You know what?   
I think “Doubting Thomas” gets a bad rap.
If immediately recognizing the resurrected Christ as the Jesus of Nazareth was a test, almost everyone failed
.

 
 
"Life, you see, is also a gift, and it is to be received and participated in with gratitude."

And God said to Abraham:  “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.”

This is clearly one of the most troubling stories in all of Scripture.  It raises unthinkable questions, particularly for anyone who has lost a child.

 
 
Chances are if you grew up going to church you know the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Like all of the Lord's parables, it is a story with multiple layers, some of which are easy to overlook.


 
 
Luke 9: 51
Today's Gospel lesson requires some contextual explanation. It marks the closing of the Galilean section of Luke and the beginning of the section in which Jesus begins his journey to accomplish His mission on Golgotha.


 
 
Luke 12: 32-40

Hebrews 11: 1-3, 8-16

I think that one of the highest hurdles that those who would be faithful must clear is the hurdle of perspective. In other words, adopting the proper perspective between the here and now and the hereafter is a very tough challenge.

 
 
John 10: 11-18

            I have always felt that one of the great deficiencies in Christian preaching is the single-minded focus on what Christ does FOR us with almost total disregard for what Christ expects OF us.

 
 
The Scope of God's Grace
Luke 15: 1-3, ll b-32

            Today's Gospel reading is the Parable of the Prodigal Son, perhaps the best known of all the parables.  But ironically, it may be the best known for the wrong reasons.
             So I propose that we take a thorough look at what is the longest parable in the Gospels, and one that occurs only in Luke.



 
 
   LOVE: an ACTION; an ATTITUDE; a BEHAVIOR

                                                1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
       
             A Peanuts cartoon shows Lucy standing with her arms folded and a stern expression on her face.
               Charlie Brown pleads, “Lucy, you must be more loving. This world really needs love. You have to let yourself love to make this world a better place.”
               Lucy angrily whirls around and knocks Charlie Brown to the ground.
               She screams at him, “Look, Blockhead, the world I love; it's people I can't stand.”


 
 
The Fruits of Faithfulness, Obedience, and Penitence
                                                 Luke 13:  1-9
 If one read only the Gospel lesson for today without any regard for where we are in the church year, it would be easy to conclude that it was Advent
Christ sounds just like John the Baptist: “unless you repent, you will all perish.”   Now to be sure, just like Advent, Lent is a penitential season; that is why the liturgical color for both seasons is violet.
But there is a subtle difference between the two penitential seasons.
  

 
 
In his novel The Blood of the Lamb, Peter deVries observed that what we believe is a function of what we have suffered ...