The Surprise of the Father (Sermon)

This is an adapted form of the sermon I preached today, the Fourth Sunday in Lent. The gospel reading was Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32, the so-called "Parable of the Prodigal Son." When I recited the gospel right before the sermon, I made an attempt to tell the story slightly differently, emphasizing the younger son's words in … Continue reading The Surprise of the Father (Sermon)

Ships in Harbors, Talents in the Ground

This is an adapted form of the sermon I preached this morning. The gospel text was Matthew 25:14-30. When Jonathan was young, he was always anxious. Things had to be done the right way, or it upset him. For example: he and his brother played with refrigerator magnets, you know, the big colorful plastic letters … Continue reading Ships in Harbors, Talents in the Ground

Wait Like a Farmer

This is an adapted form of the sermon I preached this morning. The gospel text was Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids.  I’d like to tell you today about Robert. Robert was a very active member of a congregation I served. Still is, I’m sure. I remember him as a quiet, thoughtful man. … Continue reading Wait Like a Farmer

Mustard and Poison Ivy

This is an adapted version of the sermon I preached this morning. The gospel text was Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. Did you ever feel like you’re banging your head against a wall? Like no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t make a difference? I think we all feel that way in our faith sometimes. No … Continue reading Mustard and Poison Ivy

No Power, No Control

This is an adapted form of the sermon I preached this morning. The gospel text was the parable of the wheat and the weeds, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. One of the professional hazards of being a pastor is the temptation to think that you’re a superhero. Many of us slip into thinking that we can and … Continue reading No Power, No Control