The parable of the rich man is perhaps the most difficult story in the Bible for Christians to accept. Jesus tells a rich man that in order to truly get into heaven, he should give all his possessions to the poor and follow Jesus.
Several interpretations of this verse try to avoid the fact that this is about money, or that it doesn’t apply to us. But if we are seeking to follow Jesus, we can be thrown off too easily by money and material things.
Our money should not get in between us and God, but should be used as a vehicle to do God’s work. The ultimate question for all God’s followers is “What are you willing to give in order to pass through to the kingdom of heaven?”
“Holding On and Letting Go” Sermon by The Rev. Elaine Puckett Mark 10: 17-27 Nov. 10, 2019
Through Jeremiah, God was trying to reconnect with his people, who lost touch with God. Through tears of sorrow, God was showing his sincere sadness that people were forgetting about God. They were not heeding God’s call to serve others, to take care of our planet, to put God at the center of all our actions.
Is God crying tears of sorrow today?
“Tears of Sorrow” Sermon by The Rev. Elaine Puckett Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 Oct. 6, 2019
When Jesus is invited to a banquet by a prominent Pharisee, he is critical of the seating chart and who was invited to the party. Jesus notes the seating is specially designated so prominent guests sit towards the head of the table, and that only the elite — those who could return the favor — were invited.
If the church invites the world to a banquet, who would Jesus expect to see there? And where would they be sitting?
“Take a Seat” Sermon by The Rev. Elaine Puckett Luke 14: 7-14 Sept. 22, 2019
The message in Luke 12:49-56 can be difficult for Christians. Jesus tells his followers that following him will cause division among their families and within society. He makes it clear that it will be difficult to live in the world as a follower of God.
Jesus is longing for a community of followers who ground their identity in God, rather than the powers of this world. Because following Jesus means we will be shaking up the power structures, speaking truth and challenging power.
Following Jesus means we will have to make people uncomfortable, because Jesus says that anyone who stands in the way of the love of God needs to be exposed — whether it’s on the streets of Jerusalem, in the halls of Congress or even in our church pews. Tribal loyalty can’t be our highest loyalty if we choose to follow Jesus.
Are we going to let our world shape our loyalty to Jesus? Or are we going to let our loyalties to Jesus shape our approach to the world?