You Get What You Get? Rethinking the parable of the workers in the vineyard

This sermon was preached at Knox Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa on September 24, 17. The scripture text was Matthew 20:1-16. There’s a handy phrase some teachers and parents use when doing something that might get some grumbling, like, say, handing out popsicles of different flavors…if you can train the kids to expect this phrase, it cuts out some of the complaining. Any teachers (or parents) know what I’m talking about? How about this? Pretend you’re 5. I’ve got a box of popsicles, and I’m handing them out. Some are red, some are purple, some are orange. You’re in the line. You love red. The kid in front of you gets red. The, next kid gets purple. Then red. Then red. Finally, it’s your t

Giving The Gift of Life. Or What's the Deal with All the Blood in the Bible?

This sermon was preached at Knox Presbyterian Church on Sunday Sept. 10, 2017. The scripture text was Exodus 12:1-14. Anybody here ever been a blood donor? If you haven’t or can’t do it, I’ll confess that I’ve only done it once, even though I know it’s a good thing, because I have a tendency to...pass out. If are a person who gives blood, when you’re done, you get juice and a cookie, right? Plus you walk away a little bit of a hero, you get to wear a sticker advertising your hero status, because you gave someone the gift of life. Giving blood is giving the gift of life. Blood is life, yet we don’t like thinking about blood, except when we have to. Or maybe on Halloween. I’m getting a little

Whom Shall I Say is Calling? On the Burning Bush, Freedom, and the Mysterious Name of God.

This sermon was preached at Knox Presbyterian Church on September 3, 2017. The text was Exodus 3:1-15 How many of you answer the phone when an unfamiliar number comes up? I did it yesterday because it was a local 707 number. Of course, it was a telemarketer. They’ve started using local numbers. You don’t even have to be local now to set up a number that looks local to fake people out to try to sell them something. Remember the time before caller ID? Or even before you could screen on an answering machine? You actually had to pick up the phone to find out who was on the other end. Phone etiquette was different. The phone would ring. You’d pick it up and say something like, “Hello.” Or more fo

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