By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Luke 15:11-32
It may be that my memory doesn’t serve me well; but it seems to me that – as a child growing up in church – the sermons I heard on this morning’s parable were focused on the son who left home; the one we refer to as the prodigal. But over time, I’ve found that curious. I mean, it’s a bit like preaching to the choir. After all, our very presence in this place assumes – though is no guarantee – that we have recognized that we are sinners in need of God’s grace. Each time we join together for communion, we confess our sins and acknowledge our waywardness. We confess our disobedience, our willfulness, our rebellion, our disregard for others.[i]
If a story is really good, it provides us with a character with whom we can identify… albeit sometimes reluctantly. Jesus was an outstanding story teller and the power of his parables was about character identification. The heroes and villains of Jesus’ stories – heroes like the Good Samaritan – are often not those we expect or even want.
[i] This communion prayer of confession is found in the United Methodist hymnal on page 8 (1989; the United Methodist Publishing House)
At the end of 2017, there was an average of 269 million emails sent per day. Based on projections, we should arrive at an average of 320 million emails per day by 2021. Currently, Americans average seven social media accounts with that figure also increasing. The average American currently spends more than 11 hours per day consuming media. The majority “time suck” is still television, but use is growing fastest among smart phones, tablets, game consoles, etc.[i] Now, since most of us either work or attend school and all of us have to eat and sleep to live, this has some pretty clear and grotesque implications for distraction. We live in a distracted, inattentive, multi-tasking age.
[i] These statistics were all found surfing various online sites which, surprisingly, were in agreement on the data.
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Luke 16:19-31
This morning we continue with Trinity’s fall stewardship campaign: Setting the Table for Trinity: How Table Talk Shapes Our Hospitality and Generosity.
Over the past few months, I’ve been visiting with Trinity members and asking some common questions. Of all the questions I’ve asked, here is the one people have seemed to find most challenging. The question is: share a time in your life when you were impacted by generosity; either someone showed remarkable generosity toward you, or you were able to be unusually generous with someone else. So this morning, I want to begin with an invitation for you to turn to someone near you and address that very question. And let me say, by generosity I don’t mean only money. We can be generous with our money, generous with our time, generous with our talents, even generous with our attention. So turn to someone near you and share a time when you have been impacted by generosity; either someone showed remarkable generosity toward you or you were able to be especially generous with someone else. Describe both the experience and the feeling that it invoked in you.
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