Tag Archives: Luke 17

Grace and Gratitude

Our 2 Kings and Luke Scriptures are deeply intertwined this morning.

Naaman is a non-Israelite commander with significant social net-worth, authority, and power.

The Samaritan leper in Luke is also non-Israelite, but is unnamed.
Thus, he is without social net-worth, authority, and power.

And yet, these men are plagued with the disease of leprosy.
Leprosy does not discriminate based on social net-worth, authority, or power.
But, it does isolate the infected from the community, especially holy men, such as Elisha and Jesus.

However, these men do seek the assistance of the holy men, who give each a simple task. Naaman is instructed to wash in the Jordon River. The unnamed lepers are instructed to show themselves to the priests, who could declare them healed.

Although we may not have leprosy or been miraculously healed, we have a shared experience with these men and all of humanity. We ALL have been infected with a disease simply known as “sin”. Sin does not discriminate based on social net-worth, authority, power, race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, biological sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political leanings, or otherwise. But, sin isolates, divides, and separates us from God, loved ones, and neighbors far and near alike.

I envision sin less as a list of behaviors and more as a state of being. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 14, 2019 in Sermons


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Faith or Faithful? (the Mustard Seed)

We have an infamous and beloved scripture this morning.

The disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith (or trust) in him.
Jesus, seemingly frustrated, responds that if the disciples had faith even the size of a small mustard seed, they could order a tree uprooted and planted into the sea.

Although a number of persons, probably including a few sitting in these pews, find these words comforting and inspiring, I wish these words were never uttered especially recorded and attributed to Jesus. Why?

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and High-Functioning Anxiety, which both offer the great gift of being a perfectionist…
Plus, this passage and similar have been used against me in spiritual abuse.

Therefore, when I hear or read these words I can sense my anxiety rising,
because if I read it literally…
well, I have not been able to order a tree uprooted and planted elsewhere.
How about you?

Thankfully, I do not read it literally BUT it still causes questions of self-doubt: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 8, 2019 in Sermons


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Spiritual Elitism: the Mustard Seed and Faith Ancestry

Click here for YouTube Video.

The Transcript:
Our texts this week comes from 2 Timothy 1 and Luke 17.

In Timothy, Paul is praising Timothy’s ancestors, his grandmother and mother, for passing along the faith to him.

In Luke, we have the “increase our faith”… “well if you had faith even the size of a mustard seed” text tied with a text about ‘would you praise a slave for doing the work you commanded the slave to do’ and the obvious response is no.

As I struggled with these texts this week, I came to a realization. I hate these texts, not simply that these texts are ah, but that I HATE these tests. And there is a reason, because they both speak to a problem within our religiosity and spirituality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 5, 2016 in Sermon Summaries


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