Lost and Found Archive

Season of Pentecost — James — Avoiding the Stain of the World

September 19, 2018 @ 5:08 pm

Pentecost 15:  18.09.09

Sunday Two of Five Straight RCL Sundays on James

The verse immediately before this passage got my attention -- it had to do with avoiding the stain of the world.  That was the lens by which I explored this passage.  

James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17

1 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please," while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

8 You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 9 But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11 For the one who said, "You shall not commit adultery," also said, "You shall not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

 

Filed under Hilltop UMC, Jesus, Involvement, All things are possible?, Courage, Grace, Love, Lost and Found, Philosophy · Comments

This Side of Easter: Being Surprised (May 6, 2018)

May 25, 2018 @ 1:59 pm

 

This is Acts 10 where Peter is surprised by what God is calling him to do, set aside almost everything he has previously known.  What is it that we have previously held as true and God has surprised us with what we need to do?  

Filed under Hilltop UMC, UMC, Jesus, Unity, Yes to the Possible, All things are possible?, Courage, Hospitality, Trust, Nurture, Faith, Pentecost, Lost and Found, Celebration, Call, Easter, Resurrection · Comments

July 23, 2017, Luke 15, Part IV, Our Prodigal Father

July 23, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

Pastor Mario concludes our 4-week series on Luke 15 by examining the encounter between the older son and his Father. While we often attribute the word prodigal to the younger son in this parable, it is the Father who gives sacrifically of himself on a lavish and generous scale. He loves both sons equally, they are both confronted with his unconditional love. The younger son is now enjoying the celebration the Father throws after receiving back 'safe and sound.' What will the older son do when his Father entreats (pleads) him to come, celebrate and join the party? 

Filed under Jesus, Grace, Parables, Lost and Found, Reconciliation, Celebration · Comments

July 16, 2017, Luke 15 Part III, Jesus Sees Where You Are

July 16, 2017 @ 12:52 pm

Part III of Pastor Mario's series on Luke 15 gives us a closer look at the younger son and his Father. While the younger son thought he was better off without his Father, the Father patiently waits for him to come to his senses and return home. However, the return home is not without its cost as an unwelcoming ceremony awiaits the younger son. Instead of shame and suspicion, the Father receives his wayward son home by taking on the shame that belonged to his son and recieving him back, not as a hired hand, but as his son. The parable still speaks to us today and invites us all to come to our senses, return home and experience the love of Jesus, who sees us when we are still a long way off. 

Filed under Forgiveness, Jesus, Grace, Parables, Lost and Found, Reconciliation, Celebration · Comments

July 9, 2017, Luke 15 Part II, The Parable of the Lost Coin

July 11, 2017 @ 6:41 pm

Pastor Mario continues his sermon series on Luke 15, focusing on verses 8-10. These three verses are often overlooked as it sits between two of the more well known stories in this parable of Jesus. However, these three short verses still speak volumes to us today. We can often understand getting lost in the wilderness, but when something is lost in our home, the frustration, the urgency and determination to find it is all the more amplified. (Think about how you turn your home upside down to find your wallet, keys or glasses).

In this parable, the lost coin is finally found, a party ensues, and the coin can now be used for the purposes intended. Being found by Jesus is a lot like that. We are free to become what God desires us to be as his people. Namely, people who will now gladly go and find others who are lost. What does this parable of woman who lost her coin have to tell us today? Give a listen and know that even when we are lost in house, the one who created us searches for us. Once we are found, the party begins!

Filed under Jesus, Grace, Love, Parables, Lost and Found, Reconciliation, Celebration · Comments

July 2, 2017: Luke 15 Part I, The Parable of the Lost Sheep

July 11, 2017 @ 4:27 pm

Have you ever been lost? It's an important question we all must all wrestle with as we consider the three parables. Today's Scritpure reading was from Luke 15:1-7. Jesus tells these stories in response to the Pharisees and Scribes grumbling and complaining about Jesus' social habits. These three stories are meant to be taken as a single unit. In addition to the Pharisees and scribes, we also want to consider the the tax collectors, sinners, and Jesus himself in this famous chapter from Luke's Gospel.

This is the first sermon in a four-week series by Pastor Mario. The first of the three stories begins with a lost sheep in the wilderness and a shepherd who will gladly search until he finds it. This first story ends with a party that the community throws when the lost sheep is found. This story is a glimpse into repentance, reconciliation and restoration. Join us, as we journey together, into the heart of Luke's Gospel and into the heart of Jesus.

*For further reading, see Kenneth Bailey's, The Cross and the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants. *

Filed under Jesus, Grace, Love, Parables, Lost and Found, Reconciliation, Celebration · Comments

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