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Archives for October 2019

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One Whom God Helps

It's been used to rebuke the rich, defend salvation by poverty, teach about the afterlife, condemn antebellum slavery, and even promote women's suffrage. The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus certainly raises a series of questions. Can heaven be seen from hell? Does wealth make the difference between the two? Are those in heaven aware of (and indifferent to) the sufferin...

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The Even Better Good King

Note: to help with my own preparation for this Sunday's sermon, I decided to write out the basic points in the shortest, simplest way I could think of. That turned out to be a children's story. Here it is, as this week's article: Once upon a time, there was a good king. His name was Josiah. One cool thing about Josiah is that he was only eight years old when he became k...

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Jesus' Hardest Parable

After six weeks of exploring perhaps the best-known parable Jesus told, we come now to his hardest parablethe Parable of the Unjust Steward, found in Luke 16:1-13. I was planning to skip this parable and go straight to the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. But over lunch someone (OK, it was Richard) asked if I would be tackling the Parable of the Unjust Steward. It's a ...

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What Shame

The prodigal son comes home. But the elder son does not care that his brother is home, "safe and sound." What a shame. He doesn't even care that there is a celebration. Actually, he does care. He hates it. He despises it. He resents it. Yet, custom requires his presence. The older son has a responsibility. He should work alongside his father as the host. He should be at th...

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In or Out?

When our children were younger, we used to listen to audio recordings of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, the pen name of Daniel Handler. Snicket likes to poke fun at our culture's fascination with what is "in" and what is "out." Esme Squalor, one of the more colorful characters in the series, has her heart set on being the "inest" person in town. She is f...

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