Pentecost 14 A – Christian Community

Matthew 18:15-20 Dear Partner in Preaching, So what do you think? Rules or relationships? I think this may be the central question to answer in our reading and preaching of this particular passage in Matthew. Is he giving us rules to live by or privileging relationships over, well, just about everything else in our life as Christians. If the former, then you have a rather neat little formula for maintaining a semblance of order in the Christian community. Someone offends you, confront them. If that doesn’t work, try an intervention. If that fails, cut them off and kick them out. If nothing else, it’s at least straight forward, which is...

From Matthew to John Nov22

From Matthew to John

Today’s Daily Bread devotional, on the (in)famous parable of the sheep and the goats, brings us to the end of our devotional tour through the Gospel According to Matthew. It’s not quite the end of Matthew, of course, as there are still three more chapters. But we began while we...

Matthew 23:1-36

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the...

Pentecost 22 A: Hope and Help for Foolish Bridesma...

Dear Partner in Preaching, November is a hard month to preach. Part of that is where we are in the cycle of the church calendar, as November draws us toward Christ the King and the lectionary readings anticipate Christ’s second advent even as we prepare to celebrate his first advent at Christmas. And the other part is Matthew, who offers more warnings about hellfire and gnashing teeth than the rest of the evangelists combined. And so this Sunday and those that follow will treat us to exhortations to wait, to make the most of our gifts, and to do good…or else. And while all these parables present their own distinct challenges, I have to...

Matthew 22:1-14

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell...