Showing posts from July, 2019

5th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 5:1-11

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have you ever had one of those days where you work and don’t see a single result, where you toil and don’t seem to get anywhere? It doesn’t even necessarily have to be with a job. It could be with your children, your non-profit, your studies, your marriage. It happens from time to time in all our vocations. We ply the task assigned us and often have nothing to show for it. That’s the sort of day Peter had the night before Jesus asked to get into his boat. Peter and his crew out of their boats, washing their nets, doing the menial work of the trade, when Jesus approaches. The crowd had been slowly pressing Jesus closer and closer to the Lake of Gennesaret so that He had nowhere to go. But they wanted to hear the Word of God. So He gets into Peter’s boat and asks the fisherman to put out a little from land. At this point Peter already believed in Christ. He had already heard Christ’s preaching and Jesus had…

4th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 6:36-42

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Jesus tells us to be merciful. But we’re not commanded to be merciful as the world is merciful. The world’s mercy has a limit. It’ll only put up with someone’s shortcomings to a point. More often than not when it does bear with someone’s burdensome behavior it’s only on the outside. Inwardly it grouses about the person or situation. That’s all the world’s mercy is: external. People seem gracious and merciful but inwardly they judge and condemn. Unable to put the best construction on situations, too many inspect their neighbor’s eye for specks of dust while they themselves have 2x4s protruding from theirs. This isn’t the type of mercy Jesus commands. He commands us to be merciful, not as the world is merciful, but as our Father in heaven is merciful. His mercy is different from the world’s version of mercy. His is from the heart. It isn’t hypocritical so that God is merciful to us outwardly yet inwardly ju…

3rd Sunday after Trinity + Luke 15:1-10

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Jesus, a teacher of righteousness, accomplishes quite a feat. “All the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.” Tax Collectors worked from the Roman government, collecting taxes and customs. They were notorious for demanding more than the required amount to skim that bit off the top and increase their own wealth. This job attracted the greedy and dishonest. Greed and dishonesty are of course sins, but what makes their sin that much worse is that they do it openly for all the world to see. They were what we called “manifest” sinners. Their sin was well-known and obvious. Then there’s the “sinners” who draw to Jesus. Luke doesn’t mean “sinners” in the sense of people who fall into sin because of human weakness, but people who live their lives in open sin. Anyone with a hint of moral fiber would stay away from these people and be ashamed to be seen with them, let alone share a supper tab…

2nd Sunday after Trinity + Luke 14:16-24

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Lord prepares a feast for His people, says the prophet Isaiah, “A feast of choice pieces, a feast of wine on the lees, of faith things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees” (Isaiah 25:6). The lees is a layer of yeast and at the bottom of a wine barrel. When wine ages on the lees that yeast imparts a richer flavor to the wine. All this is to say that the feast which God prepares is a true feast with the best foods and finest wines. It’s reminiscent of the rich man in last week’s parable who “fared sumptuously every day” (Luke 16:19). Except the daily feasts of the rich man consisted of physical food. The feast which the prophet foretells is the food that is so often spoken of throughout Scripture, a spiritual food that far excels the feasts of this life. Jesus speaks of this food in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” The …

1st Sunday after Trinity + Luke 16:19-31

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The rich man dies and goes to hell. He goes to Hell not because he’s rich but because he’s set his heart on his riches. He found his joy in his wealth. He lived for the sake of accumulating and enjoying the best things this life could offer. Consider how Christ describes him. He “was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.” He word the most expensive color of clothing, the color of kings. He fared sumptuously every day. His table was set with the richest foods and the finest wines, not once a month, not once a week, but every day. This man was the epitome of wealth. There’s nothing wrong with wealth. It isn’t sinful to be rich. Look at the saints of the Old Testament. Abraham was quite wealthy. He acquired “sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels” from Pharaoh (Genesis 12:16). He had “three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were bor…