Posts

Showing posts from November, 2014

A Different Kind of King[dom]

Image
Click here to listen to this sermon.
Or here.
“And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!’” (Mark 11:9-11). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! In October of 331 B.C., Alexander the Great entered the ancient city of Babylon. The city manager came out to meet him with troops and horses to surrender. The high priest had the road carpeted with flowers. Silver altars were set up alongside of the road. And they brought gifts of herds of cattle and horses and lions and leopards. Alexander rode into the city on a chariot followed by a procession of priests chanting his greatness and musicians playing instruments. Like any great king, Alexander understood that pomp and circumstance is important. Image is everything. No wonder he was called “the Great.” The Jewish historian, Josephus, tells us of Alexander’s arr…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Temple

Image
Click here to listen to this sermon. Or here. “And when [Jesus] saw them He said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went they were cleansed” (Luke 17:14). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! A funny thing happened on the way to the temple. Not “funny” in a humorous sort of way, but “funny” in the sense of peculiar, unexpected. On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus passes between Samaria and Galilee. As He enters a village, ten lepers come out to meet Him. Well, not exactly “meet him.” They stand at a distance. You see, leprosy is a terrible disease, so contagious that its victims are quarantined until death. They have to leave their families, friends, homes, and livelihoods to spend their last painfully dying days isolated in the wilderness. And if anyone walks toward them, the law demands they warn them away. Logically, such a quarantine also means a leper isn’t able to go to the temple of the Lord for worship and sacrifice, either. T…

Not Just a 1st Article Thanksgiving

Image
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Thanksgiving Day has a long history in the United States. The first thanksgiving was a harvest festival celebrated in 1621 at Plymouth Colony. President George Washington issued the first national thanksgiving proclamation in 1789, but it wasn’t until President Abraham Lincoln acknowledged “the ever watchful providence of Almighty God” with his 1863 proclamation that Thanksgiving gained popularity as an annual holiday. In 1941, Congress fixed the date for Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November. Since that time, our nation seems to have turned this into a day of thanksgiving without specifying whom we thank. Thanksgiving Day is “Turkey Day” and takes a backseat to “Black Friday” for November holidays. More time is spent watching football games than in worship, giving thanks to God. But we Christians don’t really need a presidential proclamation, or an act of Congress, or a special Thursday in November to give …

Enter into the Joy of Your Master

Image
Click here to listen.
Or here.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’” (Matthew 25:21). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Have you ever worked for a good boss? What made that good? Or how about a bad boss: have you ever worked for one of those? What made that bad?   I would have to say that the most difficult bosses that I have worked under tend to micromanage. It seems they were always looking over my shoulder, checking each and every step of the process, second-guessing every decision made. Ironically, the same bosses often fail to accurately communicate the priorities and goals of the team, and then they point a finger at everyone else when things go wrong. Working in that kind of environment can be quite unsatisfying—even so frustrating—that after a while, you find yourself avoiding all contact with the boss. And not surprisingl…

A Foolish Oil Shortage (2)

Image
Click here to listen to this sermon.
Or here.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise” (Matthew 25:1-2). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Who would've thought that the day would come when anything under $2.80 would seem like such a good deal for a gallon of gasoline? But it wasn’t that long ago that it cost me $25 more to fill the gas tank on our van than it does today. While political parties point at each other, and many say greedy oil companies are the culprit, the fact is that the high price of gasoline is caused by a number of foolish choices, shortsightedness, and the simple law of supply and demand. For several years American refiners have been operating at above 100% capacity (however you can do that). While consumption of oil products has continued to rise steadily, no new oil refineries have been built for three decades. In addit…