Did you know there’s a difference between being great at something and being great? You may have known a musician or singer who was great at making music so you idolized them. But then they did something that made it obvious they were far from great. Athletes, politicians, pastors, bosses and even spouses can be great at something but fail the test of being great. The Apostle Paul and Jesus give us the missing ingredient they needed.
Jesus told a parable using talents as the focus. Even though the talents were money in Jesus’ day this is not a self-help story about improving your finances. Jesus is not talking about multiplying the amount of money that we make. He is talking about something else. He is talking about the life we are given. The successes and failures we experience in life. The strengths and frailness that makes up our life. And we are challenged to use these good and bad experiences in our life to make the world a better place. But sometimes our tendency to avoid risks causes us to bury these talents.
In the weeks leading up to a national election, divisions and dissension are increasingly talked about. Advertising and news keep us mindful of fearful events. Many people are stressed and worried. Times of worry are not new for Christians. We can learn this week from Barnabas and how he dealt with fear and uncertainty. While others were fearful, Barnabas did something different. Something that would eventually impact the world by changing the trajectory of a life. Barnabas was a Dream Releaser.
We have a fundamental need for human companionship. All this has become painfully obvious during this time of physical distancing. We are wired to need other people. This week we will look at some scriptures from Proverbs that give us clarity about the type of friendships God wants us to build.
Do you like to argue? Some of us love it. Many of us became experts at arguing when we were teenagers. Evidently Jesus’ disciples loved to argue with the Scribes and Pharisees because Jesus asks, “What are you arguing about with them?” This is a great question for the climate in which we live today. But in the same scripture there is a God given command that tells us how to deal with the arguing that surrounds us.
Three times the Disciples of Jesus argue about who is the greatest. Can you imagine that? These disciples watch Jesus minister to the least, the last and the lost but they still are concerned with their pecking order in the followers of Jesus. Jesus overhears their arguments and gives them some advice.
Jesus gives two word pictures to move his listeners to a response. In doing so He gives us concrete visual cues of how our lives should been seen by others. In this message Pastor Fred will share how salt and light empower us to a vision of Christian life.
We left the church building over four months ago. That action can help our faith and Christian witness. We are reminded that the Church never was the building. The Church is the people who used to worship in the building. If we are still the Church then how do we stay close to God and close to each other? It is a plant that will give us some direction.
Can you imagine Danny Devito playing Zacchaeus in a movie? Then you might understand how vertically challenged Zacchaeus was. Yet Zacchaeus throws respect out the window as he shimmies up a tree for just a look at Jesus. What emotion made the rich wealthy chief tax-collector yearn to see Jesus. What was missing from his life? Might it be missing from our lives?
Why did a woman with a bad reputation bring expensive perfume and anoint Jesus’ feet with it? There is a back story that Luke is not telling us. What happened earlier in the day? What encounter did Jesus have with this woman? As Pastor Fred explores this story we may find it has transformative effects in our life.