Pentecost 18 B: Who Are You?

Dear Partner in Preaching, Who are you? Really. Take a moment to ponder that question…and then ask yourself how you came to that answer. Do you, that is, define yourself by your accomplishments, or your history, or particular critical experiences, or your relationships, or some combination of the above? Another way to get at this question might be to ask, who gets to tell you who you are? Who, that is, has the most influence in shaping your self-image? Is it your parents, your partner or spouse, your friends and colleagues? Or perhaps it’s the world of advertising, which constantly tries to overwhelm us with ads picturing perfect people...

Matthew 5:48

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” I have to admit that I have always found this verse, which serves as something of a climax to this section of Jesus’ teaching on the relational ethics of the kingdom, rather intimidating. Be perfect? Come on! As God is perfect?...

Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it...

Luke 9:28-36

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They...

Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God,...