Mini-Sermon (Page 2)

Mini Sermon #21

Jesus’s parables should never quite be taken at face value. Of course, the beauty of these stories – these lessons – is that they can be and the reader or listener can still get meaning out of them. However, if we really want to get to the heart of a parable, we have to understand the Historical Jesus and, quite often, the world and times in which he lived. The wonderful thing about this particular parable is that its designed…

Mini Sermon #20

Author: Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn A quick note on Translation The NRSV reads that the laborers or workers are promised a “daily wage.” The daily wage – traditionally – was a Roman coin known as a denarius that held cultural significance. I will be referencing the denarius several times as it meant something to those working and was also a symbol of Rome. The “landowner” owns a “vineyard,” which has a very specific harvest schedule. Once the grapes spoil, they…

Mini Sermon #19

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 18:21-35 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 114 (NRSV) (KJV) Bible Passage (Gospel of Luke): Luke 22:54-62 (NRSV)Bible Passage (Book of Genesis): Genesis 1-2:4 (NRSV)Bible Passage (Book of Exodus): Exodus 21:23-25 (NRSV) Author: Reverend Averill Elizabeth Blackburn I know that I am sometimes a bit of a broken record. Whenever I come across a parable, many of you by now can probably tell I want to bang my head against the wall because Jesus has a tendency of being cryptic. His…

Mini Sermon #18

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 18:15-20 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Romans 13:8-14 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 149 (NRSV) (KJV)Other Referenced Bible Texts: Exodus 22:18 (NRSV) (KJV) Author: Reverend Averill Elizabeth Blackburn Disclaimer on Literalism I want to start off today’s mini sermon with a disclaimer because not only do we live in an age of disclaimers, but because I feel it’s important before we continue. Our text for today is a wonderful piece of historical insight into the life of the early Christian community.…

Mini Sermon #17

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 16:21-23 (NRSV)Full Sermon Lesson: Matthew 16:21-28 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Romans 12:9-21 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 105 (NRSV) (KJV) Author: Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn Our relationship to our God is the center of every major religion the human race has ever known. It is the focus point of worship, whether we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, or another religion entirely. We (as humans) wish to be known by the divine element. It is a potent driving force…

Mini Sermon #16

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 16:13-20 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Romans 12:1-8 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 124 (NRSV) (KJV) Sometimes, we should really count ourselves as fortunate. Now, I know this isn’t a terribly popular idea at the given moment. There are those who would have us ashamed of ourselves or our society for a multitude of reasons (really, sometimes it’s difficult just trying to keep up!) because we clearly got it all wrong to have gotten to this point. Then there are those…

Mini Sermon #15

Scripture Passage: Matthew 15:21-28 (NRSV)Full Scripture Passage: Matthew 15:10-28 (NRSV)Secondary NT Passage: Romans 11:1-2, 29-32 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 113 (NRSV) (KJV) This passage is a microcosm of what I like to call the historical Jesus. I’ve written about the historical Jesus before, most notably in mini-sermon #7 (the Racist Jesus), and for about two news cycles back in June (and forgive me if there were more), the idea of “what Jesus really looked like” was a hot topic. Funny thing is,…

Mini Sermon #14

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 14:13-21 (NRSV)Secondary Lesson: Exodus 16:13-16 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 17 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Romans 9:1-5 (NRSV) Where are the Miracles? In the modern age, we’re taught that miracles aren’t real, at least, not anymore. They’re dismissed, they’re disproven, and more often than not they’re explained away as “fits of fancy” or straight out “delusions.” We live in an age of skepticism, which while not quite so bad in and of itself can have serious consequences to our worldview…

Mini Sermon #13

Scripture Lesson: Matthew 13:31-33 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 105:1-11 (NRSV) Jesus had a tendency in his parables and his preaching to be highly revolutionary. He would make a statement or posit an idea, often wrapped in allegory, and when you unpacked it and looked at what he was almost “secretly” telling his followers, the implications could absolutely blow the mind. It’s no wonder that the Zealots (a group of Jews who wanted to expel Rome from Israel, even by force) thought Jesus…