Posts

Showing posts from March, 2013

Holy Thursday Hospitality - John 13:1-8, 12-17, Luke 22:14-23

My brothers and sisters, you may not have realized it, but we've gathered here tonight for a night of hospitality.  That may cause some of us to pause thinking that Holy Week may be about a lot of things, but hospitality is not one of the things that would come to mind. Yet the events of that first Holy Thursday were all about hospitality. Jesus had entered Jerusalem in an amazing triumphant procession.  However things quickly began to change.  The religious leaders who had already had a growing dislike of Jesus were appalled at his cleansing of the Temple from the money-changers and livestock-sellers and were determined more than ever that this man had to go.  They watched as Jesus taught and the people listened, he had a following and it was growing, that upset them even more.  Jesus even knew that some who had hailed his arrival were growing restless--they were waiting for a king, a warrior, a man who, filed with God's Spirit would give them victory over Rome, and keep all…

What? - Philippians 2:5-11

Have you ever had one of those “what was I thinking moments?” I have had several of them.  As I was preparing the message for this morning, one in particular came to mind. It was 1999, Natalie was ten years old.  Like many kids that age, Natalie wanted a pet—either a lizard or some fish.  We already had two cats and a dog.  I didn’t think we needed anything else in our house.  Phase 1, of “What were you thinking” happened next.  Natalie had lots of trouble keeping her room clean (and I use the past tense just to indicate this story happened in the past, not that she has overcome her difficulty).  I thought I knew how to get past this request from Natalie without denying her.  I told her that if she could keep her room perfectly clean and straight for three consecutive months, that she could get a pet—that would prove she was responsible enough to care for a pet.  “What was I thinking?”  I should have known better—never challenge Natalie with something you think she will never be able to…

Why? - John 12:108

A very successful lawyer parked his brand-new BMW in front of his office, ready to show it off to his colleagues. As he got out, a truck passed too close and completely tore off the door on the driver's side. He immediately grabbed his cell phone, dialed 911, and within minutes a policeman pulled up. Before the officer had a chance to ask any questions, the lawyer started screaming hysterically. His BMW, which he had just picked up the day before, was now completely ruined and would never be the same, no matter what the body shop did to it. When the man finally wound down from his ranting and raving, the officer shook his head in disgust and disbelief. "I can't believe how materialistic you are," he said. "You are so focused on your possessions that you don't notice anything else." "How can you say such a thing?" asked the lawyer.  The cop replied, "Don't you know that your left arm is missing from the elbow down? It must have been tor…

How? - 2nd Corinthians 5:16-22

How many of you remember the country song from the late 1970’s by John Conlee entitled, “Rose Colored Glasses”?  In this song, John sings of a man who has a girlfriend that has cheated on him, possibly lied to him, and just treated him wrong in general.  However, John sings that he looks at the girl through “rose colored glasses:”  “But these rose colored glasses that I’m looking through, show only the beauty cause they hide all the truth.”  He sings that these glasses show him only the good things of their relationships and help him ignore all the obvious problems and reasons he should dislike and dismiss her. We’ve asked “Who?” contemplated “Spiritual Alzheimer’s” and the temptation to forget who and whose we are, and asserted that we are Christians called to remember that we belong to God.  We’ve asked, “Where?” and remembered that we are “citizens of heaven” called to place our trust and reliance upon God as we live as aliens on this earth.  Last week we asked, “Which?” and asserte…

Which? - Luke 13:1-9

Tommy's house is packed with relatives for family reunion. Grandpa calls 6 year old Tommy and starts asking about school, girlfriends and anything else he can think of. After a while, grandpa notices that Tommy is losing interest in the conversation so he pulls out two bills from his wallet to see if he can keep him interested, a ten and a twenty-dollar bill. He shows both bills to Tommy and tells him that he can keep any one he chooses. Tommy reaches over and grabs the ten-dollar bill. Grandpa was pretty surprised and upset about the unwise decision his grandchild made, so he pulls out another ten-dollar bill to see if it was a mistake. Again, he tells Tommy to take one of the bills and keep it. Tommy grabs the other ten. Grandpa again is surprised and upset.  He takes Tommy over to one of the uncles and shows him how dumb Tommy is in choosing the ten over the twenty. Grandpa goes on and on showing every uncle and cousin and each time Tommy chooses the ten over the twenty. Grandpa…