A Word about Faith and Obedience

220px-Robert_Moses_with_Battery_Bridge_model.jpgPerhaps no New Yorker is so vilified in the minds of other New Yorkers as Robert Moses. The man who served as Parks Commissioner for the middle decades of the twentieth century certainly led many good projects; if you’ve ever enjoyed Riverside Park, you have him to thank. But more than anyone Bob Moses has been blamed for tearing up neighborhoods through the abuse of power.

But the way it all started might be a surprise to you. The genesis of his vision was the problem of kids living in the slums who needed some kind of outlet. That prompted him to create parks in the city and parkways to get out of it. Unfortunately his solution may have created more problems than it solved.

In this way, Bob Moses illustrates something about human nature: we often rightly identify that we are in need, but wrongly identify what the need is. Such is the case in today’s text, where the disciples interrupt Jesus’ teaching to state their need, but their self-understanding was amiss.

Title: A Word about Faith and Obedience

Text: Luke 17.1–10

Overview

  • traps
  • forgiveness
  • faith
  • obedience
  • law and gospel

Resources

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John Knox

Throughjohn-knox-190x209.pngout 2017, this year that marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we are tracing the history that led to the founding of our church through the lives of key people in that story. We began before the Reformation with
John Wycliffe and John Hus, and then looked at the lives of Martin Luther and John Calvin.

But for us to trace the story from the continent of Europe to the New World, we have to see w
hat happened in England and Scotland. And there’s no better single person to look at than the great Scottish Reformer, John Knox, whose life intersected with the great rulers of his day—the English Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, Elizabeth I; and the Scottish Mary of Guise, Mary Queen of Scots, and James VI. Through these connections—and his often controversial stances—Knox helped lay the groundwork for many theological and philosophical truths we take for granted today.

Title: John Knox

Text: John 17.20–23

Overview

  • Knox and Mary of Guise
  • Knox and Edward VI
  • Knox and Bloody Mary
  • Knox and Mary Queen of Scots

Resources

 

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A Word about Hell, A Word about Privilege

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image courtesy of PJ Media

The story of the rich man and Lazarus is one of the best-known of Jesus’ parables in the New Testament. But what is it about? What is the point?

It seems quite clear: the story is about hell. Perhaps every sermon I’ve ever heard on this passage has zeroed in on verse 24, and specifically the words “agony” and “fire.” Whole messages have been built on those two words.

But as I’ve reflected on this story, I think that focus actually misses the point. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying it isn’t about hell. But I am suggesting that it’s not mainly about hell. And like Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” if you listen carefully to what Author of this parable says—not only within the text itself but also in its context—you might discover the main point makes Jesus’ words about hell all the more vivid.

Title: A Word about Hell, A Word about Privilege

Text: Luke 16.19–31

Overview

  • contrast
  • reversal
  • help

Resources

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A Word about Shrewdness?

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photo courtesy of money crashers

Jesus’ parables can be difficult to understand for many different reasons. Some are challenging because of their cultural distance from our late modern world (for example, the parable of the ten virgins). Others deal with difficult topics, like money or hell. Still more leave readers wondering what point Jesus was making, such as the last of the kingdom parables in Matthew 13).

This passage includes all three challenges, and for that reason demands much reflection. When I first laid out our sermon series on Jesus’ parables in Luke, I entitled this message “A Word about Shrewdness.” But the more I think about it, the less I believe shrewdness is really the main point. What our Lord is talking about gets at the heart of who we are, and why we’re here.

Title: A Word about Shrewdness?

Text: Luke 16.1–15

Overview

  • summary
  • contrast
  • investment

Resources

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A Word about Living Again

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image courtesy of minotfirstnaz

The story of the prodigal son—and his older brother—tells us of two ways that we can be dead while still living. And it points away to the One who was dead but is alive again, whom we celebrate on this Resurrection Sunday.

Included in this audio is the testimony of the one baptized as part of our worship service.

Title: A Word about Living Again

Text: Luke 15.11–32

Overview

  • testimony
  • dying while living
  • dying and rising

Resources

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