

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Jesus paints the end of time over and over in the runup to Matthew’s version of passion week.  But, whew! The implications of these stories are startlingly controversial.

He tells of a great sorting of people (Matthew 25:31-46).  Goyim —gentiles—people, perhaps, like me.  The method of his sort, though, I never heard in Sunday School.

He's an Author and Homeless i...

He explains his choice to the group invited into his “kingdom:”

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.

“Say what?” they respond.  “We never saw you like that.”

His answer?

Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me-you did it to me.

Huh.  Wonder what that means.  To him?

Don Jail

Now the second group, whom he says are “good for nothing but the fires of hell.” And why?

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’

“Say what?” they respond.  “We never saw you like that.”

His answer?

Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me-you failed to do it to me.

The “goats” go off to their doom, the sheep to their reward.  The end.

But wait, this is going to get very strange. Read the rest of this entry »

Power and Powerlessness (Easter sermon)

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Resurrection of the Lord: Easter Day, March 23, 2008

The Angel is Opening Christ’s Tomb, 1640Matthew 28:1-10; Acts 10:34-43; Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 118:1-2,14-24 (Easter A)

Christ, the Lord Is Risen Today
Alleluia, Alleluia
Our God Reigns
The Wonderful Cross

Matthew 28
Risen from the Dead
After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.

The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. Read the rest of this entry »

He Is Risen! (readings for Easter)

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Resurrection of the Lord: Easter Day, March 23, 2008

Matthew 28:1-10; Acts 10:34-43; Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 118:1-2,14-24 (Easter A)

Who will roll away the stone?Matthew 28
Risen from the Dead
1-4 After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.

5-6The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
7″Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

March 17, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Baptism of Christ (readings for Sunday, Jan. 13, 2007)

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[My sermon on Luke’s version of this story is posted here. Drop by! – Monte]

Here are the Scriptures I’m working on for Sunday:

Baptism of the Lord (First Sunday after the Epiphany) January 13, 2008
Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 10:34-43; Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29

Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus then appeared, arriving at the Jordan River from Galilee. He wanted John to baptize him. John objected, “I’m the one who needs to be baptized, not you!”

But Jesus insisted. “Do it. God’s work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism.”
So John did it.

The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Acts 10:34-43
34-36Peter fairly exploded with his good news: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

January 11, 2008 at 6:59 pm

We believe in the resurrection. . .don’t we? Easter sermon 2007

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Mary Magdalene at the tombResurrection of the Lord (Easter Day), April 8, 2007
Luke 24:1-12; Acts 10:34-43; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Psalm 118:1-2,14-24
[See also I’m not about to let his grace go to waste, the Easter sermon of 2006.]

Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Alleluia, Alleluia
Forever
Because He Lives (chorus only)
He Is Lord
Prayer
Welcome
Elisabeth Tinnes sings
Luke 24:1-12 [read it from pew Bible]
Daniel Clendennin at The Journey With Jesus:

In her book Practicing Resurrection, [Nora] Gallagher recalls a conversation with [her friend] Harriet who told her about sitting in church at the National Cathedral in Washington. During the course of a boring sermon the priest asked the congregation in unctuous tones, “Now what do you really want for Christmas this year?” “I nearly rose from my pew,” she told Nora. “I was gathering myself up until I looked over at my sister who was giving me That Look, and I sat back down, but what I wanted to do was stand up and call out, ‘I would really like to believe in the resurrection.’

We believe in the resurrection. Don’t we? We want to. But faith is not faith without doubt, and sometimes I worry: Monte, do you really believe this? How come it seems so far away to you sometimes? Read the rest of this entry »