Don't use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice.
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Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
16Feb
2020
Sun
17:14
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Sexagesima

Luke 8:4-15

Sexagesima 2020 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The parable of the sower is a pretty familiar text. It’s familiar in the sense that you all know, even without having just heard it moments ago, that a sower scatters seed on his land. In the process, some lands on the road, some on rock, some among thorns, and some on the good farm land. Jesus also explained the parable for His disciples—in this case, probably more than just the 12—and told them what the different places where the seed landed represent.

  • The path is those to whom the Word of God is proclaimed, but that Word is taken away from them so that, having come to faith, they might not be saved.
  • The rock is those to whom the Word of God is proclaimed and receive it in joy at first, but who fall away in the times of temptation because they have no root.
  • The thorns is those to whom the Word of God is proclaimed, but are choked by the anxieties, riches, and pleasures of this life, so they don’t bear the fruit of of faith to maturity.
  • The good farm land is those to whom the Word of God is proclaimed and take it to heart, holding it fast in steadfast endurance.

When Jesus first began explaining this parable, He essentially divided these people into two types. It’s a hard saying, but since Jesus says it, it must be heard and believed. “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’” Those two types? Those who have been given knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom by God, and those who do not know the mysteries.

Let me help you reconcile this.

9Feb
2020
Sun
16:35
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Septuagesima

Matthew 20:1-16

Septuagesima 2020 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Here’s the set up for today’s text. A man asked Jesus, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” After a bit about who or what is good, Jesus told the man to keep the commandments. Then, as if there are some more worthy of being kept than others, the man asked Jesus which commandments should be kept. (cf. Matthew 19:16-18)

Could you imagine asking such a question? I suppose not, given the tone of my question, but it shouldn’t be so surprising. Man has been looking to grade and divide the commandments into those which would be most important and those which are of least importance since God first gave the commandments. For this reason, James wrote, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” (James 2:10)

Anyway, Jesus, ever gentle with once such as this, replied with the second table of the Law, those commandments which govern your interaction with each other. That’s not too difficult an ask, at least outwardly—some commandments might likely be easier to keep outwardly than others, and differently so from person to person. Still, this young man answered Jesus that he had kept all of those, but he knew he still lacked something. So, Jesus replied, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” At this, the young man went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (cf. Matthew 19:18-22)

Then, Jesus turned to His disciples and told them, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” This distressed the disciples a little. They wondered if anyone could be saved, then. Again, Jesus replied, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” So, Peter spoke up and boasted for the others, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” (cf. Matthew 19:23-27)

12Jan
2020
Sun
15:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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The Baptism of Our Lord

Matthew 3:13-17; Joshua 3:1-3, 7-8, 13-17

The Baptism of Our Lord 2020 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

You probably know the story well enough. You heard part of it this morning. And while it is certainly not as grand a story as the parting and crossing of the Red Sea, it has similar elements, and there is similar typology involved. This is how Joshua led the people of Israel through the Jordan and into the Promised Land.

The Children of Israel arrived beyond the Jordan from their 40-year exodus in the wilderness. They camped near the eastern bank of the River Jordan, north of the Dead or Salt Sea at a place that came to be called Bethabara, or “Place of Crossing.” When the time had come, God told Joshua to cross the Jordan, to have the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant set foot in the Jordan, and the waters would part so that the whole company could cross over on dry ground. This they did, and the Children of Israel set foot in the Promised Land.

Joshua himself was commanded to have a man from each tribe pick a stone from the riverbed. From these twelve stones a monument was made at the place where they next camped: Gilgal. These had to have been large stones, for they were commanded,

Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, “What do those stones mean to you?” then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever. (Joshua 4:5-7)
And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever. (Joshua 4:20-24)

Furthermore, twelve more stones were placed as a monument in the middle of the river where the Children of Israel crossed.