Showing posts from August, 2013

Humility as the container of grace- Jeremiah 1

Humility as the container of grace
Jeremiah 1
Listen to the sermon here

There is a pattern that we often see when prophets first encounter God. First, God will call the prophet. Then the prophet will protest that they should not be the one to do what God is asking.  God then reassures them that He will be with them to help them carry out their task.             I find it very interesting that these faithful people show a reluctance to respond to God’s call.   When God first calls Moses out of the burning bush Moses responds, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Ex 3:11); “What if they do not believe me or listen to me … I have never been eloquent …  I am slow of speech and tongue… Please send someone else” (Ex 4:1, 10, 13). We see a similar reluctance from Jeremiah who responds to Gods call saying, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young” (Jer1:6).   In addition to Moses and Jeremiah, we see this reluctance in the stories of Gideon, Saul, Is…

you are part of a bigger story Heb 11

Hebrews 11:29-12:2

The letter to the Hebrews was written to a group of people who had become discouraged. They were probably Jewish Christians living in Rome sometime before 70AD. They were probably feeling discouraged for a variety of reasons. There were likely divisions occurring within their own communities. They may have disagreed about the role of non-Jewish people in their community. Or, maybe they disagreed about their relationship with the greater culture, or a variety of other things. Maybe they were under the impression that Jesus was coming back right away. Maybe they were facing persecution from the Roman people, or maybe they were being criticized by their Jewish community for their belief that Jesus is the Messiah. There is no end to the list of things that could have led to their discouragement, and all these things and more were a part of what the early Church was facing. We sometimes glamorize that time, but it was not nece…

live from your future- Luke 12

Luke 12:32-40

Throughout Luke 12 Jesus is calling us to reexamine out priorities. He brings to mind many things that we could be worried about and then shows God’s perspective. Are we afraid of being killed? Jesus reminds us that God does not forget even a sparrow who dies, God will take care of us even in death. He values us so much that He has every hair on our head numbered (Luke 12:4-7). Are we so afraid of our uncertain future that we disregard the needs of others in order to accumulate possessions? As we saw in Jesus’ parable last week, the rich man who had so much wealth he tore down his barns and built new barns could not take his wealth with him when he suddenly died (12:13-21). Are we worried about food or clothing- starvation or nakedness? Or, are we consumed by specialty coffees, designer clothes, fancy cars, and other signs of success and comfort? Jesus reminds us to not let these worries distract us from what is most important- Life is more than food and clothing. What is…

greed and transformation

Luke 12:13-21

The other day I had my first meeting with a financial advisor. He is the brother of a friend and a really nice guy. Frankly, I can use the help. So we met and had a discussion to get to know each other a bit and so that he could get a sense of where we could use his help. Eventually he showed us a picture of a healthy financial plan. It was a bit like a puzzle that was made up of a variety of pieces. Each piece of the puzzle represented an important piece in a financial plan. Some pieces represented insurance and savings that would protect my family in case of non-controllable events that might happen- like illness or disability.  Other pieces represented planning for retirement and paying off student loans. At the very top of the puzzle were the gold pieces “maximizing wealth” and “estate preservation”. I’m still not completely sure what those mean, but the goal of the plan was to eventually retire comfortably, and be secure in the thought that my family will be taken ca…