Archive for October, 2022

Sermon 10-16-2022: “To Pray Always and Not Lose Heart”

October 17, 2022

Scripture: Luke 18: 1-8

I’m excited this morning to talk about a parable that, frankly, I have misunderstood for most of my Christian life: the Parable of the Unjust Judge… or the Parable of the Persistent Widow—depending on which character you choose to emphasize. 

I must caution you from the outset: this parable shares some themes with a parable we looked at over the summer from Luke 11—the Parable of the Friend at Midnight. As in the case of that parable, I need to remind you: just because God is being compared to an evil or unflattering character—in Luke 11 to a grouchy neighbor or in today’s scripture to an unjust judge—doesn’t mean that God is like those people! Not at all! In fact, in both parables, Jesus says, if even these badly flawed human beings will eventually give in and do the right thing, well… you can be sure that God your heavenly Father will always do the right thing!

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 10-09-2022: “Mustard-Seed Faith”

October 11, 2022

Scripture: Luke 17: 5-10

Let me start by reminding you of a recent date in history: June 1, 2022. Our Atlanta Braves were behind the New York Mets by 10-and-a-half games in the National League East… a lead that seemed insurmountable, at least to many Mets fans. And some of them were happy to say so, on Twitter, on sports radio, and on cable TV. Take, for instance, one particular sports radio personality from New York, Sal Licata. On May 31, he said the following:

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 10-02-2022: “Paul’s Legacy… and Ours”

October 11, 2022

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:1-14

When I was a senior in high school, we had the equivalent of a beauty pageant, the “Miss Henderson” Pageant. “Henderson” was the name of my high school in Chamblee, Georgia. It doesn’t exist anymore. It’s now a Middle School, but… Go Cougars, anyway! 

But the Miss Henderson pageant was divided into three parts: beauty, talent, and an interview with the judges… public speaking. And I’ll never forget one of my classmates, named Kim, who competed in this pageant… And of course Kim was sufficiently talented and beautiful in the first two portions of the pageant, and if she could only do well in the interview portion, then she would have a real shot at becoming “Miss Henderson” of 1988. She surely had high hopes… that is, until the judges asked her the following question: “What would you like your legacy to be?” 

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 09-25-2022: “The Length, Width, Height, and Depth of God’s Love”

October 5, 2022

Scripture: Luke 16:19-31

An article in the Los Angeles Times last week estimated that the total cost of the queen’s funeral was more than six billion dollars. Of course, that includes literally everything—even, for instance, the cost of all the banks in Britain closing down for a bank holiday, not to mention the cost of all the security for the world leaders who attended the funeral. 1

Read the rest of this entry »