Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 22:1-14

To understand  the  story  about  the  wedding  banquet  and  certain  guests,  we  have  to  review  some  facts  of  the  time  when  Jesus  lived. That  is,  a  sundial  was  the  accepted  form  of  telling  the  time  of  day  but  there  was  no  monthly  calendar  in  every  home.   The  priests  and  rabbis  were  in  charge  of  observing  Sabbath  every  seven  days.   Continue Reading

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 21:23-32

A retired navy officer told a group of college men that when he was in officers training, the captain assigned him to get the ship underway next morning. That’s what he did, with all the numerous orders to move the ship away from the pier.  A few hundred yards into the Chesapeake Bay he dropped anchor.  He was about to send a message to the captain that he was awaiting further orders until a signalman said there was a blinker light back on the pier sending a message which he translated: “Before the ship leaves the pier, it is customary for the officer in charge to be sure the captain is aboard.” The retired officer said he was still embarrassed.Continue Reading

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 18:21-35

A TV producer was driving around, looking for an idea. He stopped where horses grazed. One of the horses trotted over to him – and said, “Let me tell you about myself.  I’ve run in 25 races and won over 5 million dollars.” Our man suddenly had a dozen ideas involving a talking horse.  He offered the rancher half a million dollars for the horse.  The rancher said, “You don’t want’im, but I’ll take your money.” The TV man wrote the check.  “But why wouldn’t I want’im?”  The rancher laughed.  “You can’t believe a thing he says.”Continue Reading

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 18:15-20

Matthew tells of a woman who had been suffering a long time. She came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his cloak. She was healed by the power that emanated from the body of Jesus. Paul, the great missionary theologian,  tells us that the church in every age is the body of Christ.  He wrote to the Corinthians, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”Continue Reading

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 16:21-28

Jesus has reached the point of no return in his brief ministry. After the miracles of healing, after trying to teach his disciples, after being falsely accused as a trouble-maker, Jesus takes the road to Jerusalem. He already knows that his witness to the kingdom of God will require his utmost sacrifice. He says to those around him, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”Continue Reading

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 14:22-33

Some of the most fun I’ve ever had was to drive to the end of Centennial towing a small sailboat, and parking at the launching area on Oak Hollow Lake. I would put my boat in the water and go sailing away in a gentle breeze. I’ve found nothing else as relaxing. But I have a collective memory – that is, I collect, or gather up all the times I went out, and no one particular outing is more memorable than most of the other times.Continue Reading

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 16:13-20

Jesus is a wanted man, just one step ahead of the authorities in Jerusalem. The religious leaders and politicians are afraid of him and his message. They believe his talk about the kingdom will make the Romans think the Jews are ready to revolt. But do the disciples really know Jesus? Is he that great mythic figure known as the Son of Man? Jesus did not believe himself to be the political answer to the hope of his people who were conquered by first one nation and then another?Continue Reading

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 14:13-21

The feeding of the 5,000 men plus women and children is one of the greatest stories about Jesus but it is not a story that can be taken apart.  For instance, did the baskets magically keep being refilled?  Why were exactly twelve baskets of food left over?  How did it happen that baskets were available for the disciples to distribute the food?  Who counted the people? Continue Reading

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

We must be informed by the stories and parables that Jesus told. His wheat and weeds story gives us two fundamental facts.  First, the passage we just read is about God; and second, God is responsible for Creation.  This simple and non-scientific story tells that God created the world, and we do not have to know how, or what God was doing before he created the world.  All that is unimportant.Continue Reading