Showing posts from October, 2023

"This is a Test" Sermon from 29 October 2023

Do you remember the old announcement? This is a test. This is only a test. screech - if this were an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to….” How many of us recall the Emergency Broadcast System?   Let’s see a show of hands.   Raise them nice and high.   Perhaps we need such an alert for our Gospel reading this morning.   Matthew warns us that the religious leaders and the elite are up to their tricks again.   This time they send an expert in the Torah, the instructions of Moses.   The expert asks Jesus which of the over 600 commandments (248 positive, 365 negative) is the greatest.   All of the Laws were to be considered equal.   Yet Rabbis and scholars loved to debate the question.   So this is a definitely a trick question to trap Jesus.   The leaders want to find some way to trick Jesus.   They want Jesus to say or do something that they can arrest Jesus for.   This encounter takes place during Holy Week.   So, the religious leaders are especially hoping to find some

October Lion's Roar

  I continue to highlight “The Ten (plus one) Rules for Respect” in our monthly newsletter.   I have seen these variously attributed to Nazarene Pastor Charles Christian and leadership guru John Maxwell.   I find these basic courtesies helpful as I seek to live out the part of the Baptismal Covenant where I promise to “respect the dignity of every human being” (BCP, p 305).   May you also find them helpful. One of the greatest gifts we can give one another is to treat each other with kindness, respect, and compassion.   This includes striving to not judge their books by their covers, so to speak..   It is so easy to make assumptions or to hold pre-conceived ideas about others- especially if we do not know him or her well.   You do know what happens when you allow those assumptions to take root in your heart and mind, don’t you?   😉 Here are the fifth and sixth rules: 5. Be careful how you interpret me-I’d rather do that.   On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressured to in