Tag Archives: vocation

Reassurance and Response

Biblical Text: Luke 5:1-11

We are moving into the second half of an Epiphany Season. And this is turning into a little longer series of at least semi-joined sermons. This second half often just gets dropped, when Easter is earlier, so we don’t always get to these lessons, which is a shame. Because it is these that ask the important questions of how do we respond to an Epiphany. If we have seen God, what do we do?

Last week showed a couple of broad wrong paths and the narrow right path. This weeks lessons walks us through the deeper give and take. Epiphany, Repentance, Reassurance, and Call.

What’s an Epiphany?

Biblical Text: Matthew 2:1-12

Our common answer to that question I think would be something of a snoozer. We have dime store epiphanies. This sermon looks at what a real epiphany is. And then it looks at what an Epiphany demands of us. If we see the star, are we willing to follow? Openness to that answer makes all the difference.

The texts in “year C” of the lectionary and when Epiphany proper falls on a Sunday make for a wonderful series. Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a good look at how the light enters and grows in the Christian life.

Right Timed Calls and Rightly Ordered Priorities

Biblical Text: Matthew 4:12-25 (Psalm 27)
Full Sermon Draft

The text is Jesus calling Andrew and Peter and James and John. I probably owe a few former pastors an apology as I use them as a straw man. Those sermons of blessed memory were never as bad as I put in hear. It was probably just my listening. But, the way this text is usually preached never sat well with me. In one stroke it tended to make Jesus unbelievable, ignore everyday discipleship and create lots of holy make work. (Most cries for “relevancy” I think fall into holy make work.) Learning to “walk humbly” is often enough. What this sermon attempts to do is to reimagine the situation that leads to “immediately following” as those disciples do, and to understand what that is. Not as a call to “do something- anything – for Jesus right now”, nor as a “only a religious calling is a true calling”, but to be able to hear the lifelong call as well as the more particular calls.

Worship Note: I’ve left in the hymn of the day, LSB 688, Come Follow me the Savior Spake. You might also notice a slightly different order (although my editing obscures it). Fourth Sundays as Morning Prayer/Matins days which have a massed reading of the lessons.

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Numbers 16:23-40 and Luke 19:29-48

Numbers 16:23-40
Luke 19:29-48
The Holiness of God and What we approach in Communion
Recognizing when God is acting in our midst

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Numbers 16:1-22 and Luke 19:11-28

Numbers 16:1-22
Luke 19:11-28
Vocation & Faithfulness with what has been given
Lukewarm and our conception of God

Paragraph to Ponder…

“In an uncertain universe, some things are still for certain: Dirty plates, if you put them on a plastic rack and push them into the machine and press the button, will come out clean–every time. If you work hard at your job and do it well, even if it’s a [bleep] job, there is some kind of satisfaction in that, whether you’re stacking plates, chopping vegetables, or just setting out a plate of food. There’s this magnificent moment before a plate goes out to the dining room, for instance, when you know, and it’s just for you. You think, Hmm, that’s a pretty good [bleeping] plate. And then it’s gone.”
– Anthony Bourdain, here

Daily Lectionary Podcast – 1 Kings 1:1-4,15-35 and 1 Corinthians 12:14-31

1 Kings 1:1-4,15-35
1 Corinthians 12:14-31
The Bible’s habit of showing true humanity alongside God given office, the purpose of gifts for the good of the body

Daily Lectionary Podcast – 2 Samuel 11:1-27 and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

2 Samuel 11:1-27
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Vocation & Discernment, the Alien vs. the Proper work of God

Daily Lectionary Podcast – 2 Samuel 1:1-27 and 1 Corinthians 7:25-40

2 Samuel 1:1-27
1 Corinthians 7:25-40
The Lord’s Annointed, Sorrow or Lamentation, “How the mighty have fallen”
A social situation alien to us, discerning our proper vocation

Fishers of Men – Four Pictures of the Vocation of Following Jesus

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Biblical Text: Matthew 4:12-25
Full Sermon Draft

The biblical text is Jesus calling two sets of brothers. It is sandwiched between a notice about John the Baptist and a notice about what the Galilean ministry looked like. So the theme is vocation or call. What does it mean to be called? What does this particular call – to follow Jesus – mean? This sermon looks at four pictures and hones in on one theme of all four. The call of discipleship must take primacy or it means nothing.