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Proper 12, Year A, Track 1, Genesis 29:15-28,Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, like leavening, like a treasure, like a merchant, and like a net. What an interesting random assortment of things the kingdom of heaven is like. From this description that Jesus offers, it is clear that the kingdom of heaven is absolutely unclear to us. He gives us five examples to clarify what the kingdom of heaven is like but in the end, it still seems muddy. Where are the pearly gates? Where are the streets paved with gold? Even Jacob’s vision of a ladder with angels ascending and descending seemed to make more sense than these parables. The pearly gates and gold are ideas t

We are planted with our roots entangled

Proper 11, Year A, RCL, Track 1, Psalm 139: 1-11, 22-23,Romans 8:12-25,Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 Have you ever noticed that some weeds look almost exactly like the plant you are trying to grow? As a kid I planted corn. And as it started to sprout there seemed to be more plants coming up than I planted. As they grew there was a slight difference between some of the plants but it was very hard to tell them apart and I really didn’t know which plants were the corn and which were the weeds. As the plant started to mature it became more evident as to which was which. Our parable tells of a similar situation in which someone’s enemy sowed weed seed in a field that was planted with wheat. Until modern

Your Heart's Soil Condition

Proper 10, Year A, Track 1, Genesis 25:19-34,Psalm 119:105-112,Romans 8:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9,18-23 The parable of the sower is one of the most famous parables that Christ tells. It seems so easy to visualize a farmer scattering seed. The parable even comes with an explanation just in case we didn’t quite understand it when Jesus told it to us. Yet, for me, there are a few details that just never sit well. We have the sower scattering seed far and wide. The sower seems to be intentionally spreading this seed on both good soil and bad. I don’t know of a farmer or even a gardener that would be so careless with their precious seeds. Even the people of Jesus’ day must have been thinking along the

Wise and Intelligent or an Infant?

Romans 7:15-25a, Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 There is a funny differentiation in today’s gospel. Jesus makes a distinction between the wise and intelligent, and infants. What is true about this is that not everyone is considered wise and intelligent but everyone is, or at least was, once an infant. Notice that Jesus doesn’t say these infants or those infants, he implies all infants. From this, I gather that everyone has been born with the ability to know, love, and obey the Father ~ but we don’t. The wise and intelligent seem to have more of a difficult time knowing the father. Maybe we have seen this with certain scientists who are not willing to be open to the idea of a supreme being, or publi

Our “holier than thou” rewards card

Proper 8, Year A, Track 1. Genesis 22:1-14, Psalm 13, Romans 6:12-23, Matthew 10:40-42 Whoever welcomes a prophet… Whoever welcomes a righteous person… Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones. . .will received a reward. We are a people who like rewards. When I was a kid my mother collected S&H green stamps. At some point, months down the line, she could redeem them for a toaster or a few pieces of china. Today many supermarkets have loyalty cards in which you can collect discounts on certain items, or receive ten cents off per gallon of gas. Expedia, the travel site, gives you rewards for using them to make reservations. And even Microsoft Edge, the web browser, wi

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Photo Credit - Amy Duval 2016