Sermon for Pentecost 6C
Last Sunday after worship and the closing session of my class, I was free of any obligations. We had the rest of the day free. We had reservations that evening at a hotel in Madison, WI, but there was plenty of day left before we had to check in. So we headed in the opposite direction, into downtown to visit the Art Institute of Chicago and to see what else we could find in that area.
As we set out, you might say, we had more of a rough outline of where were going than we had plans and itinerary. Stefeny and I seem to work best that way. We know roughly where we want to go and what we would like to do, but we often stumble into some wonderful discoveries, too. I am a bit of wanderer, I guess, and at the end, we discover the journey itself was just as much fun as what we experienced at our destination. But there’s a danger in that though. We still had to get where we were going. We couldn’t wander off too much or get lost.
Sermon for Pentecost 3C
Clothed With Joy
As he [Jesus] approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. Luke 10:12
Just a few a days ago while on my way home, I had to stop and wait for funeral procession. The hearse led the way, followed by a limousine in which I assumed the family was the riding, followed by car after car that identified itself as part of the procession with window signs that read “funeral.”
I witnessed the entire procession go by, but I did not catch glimpse of a single face of a single person who had joined the procession, each mourner in their own vehicle or in the limo, hidden by tinted glass. I knew nothing of the people in the procession, their story, how they came to be in that procession on that day, and I could not even begin to guess what the days ahead might hold. I couldn’t see them. I didn’t know them. Neither did anyone else on the road that day because as the procession went on, other drivers got impatient and tried to go around or cut across the ongoing procession – in a hurry to get to their destinations, I guess.
I said a quiet but very general prayer for the family. I trust God was there for them already, but I added my intercession anyway. On they went. So did I.
One Word Is Enough
The centurion, or captain, in the story we just heard (Luke 7:1-10) is a good and righteous man. He is an officer in charge of an occupation force. Usually, such a figure would be regarded as an enemy and treated with contempt by the people whose village his forces occupy and control, and with good reason too. Occupation forces have reputations for behaving badly. They keep peace with violence and cruelty. They rule by intimidation and fear.
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