How Dare You?!

My sermon from Sunday based on the Lectionary texts from this week: Jonah 3:10-4:11 and Matthew 20:1-16.

Both texts offer a parable, though Jonah is a much more extended story…and not always recognized for the tall tale that it is. Jonah is also my favorite book (other than the Gospel of Luke), as I’ve shared previously. (Ok, that link is older than I expected. I did a three part series on Jonah in 2017…but somehow never posted those here? Weird. I’m a very irregular blogger.)

Parables, as I’ve said before, are meant to be fun. Parables, as I say here, are meant to illustrate, illuminate, and infuriate.

As we continue to experiment with how to effectively offer worship online and in person simultaneously, this video features a new camera angle. The intent is for the camera to not be in the way of the congregation’s line of sight but still be close enough for the online viewer to clearly see the speaker’s face. That experimentation continues so let me know what you think. Sermon begins at 55:35.

Sermon begins at 55:35

Here’s the audio-only, if you prefer that format as your sermon experience.

The list that vexed me so this week, items about which indignation is the only proper response:

  • The ridiculous, recycled conspiracy theory — this time called QAnon — that people are using to vilify those they view as different from them.
  • Wildfires and droughts and hurricanes
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Disrupted ways of life due to COVID-19
  • Jobs lost due to COVID-19
  • Deaths and illnesses due to COVID-19
  • The president’s intentional misleading about, and disastrous mishandling of, COVID-19
  • Police brutality
  • Racism that runs rampant through most, if not all, our institutions and systems
  • Gun violence resulting in so many deaths, including children
  • John Lewis and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the deaths of two icons and heroes

That list illustrates injustice, illuminates racism, and infuriates us. Even so, let’s have hope and let’s act on that hope. Take a breath, remember these parables, and get back to living lives of generosity and justice in spite of how angry it makes some people because we love and serve a generous God who seeks justice for the oppressed.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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