A lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost son. These are three parables that Jesus tells in Luke 15. He told them in response to the criticism he received from the religious leaders. They scorned him for hanging around with tax collectors and sinners. This sermon looks at these stories from the perspective of the older brother. He resented the “lost son” and didn’t thing he deserved to be found. How often do we feel that way about “those people?”
Where do we meet Jesus? What happens when we meet Jesus? This sermon uses the story of Jesus calling Simon and the fishermen in Luke 5:1-11 as a way to explore these questions. Jesus often meets us in our ordinary places, and wants to turn them into something extraordinary.
This sermon explores the vision Isaiah had in Isaiah 6:1-8 and the three responses it evoked in him. It also connects Isaiah’s context to our own context in 2020. Isaiah’s vision came in “the year King Uzziah died.” It was one of “those years.” That was the year the Assyrian Empire began its invasion, and things went from bad to worse. We’re not having a great year in 2020 either. See how the new perspective Isaiah gained in this vision can evoke the same three positions in us and bring about the healing we need.
How quickly they forget. The children of Israel had just be miraculously rescued from slavery in Egypt. God spoke directly to them from the mountain and entered into a blood covenant. They were to be God’s treasured possession among all nations, God’s holy priesthood. They simply had to keep their end of the covenant.
They didn’t last 40 days before they turned to the status quo and crafted a Golden Calf.
This sermon explores how we, too, are regularly tempted to turn away from the wild claims of God’s love for the whole world and hunker down into our familiar safety zones.