Luke 16:1-13 9.29.19
Can we talk about money at church? It is a topic that we tend to shy away from. We try to avoid embarrassing those people who don’t have a lot of it, or those people who do have a lot of it but are not very generous with it, or those people who are very generous and want it to be kept quiet. We don’t want to step on anyone’s toe, and we want to keep everyone happy. Talking about money at church gets a little dicey, especially since what you put in the offering plate goes toward putting food on my table!
But Jesus stepped on toes! All the time. Ouch! We find in the gospel of Luke that Jesus is not afraid to talk about money. It is never the amount that is important, but always the relationship with our money that makes a difference to him. And then how our relationship with money ends up affecting our relationship with others and with God. How do we look at our money? Do we control our money, or does it control us? Do we hoard our money, or do we use it to build relationships with others? Continue reading “Where Does the Money Go? “
Matthew 27:17-30 7.21.19
Today is part three of our summer sermon series on Communion. You can find the previous sermons on our church website. We began by exploring the Passover roots of the last supper Jesus had with his disciples. It was the ancient Jewish meal which shaped the traditional sharing of the bread and the cup to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. Then last week we learned from the apostle Paul that in the early Christian church, before sanctuaries and steeples, the Lord’s Supper was shared in homes around the dinner table.
Today we are jumping forward about 1400 years to the time of the Protestant Reformation. Our current communion practices stem from our reformed tradition, so this morning we will dig a bit into how they were shaped back in the 1500’s as groups of church leaders began to question some of the practices and doctrines of the Roman Catholic church. Any time people come in with new ideas and practices the atmosphere can get stormy. The Reformation was a time of religious upheaval, heated discussions and strong language that we cringe at in the ecumenical environment we live in today. I am very aware of the Roman Catholic connections that many of us have today, and that we have visitors from a nearby Catholic School with us this morning! Generally speaking, most Protestants and Catholics get along quite well in the sandbox of life today. But 500 years ago, it was very important for our Reformed forefathers (and they were all men at the time) Continue reading “Communion: The Backstory Our Reformation Roots”