As we continue in our Lenten sermon series we come across... a traditional 3 point sermon! So let's break down this part of Jesus' prayer: give us today our daily bread.
Jesus was asked by rich ruler “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
His response? “Sell everything you have, give it to the poor, then come and follow me.”
Which is… a little uncomfortable for all of us wealthy Westerners.
If we’re going to follow Jesus it will cost us everything, but we will receive something more. We will receive something that has been with us from our very first breathe.
“It’s not that we don’t like to talk about money. We love to talk about other people’s money! It’s that we don’t like to talk about OUR money”
Colossians 3:22-4:1, Romans 8, 1 John 1
Now that we’ve tackled women and children’s submission we can move on to a simpler, more Christmas-like topic… slavery. …
Let’s be honest: lots of people want to put the bible on trial for what it does and does not say when it comes to slavery. But the same bible that was used to defend human slavery was also used to give hope to the enslaved!
What exactly was Paul saying to these slaves and slave owners in Colossae, and perhaps the more frightening question, what is the text saying to us two-thousand years later?
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
Targum written and read by Aaron Craig
Luke 12, Luke 16
This was the one sermon that I desperately didn’t want to preach.
Because seriously… it’s weird to talk about money.
But Jesus was never afraid to talk about money. In fact Jesus knew that where our money is, our heart would be. And so we have to talk about money, because we need to talk about the heart.
So what is giving, and why is it an important part of our liturgy?
Also, I lost my notes this week… and so that was interesting… I must have REALLY NOT wanted to preach on money.
Music starts 46 minutes in.
1 Corinthians 9, Philippians 2
Sort of a weird chapter this week. Paul starts off by getting all defensive about how pastors should get paid, and goes off on a sort of tangent about vineyards and soldiers and oxen…
And then he flips everything on it’s head and it all makes sense.
A sermon about rights, privileges, freedom, and just how much it costs to really be a Jesus disciple.
Matthew 6, 1 Timothy 6, Hebrews 13
We work for it, think about it, dream of what we would do with it; our world is obsessed with money.
But when it comes to money, the church is often silent.
The job of the Christian is to confront the false gods of the day. Today, the god of money reigns.
We need to confront this false god. We need to believe that there is a better way, and a better God. We need to know how to use our money as a tool, how to rebel against the myths of our culture, and how to create a world that is generous.
Perhaps most of all, we need to understand Jesus’ words: “you cannot serve both God and money.”
Music led by Joel Cumby.
On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus meets a tax collector named Zacchaeus. Lots of people know how this story goes: Zacchaeus climbs a tree, Jesus calls him down, they go for dinner, Zacchaeus repents, etc. etc.
And that’s where our telling of the story ends, but the text goes on - because you can’t leave destructive systems behind without serious consequences.
Zacchaeus’ story isn’t over yet.