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Sermon for the 4th Sunday of Lent  2019

March 31, 2019

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Sermon for 25th Sunday after Pentecost 2018

November 11, 2018

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17       Psalm 127    Hebrews 9:24-28       Mark 12:38-44

 

     A teenager was sitting in church, and when the collection plate was passed around, he quickly pulled out a dollar bill from his pocket and dropped it in the plate.  Just then, the man behind him tapped him on the shoulder and handed him a twenty dollar bill.  The boy smiled, placed the $20 in the plate and passed it on, admiring the man’s generosity.  Then the boy felt another tap from behind and heard a whisper.  “Son,” the man said, “that was your twenty-dollar bill that fell out of your pocket.”  

     The teenager in the story was technically doing the right thing, putting a dollar into the offering plate.  And the man behind him who inspired him so much actually brought that inspiration to reality when the teenager learned that it was his own twenty-dollar bill that he offered.  Sometimes it takes others to help us become as generous as we hope to be, but it should always be a part of our discipleship to be careful and generous with our finances.  

     In her book, Amazing Grace, Kathleen Norris writes about her struggle with word “righteous”.  “The word righteous used to grate on my ear; for years I was only to hear it only in its negative mode, as self-righteous, as judgmental.  Gradually, as I became more acquainted with the word in its biblical context, I found that it does not mean self-righteous at all, but righteous in the sight of God.  And this righteousness is consistently defined by the prophet