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Showing posts from November, 2012

Sermon for November 18, 2012

Jesus and the New Classism
Thanksgiving Sunday

How many of us can remember a Thanksgiving when we haven’t participated in a food drive, or helped out at Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless, or invited a lonely neighbor over for dinner? How many of us can remember a Thanksgiving when provided money for food or assembled or distributed Thanksgiving baskets for those in need of attention and care? For most of us, Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless we remember our responsibility to those who exist at the edges of society. It says a lot about our character as Americans that during our holiday of giving thanks, we have an impulse to share with those whose needs are greater than our own; that we share with those who so often feel forgotten.

Thanksgiving is a time of great generosity. But is it also a time of justice? Let’s turn to the example of Jesus to look for some answers. This is from Mark 12:38ff.
Jesus taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade ar…

Sermon for November 4, 2012

Faith in the Public Square: A Theology of Hospitality
Isaiah 58:7

When I think about hospitality, about Grammy Braddock. That woman always had people in her house. It was inevitable – she had 16 children. Every Christmas Eve we would go to her tiny apartment at the senior living complex. Every room would be stuffed with Braddocks. Our family overflowed into the sidewalks and parking lots. She never had much money, but she always put some food out – mashed potato salad with green peas sticks in my memory for some reason. And she always had gifts for her 55 grandchildren – a pair of mittens or a box of chocolate covered cherries. When we arrived, she would go into her bed room and pick something from her stockpile of gifts, wrap it up, and hand it to me as if she had seen this box of mints in the store and thought only of you.

When I think about hospitality, about Grandma Hudson. She had more money than Grammy Braddock and lived in a bigger house. It was also stuffed with …

Sermon for October 28, 2012

Faith in the Public Square: The New American Economy
“Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.’” Matthew 25:40 Welcome to the new American Economy. The American middle class is in trouble. Our incomes stagnate or fall while the costs of life’s necessities continue to rise. Even for those with jobs, the promise of economic growth has failed to deliver. Income for the typical middle class household has actually fallen over the past 10 years. For the past decade, Gallup has asked Americans about their biggest financial concern. Those in the middle class have consistently said they are most worried about not earning enough money, the high cost of living, and risks such as maintaining a decent standard of living in retirement and losing their job. Sadly, Americans have also been telling pollsters, even before the start of the Great Recession, that they think their children will be worse off than they are.