Mini-Sermon (Page 2)

Mini Sermon #28

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 25:14-20 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Judges 4:1-7 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 123 (NRSV) My dad, when I was growing up, had this annoying habit of sing-songing, “if you never use it… you will surely lose it … you’ve got a talent, use it for the Lord!”  He would sing it when I didn’t practice my clarinet.  He would remind me with the song that I had a debate team tournament coming up.  My…

Mini Sermon #27

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 25:1-13 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 78:1-7 (NRSV) (or, in King James Version) Referenced Bible Lesson: Matthew 22:36-40 (NRSV) Once again, with this particular parable, we step into the world of first century Palestine, the world of the historical Jesus.  I want to stress before we begin that this is a scenario that easily could have happened in Jesus’s time in any Galilean (or, indeed, Palestinian) village. Many modern readers think of it…

Mini Sermon #26 (or, the Original Guide to Becoming a Saint)

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 5:1-12 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Revelation 7:9-17 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 34:1-10 (NRSV) (or King James Version) Today we’re rewinding a bit although we remain in the Gospels.  We go back to the beginning of Jesus’s ministry … before the Pharisees attempted to trap him, before hordes of people wanted to just try to touch him in hopes of some of his blessedness falling upon wretched hands, before Jesus even had much of a name (if any) for himself.…

Mini Sermon #25

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:41-46 (NRSV)Full Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:34-46 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 (NRSV) (KJV) Today, as we look at Jesus’s ministry, we look at the question of the Messiah. Now, the term Messiah has become a bit warped in the modern Christian consciousness.  It’s original meaning from Hebrew culture over two thousand years ago has been pinpointed by Christians and early church leaders onto a specific individual, and then has evolved as…

Mini Sermon #24

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:15-22 (NRSV)Epistle Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 99 (NRSV) (KJV) This week we continue with the Gospel of Matthew, but we don’t quite have a parable.  We do, however, have a teaching from Christ. Before we turn to the rather famous “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” and what caused Jesus to utter these words, we are presented with a verbal confrontation the Pharisees have with Jesus. I have often remarked that to understand the parables,…

Mini Sermon #23

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 22:1-14 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Philippians 4:1-9 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 (NRSV) (KJV) This is the parable of a wedding–and let’s be honest, everyone loves a wedding. Speaking from experience, I know that weddings can get pretty ugly, pretty quickly (at least in the planning stages). Although I have yet to be a bride, I’ve been a flower girl, a bridesmaid, an impromptu maid-of-honor, and a groomsmaid (for those of you who are fortunate enough not to…

Mini Sermon #22

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 21:33-46 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Philippians 3:4-14 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 19 (NRSV) (KJV) A Note on Storytelling Techniques Once again, Jesus returns to the idea of a vineyard and a vineyard owner when telling his parable. There are two obvious reasons for this. It is not – however – because Jesus lacks imagination – in fact, throughout the Gospels we can see that if Jesus had any earthly faults, a lack of imagination was not one of them.…

Mini Sermon #21

Jesus’s parables should never quite be taken at face value. Of course, the beauty of these stories – these lessons – is that they can be and the reader or listener can still get meaning out of them. However, if we really want to get to the heart of a parable, we have to understand the Historical Jesus and, quite often, the world and times in which he lived. The wonderful thing about this particular parable is that its designed…

Mini Sermon #20

Author: Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn A quick note on Translation The NRSV reads that the laborers or workers are promised a “daily wage.” The daily wage – traditionally – was a Roman coin known as a denarius that held cultural significance. I will be referencing the denarius several times as it meant something to those working and was also a symbol of Rome. The “landowner” owns a “vineyard,” which has a very specific harvest schedule. Once the grapes spoil, they…

Mini Sermon #19

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 18:21-35 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 114 (NRSV) (KJV) Bible Passage (Gospel of Luke): Luke 22:54-62 (NRSV)Bible Passage (Book of Genesis): Genesis 1-2:4 (NRSV)Bible Passage (Book of Exodus): Exodus 21:23-25 (NRSV) Author: Reverend Averill Elizabeth Blackburn I know that I am sometimes a bit of a broken record. Whenever I come across a parable, many of you by now can probably tell I want to bang my head against the wall because Jesus has a tendency of being cryptic. His…