Luke 16:19-31: The Dishonest Manager–praised for his astuteness, not his dishonesty

“The Parable of the Dishonest Manager” or, with the older title, “The Unjust Steward.”  An owner is wealthy, and others relay rumors to him about his accountant, who is squandering his assets.  This manager is stealing by overcharging on his commissions.  Unlike a wage by the hour or collecting a salary, he earns his income […]

Jeremiah 23:16-29: Live in the Truth

Yoke2

Still in the insecurity of your childhood, running through the house.  Crash!  A prized piece of your mother’s fine porcelain lay broken on the floor.  A few moments later, words are flying from your mouth on how you didn’t break your mom’s china. The contrived deception now spins its web around you, in your mind […]

Romans 6:19-23: Sin’s Wage vs. God’s Gift

Faith is the Gift of God 2

All around us, whether infiltrating the air or intertwining itself into the tapestry of our culture, is an assumption.  To be free is to be the boss, under no one else’s thumb.  Now, at first, who will disagree?  Oh, how gratifying and cathartic, until we realize we turn ourselves into self-made gods.  Only scan human […]

Matthew 5:20-26: Be Reconciled

From Reconciled to Reconciling2

In Nashville, Illinois, I served as a vicar before moving here to be your pastor.  A few years before, someone collapsed during the Divine Service.  With the ambulance called, the service stopped for about 20 minutes, and the paramedics soon arrived.  A seriousness descended, a sense of “this is for real.”  An impromptu prayer rose […]

1 Corinthians 1:18-25: The Foolishness of the Cross

Foolishness of the Cross(2)

In all your days, did someone come to you and make this case?  “Tell me, if God is almighty, can He create a stone too heavy for Him to carry?”  Hmm, such a smug, rebellious question!  At last, the creature gives the Creator His comeuppance, outwitting Him in our cleverness.  So we think.  No, this […]

Genesis 50:15-21: God Working Through All for the Good

Joseph and his brothers first meet in Egypt

How hard to forgive someone who hurts you!  A co-worker takes credit for your work, and now you are the lazy one.  A bully intimidates you, for not all bullies die away after grade school.  Your sister talks your aging mother into giving her a family heirloom, which she promised to you a decade before.  […]

Luke 1:39-45: Mary Visits Elizabeth

Mary and Elizabeth, the Visitation

  The life-changing announcement from the angel Gabriel stuns Mary, as she staggers in shock. Rejoice, favored one!  The Lord is with you.  Don’t be afraid, Mary, for God honors you.  Listen, you will conceive and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.  For he will be mighty and will be called the […]

Luke 15:1-10: Lost and Found

Lost and Found, Sheep and Coin

A lost lamb and coin come to us in story form.  So, we lean forward to attend to our Savior’s words.  Little do we grasp how we are the ones getting lost.  For we think He is teaching us what to do.  Don’t we take in these parables as lessons in loveliness?  For if we […]

Malachi 3:6-10

Will a man rob God

A tale from India records the chronicle of a frightened mouse.  So terrified is he of cats, he is too afraid to venture out.  So, a wizard agrees to convert the tiny creature into a cat.  Now graceful and stealthy, with his fears removed, he is courageous—until he finds a wild dog chasing after him. […]

Isaiah 6:1-7: Holy, Holy, Holy

Isaiah, the Lord, and the Seraphim

To gaze on the glory of God in all His grandeur!  In our wildest imaginings, this vision hypnotizes our senses and seizes our hearts.  Such foolishness!  For in our fallen state, we will be devastated.  Every fiber of our being will convulse in terror, with our tongues left stammering.  The glimpse will burn us in […]