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i take flight on borrowed time

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i was once afraid of heights A sermon on the Beginning of the Bible ( Himself ): Referencing Seinfeld  never goes well. But I can’t help myself! The show is a masterpiece ! The care and craft that went into it are lovingly conspicuous. The intricacy with which the jokes are set up and the aplomb with which the punchlines are delivered all betray the very premise upon which the show itself was based! If you didn’t already know, and I hope you do, Seinfeld is famously about Nothing . A car lost in a parking lot, gum-chewing, a wink, soft-talkers, traffic, waiting for a table, and “yada, yada, yada.” These are all fair game. And rather than flopping , all these nonstarters turn out to be raw material for some of the best television ever created! That’s a bold claim. But it holds up. The genius of Seinfeld was the realization that those parts of life we consider insignificant are really prime material for   great comedy . And upon reviewing their opus, you’ve got to hand it to t

it's a squalid way to live

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but it's the rules of the game A sermon on stewardship from the Gospel of Luke In his parable today, Jesus imagines a man who manages to make it. Someone who has a harvest to remember. Someone who, instead of squandering his good fortune, makes a plan to invest it.   The fellow in today’s parable realizes the bumper crop for the opportunity that it is. And he takes it, too. He makes arrangements for this windfall to pay dividends for the rest of his life! And he goes to bed that night dreaming of the bright future he’s just made for himself.   As it turns out, though, he buys the farm that night. Instead of settling into a comfortable life, he dies . And all that shrewd financial planning of his turns out to be a whole bunch of nothing . …From where we sit, this fellow is unlucky or, perhaps, unfortunate . Jesus, though, has another word. As far as Jesus is concerned, the chap in today’s parable didn’t catch a bad break. No, he was downright foolish . Now we ought t

this loving could save me

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this love isn't crazy A sermon on stewardship from the Gospel of Mark : As far as I know, this is the only account of someone turning down Jesus’ invitation to follow him. For as surprising as this is, and it is surprising, it’s an even bigger surprise who it is that can’t answer Jesus’ call. Because this is a fellow who never met a challenge he can’t meet. He’s motivated , scrupulous , and he’s got plenty of resources behind him, too. Picture the scene, Jesus is going along, minding his own business, when all of a sudden this man runs up to him and lays himself out before Jesus. Now, this kind of thing is not entirely uncommon where Jesus is concerned. However , this chap isn’t seeking healing or anything like that. Most people who throw themselves before Jesus are at the end of their rope. This man, however, is at the top of his game! He’s got it all together . He’s managed to keep the finer points of the law. And as we learn later , he’s also managed to attain a degree of

but a love was in my heart

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that i feel now A sermon on stewardship from a portion of the Sermon on the Mount   The legend goes that when John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in the world at the time, was asked how much is enough, he replied, “just a little bit more .” It’s a breathtaking answer. But not for how crass it is. It’s breathtaking for how honest it is. The truth is, to various degrees, we are all caught up in this same rat race. We, too, think the missing ingredient to our satisfaction is just a little bit more .   And that’s the rub , isn’t it? A little bit more is always just a little out of reach. No sooner do we amass a little more than we realize it’s still not enough! That we have to gain a little more still before we will finally have enough . None of us ever set out to become greedy . It’s just something that happens to us. After years of chasing that allusive enough that never seems to come, the light in our eyes becomes darkness , as Jesus says. One day, suddenly, everything we see

& i hope, i hope you are tired out

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& i know, i know there is joy endowed A sermon on the Creed from the Gospel of John , It is, finally, a strange thing to have a Creed . Bylaws and a constitution, sure. Parochial reports and council minutes, why not? But a Creed ? It’s a bit unusual . A set of propositions to which we all regularly affirm in worship.   Now, the origin of the Apostles’ Creed is a bit oblique , so ancient is it. However, it undoubtedly began its life as a part of the baptismal liturgy. The way we still use Apostles’ Creed in baptisms, and even confirmation, today . From its inception , then, the Creed has functioned as a boundary marker.   Admittedly, boundaries have something of a bad reputation these days. Much of it earned, no doubt. We do well, however, to give our Creed a chance . Especially since, as historic Christians, we are stuck with it. More than that, though, I want to suggest that we stand to lose more than we gain by letting this ancient confession of faith collect dust.   Disregar

this is how you make yourself worthy of the love

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 that she gave you back when you didn't own a beautiful thing A sermon from John 14 on the 3rd Article of the Creed To talk about the Holy Spirit, I want to talk about that 90’s sitcom, Seinfeld . Specifically, the character George Costanza . George, that unlucky in life, lovable loser . NOT what you were expecting? Good ! That’s how it goes with the Holy Spirit and us; it defies expectations! What the writers of Seinfeld did that was so brilliant was to make the unusual move, at the time, to refuse to dress George up . Or any of the other characters, for that matter. The humor of Seinfeld was that no one ever got their act together ! Everyone was more or less stuck with whatever their inherent defects were.   The question of Seinfeld was never , would the characters learn . In fact, that was a rule in the writers’ room, “No learning. No hugging. In the world of Seinfeld the gag always was, how would the characters finagle their shortcomings. Whereas George was hapless , Ela

i've given up

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on giving in slowly A sermon from John 3 on the 2nd article of the Creed This, the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed, is the longest . There’s plenty in here. More than enough for a single sermon. However, what I want to focus on is what’s not in this article of the Creed! Because what isn’t here is as surprising as it is promising … Any hunches? Notice anything that’s missing?   …There’s nothing in the Creed whatsoever about the content of Jesus’ sublime teaching s! AND neither is there any reference at all to his miraculous deeds! There’s nothing about the Sermon on the Mount, raising Lazarus, or any other of Jesus’ sermons or actions! All we have is a stripped -down account of the bare facts of Jesus’ existence! He was Conceived by the Holy Spirit. Born of the virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate. Was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. Then , the Creed goes on to speak of Jesus’ continued exalted existence. Bu