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Message for Sunday 15 November 2020: “Talented Multiplication”

Today message highlights Jesus’ teaching about talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Jesus’ language focused on using talents—ancient units of money—in a manner that multiplies a wise investment. What was an ancient talent worth? The closest reckoning indicates that in Jesus’ day, one talent was the amount that an ordinary day laborer...
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Message for Sunday 8 November 2020: “Keep Your Fire Burning”

Today’s focus is Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus’ stark parable about bridesmaids and lamps. The story reveals five wise bridesmaids who were prepared with extra lamp oil, and five foolish bridesmaids who chose not to bring extra oil. The situation became serious when the arrival of the bridegroom, who became angry...
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Message for Sunday 1 November 2020: “Hypo-critters”

Today’s message reveals insights from Micah 3:5-12 and Matthew 23:1-12. The topic involves being wary of harmful people in authority while also avoiding hypocrisy by practicing what you preach. A verse in Micah speaks about the influence of evil prophets: “Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead...
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Message for Sunday 18 October 2020: “Spiritual Currency”

Today’s lesson from Matthew 22:15-22 illustrates how Jesus’ critics attempted to trap him with a taxing issue. In response, Jesus distinguished between paying a government tax bill and what it is that God expects (hint: God seeks more than just a portion of your income). Who are the bad...
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Message for Sunday 11 October 2020: “Banquet Etiquette”

Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 22:1-14 involves a monumental invitation. Jesus’ metaphor of a king sending slaves to invite people to a wedding banquet is code for God’s historic connection to the Jewish nation, and the celebration for the king’s heir is a reference to Jesus as God’s son. The...
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Message for Sunday 27 September 2020: “Question Authority”

Today’s lectionary message from Matthew 21:23-32 examines an encounter between Jesus and religious bureaucrats, who asked where Jesus obtained his authority. Jesus responded by posing a counter-question, inquiring about the authority of John the Baptist.  What Jesus asked his critics raised the controversial issue of where John’s baptism came...
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Message for Sunday 20 September 2020: “Managing Expectations”

Today’s message showcases a parable relating to fairness and economic justice. Jesus’ parable in Matthew 20:1-16 introduces a landowner with who hires workers, some early in the day and others later. The landowner makes a separate contract with each group of workers. The controversy centers on how the manager...
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Message for Sunday 13 September 2020: “Forgive Me, or Forgive Me Not”

Today’s message from Matthew 18:21-35 addresses forgiveness. The lesson begins with a hypothetical story, known as a parable, which was Jesus’ most common teaching method. The parable begins with the plight of an anonymous slave, let’s call him “Ralph,” who petitioned his master for forgiveness of tremendous financial obligations....
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