Melissa places the parable of the bridesmaids waiting for the groom at the wedding in the larger context of parables around it. All of you who call yourselves followers of Jesus, now is the time! Stop getting distracted. Focus on what we are called to do. We need to find Jesus in the dispossessed, the most vulnerable among us because the reign of God is not in the future. It’s here and now.
A farmer hires workers throughout the day. Some work all day others just short time but the farmer pays all of them the same wages. This may not be fair but it is right. God does not bless people according to title, power, salary or any measure, God’s grace is freely given to everyone. This is good news or as Melissa put it “the full employment at a living wage parable”.
Melissa also address the erroneous use of this parable to raise Christians above others. Dividing people and causing harm.
During Lent, RMC is focusing on some of Jesus’ parables. This first Sunday of Lent Melissa spoke from Matthew 18:21-35, the difficult parable of the slave who owed a great sum of money.
Melissa hearkened back to her memories of the Westminster Catechism to remind us what our chief purpose is: To glorify God and delight in God forever. (A slight paraphrase.) “I pray wasted time for each of you this week.” Matthew 16:24-17:8
As Melissa recounts the story of Jesus feeding of the 5,000, she ponders what we have to offer. Just five loaves and two fishes. God can take the little and make it much. Matthew 14:13-33
Guest speaker Nathan Hershberger provided the sermon based on Matthew 13:24-43. God demands justice but will bring it about without our violence. In the meantime, we water and keep the mixed fields of our souls, and join together to water and keep the mixed fields of our churches and our world
Rachel helped us take a broader view of a number of Jesus’ parables found in the Gospel of Matthew, providing some background and giving the congregation an opportunity to reflect on them in a new way.
Melissa preaches from Matthew 6:7-21.
Melissa recounts the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. It might be viewed as a test to see if Jesus is really who he claims to be. Jesus believes he is God’s beloved. We might not be able to pass the tests Jesus was faced with, but we also are God’s beloved. Matthew 4:1-17
In the second message in the series on Jesus’ life as told in Matthew, we come to Jesus’ baptism. Melissa provides a fresh perspective on this age-old story and invites those of us who have been baptized to reflect back on what it means. Matthew 3:1-17
Melissa preached from Matthew 1:17-25, the story of an incredibly creative act of God. The doctrine of the virgin birth becomes, as Karl Barth says, “The guard at the door of the mystery of Christmas.”
Melissa provided a Christmas Eve sermon. Our lives, as Jesus’
Rachel tells the story of William Kamkwamba, a boy in Malawi whose family faced starvation due to extreme drought. Ultimately a story of resilience and hope, along with creativity and ingenuity, what makes this an Advent story is because of the faithfulness and trust in the midst of incredible adversity. We may be longing for food, for shelter, or for clarity or friendship, or for justice or a sense of God’s nearness. The Magnificat is a prophetic word for God’s hungry people. Luke 1:46b-55, Micah 5:2-5a.
We are being called out of enmity over and over again and into friendship with God. We are now called friends because of God’s love for us. It’s this same love we are to show our enemies. Luke 3:1-14