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Atlantis ‹the domain of the Stingray›
I fear my inferiority complex is not as good as yours.
‹anonymous›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
19Jun
2016
Sun
15:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 6:36-42

The Fourth Sunday after Trinity 2016 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I know of a story of a counselor who met with a prostitute who was in dire straits. She was homeless and sick. She could hardly buy food enough to feed her two-year old daughter and herself. With tears and through sobs, she told the counselor that she was renting out her two-year old daughter to her men. She made more money that way than in the “traditional” way. It’s not that the woman wanted to do it, but that she felt that she had to. The counselor could hardly bear to hear any more—he had already heard enough to make him legally liable to report a case of child abuse. He wasn’t sure what he could tell her, but the thought occurred to ask her if she had ever thought about going to a church for help.

When he did ask, the look on the woman’s face was one of consternation. “Church!? Why would I go there? I am already feeling terrible about myself and what I have done. They would only make me feel worse.” Once, a prostitute sought refuge from an angry mob with Jesus. (cf. John 8:2-11) Now, a prostitute dare not find refuge among those who call themselves His disciples.

I know of a story of a missionary who was in Cambodia. He was in a coffee bar where a conversation was struck up, and as they invariably do, he was asked what brought him to Cambodia. He, being a white man of European features, stuck out in Cambodia like a sore thumb. “I’m a Christian on a year-long mission trip.” The conversation took a sour turn after that; the other participants did whatever they could to bring it to a close.

What brought the conversation to a screeching halt? The man called himself a Christian. Now, sure, Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them because it hates Him. (cf. Luke 6:22; John 15:18; et al), but this is a bit different. The people in the coffee bar weren’t necessarily hostile toward the man—they didn’t hate him—they simply wanted nothing more to do with him. He didn’t tell them about their Lord and Savior, didn’t ask to pray with them, didn’t invite them to a church or Bible study. He merely said He was a Christian.

12Jun
2016
Sun
15:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Third Sunday after Trinity

Luke 15:11-32

The Third Sunday after Trinity 2016 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to [Jesus] to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘This Man receives sinners and eats with them.’” (Luke 15:1-2) As you heard last week, this is the complaint against Jesus. It comes after Jesus told the parable you heard last week, in which a certain man gave a great supper where the invitees were not present, but outcasts—read, sinners—from inside and outside of the city were in attendance.

So, Jesus tells more parables following the complaint.

  • A man has 100 sheep, but one wanders off, so he goes off in search of it, leaving the 99 behind. When he finds it, he throws it over his shoulders and carries it back to the flock. Then, he throws a party with his friends.
  • A woman has 10 coins, but she loses one somewhere in the house. She cleans up and turns the house upside down looking for it. It goes without saying, but the other nine are left alone, just fine. When she finds it, she throws a huge party, inviting her friends.

In the same way, there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 9 or 99 just persons who have no need of repentance. (cf. Luke 15:3-10)

Why does Jesus eat with sinners and tax collectors? Because Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. (cf. Luke 19:10) Because those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. (cf. Luke 5:31) Because, again quoting Rev. Matthew Harrison, “Jesus dwells in the hearts of sinners, so you better be one.” Because they—the sinners, tax collectors, the sick...those who need Jesus—are the people of the lanes of the city and hedges outside of the city. (cf. Luke 14:21, 23) In other words, these are the very people for whom Jesus has come. They are like the 1 lost sheep or 1 lost coin, for which the shepherd and woman, respectively, go searching.

But, what of the 99 or 9?

5Jun
2016
Sun
14:44
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Second Sunday after Trinity

Luke 14:15-24

Second Sunday after Trinity 2016 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Prompted by this statement, made by a guest at the dinner thrown by a Pharisee whereat Jesus is also a guest, He teaches a parable about a certain man who gave a great supper and invited many. He had just taught the Pharisees all around the dinner table about table etiquette. Take the lowest available seat and be told to move up, for it is better to be told to move up than to move down. “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (cf. Luke 14:8-11) When you are host, invite those who cannot repay you. for it is of no credit to you to invite someone you then expect to invite you back. “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (cf. Luke 14:12-14) Now, a master is giving a banquet, and the invitees are refusing to come.

The parable, like all the others, is meant to convey the reality of the Kingdom of God in the form of a story. The master, therefore, is the Father who gives a banquet, being, of course, the victory feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom which has no end. The servants, then, are the prophets and ministers that God sends to proclaim His message—to give His invitation.

Beyond that, there are three types of people in the parable. The first type would be the invitees. They are the many that the certain man invited to his great supper. The second type would be the people of the streets and lanes of the city who a servant brought in. When these were all gathered at the great supper, there was still room. So, then, the third type would be those from the highways and hedges from outside of the city. The people of the second and third type are similar, but they are not the same, and they are both quite different than the people of the first type.