Proper 20 Keeping Up Appearances

This parable is a rogues' gallery of contemptible characters. The absentee landlord who takes no responsibility for the direct oversight of that which has been entrusted to him, the shrewd steward who embezzles and then draws would-be debtors into his labyrinth of deception-and their willingness to go along. All in all, the canon would have been just fine without these cameo appearances.

Proper 19 Reckless Reclamation

Ah, the Sunday after Labor Day. This is the first time since the beginning of summer break that some of you have been in worship. I was tempted to examine today's readings, which threaten with the ongoing judgment of God (Jer. 4:11-12, 22-28), rebukes false worship-golden calf or golden tan (Ex. 37:7-14) and challenges us to hear the call to repentance (Ps. 51:1-10).

Proper 18 Who Calculates the Cost?

What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? Why do we follow Him? The early 20th century hymn "It Pays to Serve Jesus" includes the refrain: "It pays to serve Jesus, it pays every day / It pays every step of the way / Though the pathway to glory may sometimes be drear / You'll be happy each step of the way."