Pentecost 19 C: Eternal Life Now

Luke 16:19-31 Dear Partner in Preaching, Do you ever wonder if Luke had ever heard about justification by grace? I mean, tradition tells us that he was a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul’s but, if so, it’s hard to know just how much of Paul’s theology rubbed off. On the one hand, you have the incredibly grace-filled parables of being lost and found in chapter 15, but then you get these far more difficult, even threatening parables about money and the consequences of misusing it the 16th chapter. But if last week’s parable was difficult because it was rather confusing, this week’s parable is difficult because it seems...

Pentecost 3 B: Preach The Truth Slant

Dear Partner in Preaching, What’s the difference between a fable and a parable? I think answering this question is crucial if we are to preach this passage. You see, a fable is primarily didactic, a clever story meant to offer some insight into and instruction about life – think Aesop’s Fables for a moment. A parable, on the other hand, is intended to be disruptive, to interrupt what you thought you knew and not just teach you something but actually to confront you with a surprising and often unwanted truth. Fables are handy when you want to give kids some good advice or teach them some moral or practical lesson. Who doesn’t remember...

Matthew 13:51-53

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” When Jesus had finished these parables,...

Matthew 13:44-50

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all...

Matthew 13:36-43

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom;...