Showing posts from November, 2017

Christ in disguise

Matt 25:31-46
This is a challenging passage of Scripture. I think everyone who cares about being a disciple of Jesus hears these words and feels a little twinge of fear wondering if we are doing all we can.

Jesus is going to judge all of humanity, and what is the basis on which he going to judge humanity? He is going to judge humanity on the basis of how they treated him when he came to them in a kind of disguise. He is disguised as the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned.

There are a couple of ways we can interpret this passage. To the original hearers they would have probably heard Jesus speaking about his disciples going out to the nations. Jesus speaks about the “least of these my brothers and sisters”, which would most likely refer to his disciples. You might remember that when Jesus sends out his disciples in Luke chapter 10 he gives them directions saying, “Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, … Whatever house you enter, first say,…

What do you do with what God has given you?

Matthew 25:14-30
We find our parable today surrounded by teachings having to do with Jesus’ second coming and how we are to live in the meantime.

The parable before today’s reading is about the ten bridesmaids. Five were wise and were prepared with enough oil to last through the night, but five were not wise and their oil ran out. While they were out buying more oil the groom arrived and the wedding began without them. The lesson is to be prepared for his arrival. The second coming of Jesus is the groom’s arrival.

Next week our Gospel lesson is about Jesus separating the sheep and the goats depending on what they have done for Jesus in the guise of those who were in need- the hungry, thirsty, naked, in prison, those in need of clothing, or a stranger. The lesson here is that Jesus has so identified with those in need that whatever we do for those in need it is as if we have done it for Jesus himself. And, as much as we haven’t served those in need we haven’t served Jesus ei…

Remembrance Sunday

Micah 4:1-5; 1 Thess 4:13-18; Matt 5:38-44 
Before I begin, I just want to say that not everyone is going to agree with what I'm about to say, but I hope that leads us to deeper conversation and thought.

I find Remembrance Day to be a difficult day, which is probably how it should be. I would like to share a bit of that struggle with you this morning. I think it is important to remember the suffering endured in times of war. It is important to remember how fragile peace can be. It is important to remember the sacrifices of those who tried to do something to bring peace because to sit back and do nothing was a worse evil. It is also a day to remember Jesus' words to us about violence and enemies.

When I think of Remembrance Day I primarily think of my grandparents telling me about their time in Holland. My Opa spoke about being dragged out of bed at gunpoint in the middle of the night and being robbed by Nazi soldiers. My Oma tells me about her brothers …

Who is St. Leonard?

Isaiah 61:1-4; Acts 12:1-19; Mark 15:1-15

I have to admit that I didn’t know anything about St. Leonard before coming to serve here with you. November 6th is believed to be the day of his death and that is the day he is remembered. So today is the eve of his feast day.

During the Middle Ages one of the most widely read books was called The Golden Legend. It is a collection of stories about the saints that was written around 1260AD.

The Golden Legend tells us that St. Leonard was born around the year 500AD and died around 570AD. Leonard came to be so highly thought of by the king of France that any prisoners Leonard visited were released from prison. The King tried to make Leonard a bishop, but he refused the offer, preferring solitude for prayer. He lived at a number of places from central to South Western France (especially Orleans, Aquitaine, Limoges). It is said that many miracles happened through him. The Golden Legend also shares a few specific stories.

One day, Leonard was…