Sermons on “Matthew”

If You are the Son of God…

May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Amen

Make bread, perform a miracle, and worship another. Why these three test’s and why did Jesus refuse? Why couldn’t Jesus have just turned every stone to bread and feed the entire world, why couldn’t Jesus have performed a stunning miracle in the capital city, demonstrating the power of God and bringing everyone present to their knees. Why not placate this tempter if only to rule the world with peace and truth, bringing an end to the political and social unrest? We are left wondering if instead of 3 years of grueling ministry, Jesus could have changed the world with 3 easy wishes; the genie in the bottle promising worldly glory and recognition, power, and satisfaction. Easy, tempting, and in many ways disconcerting for us when we think about how Jesus fails to see the positives of these actions. It can’t hurt to create bread and do miracles can it? It wouldn’t be a bad thing for Jesus to have the world would it?

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Locusts, Vipers and a Dove

“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

I’m not an angry preacher this morning it’s just that I’ve always wanted to try this from the pulpit, just to see what it feels like.

It feels kind of strange to be honest with you because I know you are not a brood of vipers and I like you.

I don’t know if John the Baptist liked the Pharisees and the Sadducees or if he didn’t like them; it doesn’t really matter does it? But I suspect there was a strong sense of urgency on John’s part.

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God’s Plan

I could say something right now about how my daughter is two years old or under. I could talk about how this changes the tragedy and terror of this text for me. But to be honest, it doesn’t. Not because I’m some heartless woman who doesn’t feel absolute horror at the thought of any harm coming to my child, but because you don’t need to have a 16 month old, or a toddler, or a child at all, to know that this text is completely awful. It is awful because in it, innocent people – innocent children – die violently to suit a whim. Herod’s anger, insecurity, and vindictiveness result in a loss of life so sweeping, so merciless, that no one can be untouched. Whether these are your children or not, whether you have children or not, you know that this is tragedy of the worst kind.

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Naivety at the Nativity

I have a confession I need to make. I have never seen Avatar. I know, I know it’s the largest grossing movie of all time before adjustment for inflation, a groundbreaking work in visual effects and the forerunner, trendsetter, of the modern 3D movie experience, and it should be on my short list. I should have seen it in theatres. It’s not like it wasn’t on my radar. I read the reviews. I even know the entire plotline. But somehow all this knowledge did not get me out the door to a local movie theatre. Five years later my experience of the biggest blockbuster in movie history is entirely void. A shameful confession of any self-proclaimed lover of films.

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