In this parable, a landowner recruited workers throughout the day to work in his vineyard, but pays everyone the same daily wage regardless of the number of hours they worked that day, which angers those who labored the longest. Is this fair? The parable warns against allowing one’s self to be reduced to a reward for one’s work and indicates that the kingdom of God has other metrics. We have a reward coming! Learn about this reward.
Jesus wants us get stronger and healthier by making the decision to forgive. He challenges us to turn that choice into an ongoing process, based on a willingness to forgive others because God has forgiven us. Listen to todays message and learn to forgive others. Click for video.youtu.be/n-5CnHqt8bU
In our Gospel reading, Matthew 18:15-20, Jesus discusses how broken relationships in human affairs can be handled. Discipline and reconciliation whether in a congregation or in personal relationship are important. Remember, we even love those who disagree with us. Right??? Click here to view video.
Jesus wants excepts us to be obedient and faithful. Jesus announces his destiny of suffering obedience. Yet, Jesus invites his disciples to share in that radical destiny of obedience to death, promising that such willingness and total obedience is the door to new life. Can you do that?
God wants us to be different from the norm of the world. In Romans 12:1-8, Paul tells us how to accomplish this. Paul challenges us to live our lives not conforming to the standards of this age, but to allow ourselves to be transformed and live by the standards of Christ. Do we dare to be different form the norm?https://youtu.be/uVyRAwIUhvo
Do you have hope, faith, and persistence when you approach Jesus? In our Gospel reading from Matthew 15, Jesus encounters a Canaanite woman who is the epitome of these characteristics. Jesus rebukes her for bothering him since she is not a Jew. How would you have handled this situation? Persisted or given up? Hear today's message to find out - view the service video below:
Jesus is with us in the storms of life. We need to keep our eyes on him and trust him in everything. In this Gospel lesson, we see Jesus as the one who bestows power; as the one who calls to his follower, to those who are willing to step out of the safety of the boat, “come to me” - and who supports them when they do so. See the service video below.
In our Epistle reading for August 2nd, we read in Romans about the relationship between Jew and Gentiles and the failure of the Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Paul struggles with this dilemma.
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Who wants weeds in their garden? Who wants leaven mixed into their unleavened bread? What would you do if you found treasure? In a series of parables, Jesus confronts his disciples with the radical nature of the Kingdom.
The keys to understanding parables fall along two important lines here.
First, all parables are meant to be simple expressions, taken at face value. We are always tempted to allegorize by attributing different identities and aspects to the elements in the story. I have done this repeatedly! Even the biblical editors did it, inserting Jesus explaining the parables. If Jesus had to explain his parable, then it was a lousy parable, like having to explain a joke - that's failure.
Second, we need to pay critical attention to the opening words: The Kingdom of heaven/God is like .... In other words, the parables is not some generalized information from which we can draw our own conclusions, perhaps by allegorizing the parable. Rather, it directly refers to the Kingdom and its radical nature.
The tiny seed and the pinch of leaven take on a whole new meaning. The incredible treasure in the field and the priceless pearl also take on new meaning as well.
In our Gospel reading for July 19th, we read in Matthew 13 about weeds and seeds. The summary of this parable of the wheat and the weeds is about creating the right environment for everyone to “shine like the sun.” Do you remember the saying from the 60’s and 70’s, “Bloom Where You Are Planted?”