A quick word about our worship. Pastor and I don’t pick the lessons we read and preach on each Sunday. They are part of a 3 year lectionary that most major Christian bodies share. And I share this because we’ve had a few folks comment that we seem to be talking a lot about our money and our possessions. Well, that is where our lectionary takes us as we move toward the end of the church year. And why? Because Jesus talked more about our “stuff” than anything else. And he knew then as we know now, what an idol it can all be. So let’s go.
Some weeks we have lessons with an underlying theme – that’s easy to read and pick up. Today isn’t one of those days.
Our Gospel reading this morning is hardly straightforward, clear or easy to understand. Jesus tells the story about a manager who defrauds his employer in an attempt to receive security from the people who benefit from his dishonesty. Something like that could never happen today. Hardly. (more…)
As many of you know, our family has vacationed in Maine on the same lake up in the mountains each summer for 46 years now. We started when our kids were babies and now we are blessed that they, their spouses and our grandchildren still want to go each summer. Part of our week up there usually involves heading over the valley into New Hampshire to worship at the Lutheran Church there. When we arrived this year, we learned that the husband and wife team who served there moved this year and so we had a visiting Pastor who was around my age. He told us he mainly does transitional ministry, working with congregations going through a pastoral vacancy. When I googled his website, he was a self-announced stewardship specialist. And so I was shocked when he read the Gospel for the day from the 12th chapter of Luke that talks about what we do with the abundance of our possessions…and he then proceeded to tell us that a) he had never ever preached on this text and b) he didn’t know what to do with it. Which was quickly evident as he rambled for the next half hour. It was a difficult worship experience to which Carol can attest. I thought she was going to grab me by my ear to sit still. (more…)