Sunday, May 29, 2022

Sermon: “A Time to…”, Luke 24:44-53/Acts 16:23-34 (May 29, 2022)


We all intuitively recognize the wisdom in this famous passage from Ecclesiastes [3:1-8, CEB]: “There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens: a time for giving birth and a time for dying, a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted, a time for killing and a time for healing, a time for tearing down and a time for building up, a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing, a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones, a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces, a time for searching and a time for losing, a time for keeping and a time for throwing away, a time for tearing and a time for repairing, a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking, a time for loving and a time for hating, a time for war and a time for peace.” The writer of Ecclesiastes probably didn’t need to include 14 separate examples to make his case, but because he did, his point is inescapable: the righteousness of every action must be considered in its context. There is a time that it is right to do one thing, and there is another time that it is right to do its exact opposite – and God is the one who can always tell us which is which.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sermon: “The Literal Kindom – Metaphorically Speaking”, Acts 16:9-10, 13-15/Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5 (May 22, 2022)


Visions are relatively common in scripture. Usually, they’re described as if the person experiencing them were watching a movie play out in their mind. As a result, we tend to equate divine visions with literal instructions from God. It seems unfair that people like Paul and John of Patmos receive such clear direction, while we’re stuck praying and discerning. But biblical visions aren’t necessarily what they seem – and they aren’t necessarily just for those who receive them.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sermon: "Big Burger Thinking", Acts 11:1-18 (May 15, 2022)


Did you know that in this country, the standard size of a commercial cheeseburger is the result of our collective inability to understand a basic mathematical concept?

It’s true. A decade after McDonald’s first introduced the Quarter Pounder, A&W decided to introduce the “Third-of-a-Pound Burger”. They figured by offering more meat at the same price, they could successfully take on the golden arches. Their version even performed better in taste tests. But the Third-of-a-Pound Burger failed commercially for a simple and absolutely ridiculous reason: it turns out that the general public doesn’t understand how fractions work. Even though the A&W burger was technically a better deal, people thought that they were being asked to pay more for less burger. They thought that 1/3 was smaller than 1/4.[1]

Let that sink in for a minute. As a society, we’re stuck with smaller burgers because of our own mathematical ignorance.