This week we will look at the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. How can the one who is trying so hard, and is so confident be so very wrong? And how can we live lives marked by humility, but not be either ineffective wallflowers or end up ‘proud’ of our humility?
Winston Churchill was once invited to give a speech at Harrow, a school he had attended. His speech was famously short. This is the second half of it. "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." In this Sunday's Gospel Jesus tells a parable of an insistent widow who would not give up. She got the justice she sought. Jesus then wonders if his followers will have a stamina of faith that will carry them through the difficulties to come.
Jesus heals ten lepers. One returns to say thank you. Jesus tells him that his faith has made him well. What does this mean? Didn't Jesus make him well? The nature of the leper's faith, our prophetic participation in the Lord's ministry, and the sort of Faith that heals.
This week’s gospel starts with the disciples asking for more faith and ends with Jesus telling them to consider themselves slaves not expecting gratitude or praise. Luke has a different context than Matthew for faith the size of a mustard seed and we will reflect on why we need faith, how we receive it and how we use it in our life in the body of Christ.
This Sunday we turn to the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. While the parable contrasts a rich man and a poor man it is not about money. It is in part about the challenge of living with money but while that is a point of warning for all of us, that is a secondary concern. There are many things in life that play the same role money does in this parable. This Sunday I will examine many of the details of the parable and explain why the Rich Man went to a place of suffering and pain.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Luke 16:1-13
15 mins 4 secs
Views: 140
Nobody likes to get fired. Wait, that's not absolutely true in the Silicon Valley. But it is true to say that everyone likes to be hired! Getting hired is very affirming. In this Sunday's Gospel Jesus admires a guy who does a lousy job, gets fired, and gives himself a golden parachute on the way out the door. Not only does Jesus admire the guy, but so does his former boss! This Sunday Fr. Ed will explain what it is that Jesus admires about the guy and what the implications are for his followers.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Luke 15:1-10
14 mins 46 secs
Views: 160
Jesus came into the world to save sinners and tells us that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. How is our view of ourselves shaped by these verses? And more importantly, are we, as individuals and as the body of Christ, seeking the lost with the persistent love of God or are we driving them away with our own sinfulness?
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Luke 14:1 & Luke 14:7-14
12 mins 13 secs
Views: 162
The word Makarios is usually translated "blessed", but is sometimes translated "happy". Jesus uses it in the Beatitudes "blessed are the poor, for...." In this weeks Gospel Jesus tells a parable and uses the word again. What does it mean exactly? How are we makarios? It means far more than you will be really really happy if you do these things. Blessings involve a change at some level. We are different after a blessing than before. A gift of grace is given. Something shifts in our souls. We experience an ontological adjustment. This Sunday Fr. Ed will reflect on what Jesus means by makarios and on the behaviors we may practice in this life to accumulate blessings in the life to come.
The Very Rev. Ed McNeill
Luke 13:10-17
16 mins 11 secs
Views: 188
Do exceptions prove the rule or highlight hypocrisy? In this week's gospel Jesus heals a woman and calls the leader of the Synagogue a hypocrite. Have you noticed that Jesus calls a great number of people hypocrites. He really gets angry about hypocrisy amongst the leaders of Israel. Ever wonder how he feels about hypocrisy amongst leaders of the church? How about among his followers? This Sunday Fr. Ed will reflect on the nature of hypocrisy and the sort of hypocrisy that Jesus publicly lambasts and the why and how to minimize hypocrisy in the church and in our lives.
Jesus' followers heard the message straight from him. They followed him from town-to-town, watched his actions, prayed with him, and still they just kept missing the point. If it can happen to them, when He was right there, how easy is it for Christians today? This week's Gospel message is a wake up call, to remind us that Christianity is a revolution, and we need to get behind it.