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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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Message for Sunday 6 September 2020: “Mindful Love”

Today’s message begins with a profound opener: “[F]or the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8b). Paul emphasized love because there is nothing greater than love. All the Old Testament Law is fulfilled when people love one another. People who want to know who and what...
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Message for Sunday 23 August 2020: “Transformed Within”

Today’s message centers on Paul’s discussion in Romans 12:1-8, where he described living sacrifices, implying that Christians are to live as symbolic offerings to God. Unlike butchered sacrificial animals, people are not to be literally slaughtered (thank goodness!). Paul emphasized peoples’ holy status, like the way an animal might...
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Message for Sunday 16 August 2020: “Rinsed Hands, Polluted Soul”

Today message is a story of Jesus responding to critics (Matthew 15: 10-20). The issue is ritual purity about a superficial hand-rinsing. Now before you feel that this ancient washing was done for germ reduction, you must understand that there was no such knowledge prior to the nineteenth century....
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Message for Sunday 9 August 2020: “Lifeguarded”

Today’s message weaves two lectionary selections, Romans 10:5-15 and Matthew 14:22-33. The theme is the power of faith, both to overcome fearful distractions and to represent God to the world. The scene in Matthew has Jesus miraculously walking on the Sea of Galilee to join his disciples, who were...
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