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Teach Us, Lord, Full Obedience

The 6th Sunday of Easter

Teach Us, Lord, Full Obedience

Text: John 14:23-29

This last week a boat was found off the coast of Bermuda by a Norwegian vessel ship.  Quickly it was identified as the boat of Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, the two 14-year-olds who left on a fishing trip from Jupiter, FL 10 months ago and who have been missing ever since.  The two boys are still missing and now some are wondering if foul play was involved.

Speaking of investigations, there are plenty of others going on.  The FBI recently paid almost $1 million to unlock (semi-legally) an iPhone connected to the San Bernadino mass shooting.  Investigations are also continuing 10 days after the music industry lost legendary musician Prince, as to what exactly was his cause of death.  Then there was the tragic death of the two-year-old who drowned in her grandparents’ swimming pool in Port Orange Thursday night.

Also making the headlines this week was another baseball player, this one from the Miami Marlins, who was banned 80 games for steroids and the controversial football player drafted Thursday night by the Miami Dolphins who has found himself in a social media firestorm for past poor decisions.  (Not a good week for Miami sports.)  Oh, and who could leave out the headlines of the 20 arrested during the mini-riot at the Donald Trump rally on Thursday night? Read the rest of this entry

Which Son Do You Identify With?

19th Sunday after Pentecost

Which Son Do You Identify With?

Text: Matthew 21:28-32

I.

Ooh their blood was boiling.  They already despised Jesus, but now the chief priests and elders of the people—they were really hot.  The day before the people had made a crazy ruckus in the city.  They were shouting and waving palm branches and treating Jesus like a king as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  Later that same Palm Sunday Jesus entered the temple, turned over the tables , of the money lenders, and drove out all the people who turned that holy house into a den of robbers.

Now it was the next day, Monday of Holy Week, and Jesus was back in the temple teaching.  The chief priests and elders nearly had steam shooting out of their ears.  “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked.  They just didn’t get it.  Their hearts were hardened with hate and unbelief.  So Jesus told them a series of parables.  The first one is before us today.

It’s a simple and short parable.  There was a father who had two boys.  Certainly he loved them.  He addressed them each as “Child,” or “Son.”  But like all parents, this father expected his dear children to work.  They couldn’t just sit and play Super Mario Brothers or watch Scooby Doo all day.  They had work to do for the family.  You might expect your children to clean their rooms or do the dishes or mow the lawn.  In an agricultural society, these two sons were asked to go and work in the vineyard.

The first one refused.  I will not,” he said, giving the response that we parents dread hearing: “NO!”  But later on he changed his mind and went to work in the vineyard.  The second son did just the opposite.  He answered, I will, sir.”  If only!  If only our children would be asked to do something and would always respond with a, “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am” like this son.  However, though he talked a good talk, the second son didn’t walk the walk.  He never went to work in the vineyard. Read the rest of this entry