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The-Parable-of-the-10-Bridesmaids

Not long ago we needed new license tabs for one of our vehicles.  So I headed on down to the Woodbury License center to pay the fees and get the new stickers.  I figure I’m going to be in and out of there in 2-3 minutes.  But when I walk in the door, I see the place is packed!  I mean, why did everyone have to wait until the last day of the month???? Like I did??  I take a number.  94.  I check the digital sign that displays the number of the current person being served.  12.  OK.  So this is not going to be 2-3 minutes.  It’s going to be HOURS!  And I have not prepared for this.  I have no provisions!  Not even a Snickers bar!  I certainly did not bring pajamas or an air mattress to stay the night and it looks like it could be a while.

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Before one attends a family reunion or a get together with relatives, it’s always a good idea to review who everyone is.  I remember my mom doing this with me when I was little.  And I’ve done the same with my kids.  “You remember Uncle Fred?  Aunt Irene?”  “I think so . . . who are they again?”  I think we always assume the next generation knows and remembers more than they do.  So we have to sketch out a little family tree, connect the branches and try to retrieve names and understand the relationships.

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CLICK HERE for slides that accompany this sermon

My goal today for this sermon marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is to do something I don’t believe I have done in 26 years of preaching on Reformation Sunday.  I am going to preach a Reformation Sunday sermon without mentioning . . .(slide 1) “you know who.” Continue Reading »

We have been hearing a lot in the news this past week about a new federal tax plan.  Proponents of it think it will be good for our country and the economy.  But every time some new tax codes are floated out there, everyone starts asking: “Who will get a tax break?”  “Whose taxes will increase?”  I’m not sure I really understand all the numbers and all the issues involved.  But I do know that I don’t particularly LIKE paying taxes.  I’m guessing no one really does. Continue Reading »

I’m tired of hearing about violence in our world.

 

This past week we broke another record.  The biggest mass shooting in American history.  I’m weary of it.  So are you.  It makes no sense.  Once again we have to process this and parents have to try to figure out how to talk to their kids about it.  And all of us are left with a lingering feeling of unease and disappointment that it has happened again. Continue Reading »

In order to understand the amazing life-changing moment of grace in this parable we must begin with some math.  Here’s the parable in a nutshell:  One man owed a large debt to a king – 10,000 talents – a debt that was cancelled and forgiven.  That same man refused to forgive the much smaller debt – 100 denari — of his neighbor.  I’m assuming most of us aren’t too familiar with the exchange rates of talents and denari to US dollars, but doing the math helps us understand Jesus’ story more fully.

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“Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

 

Today we kick off another year of ministry here at church.  It’s energizing for me – for all of us!  I love it when the regular, familiar routine of Sunday School and Bible study and Wednesday nights and choir and Grace Groups all get started again.

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