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Sermon: Pentecost 23a – November 16, 2014

The Rev. Dr. William Heisley

Lessons: Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18; Psalm 90; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30

It’s all about money.  It’s all about money and nothing is clear.

A rich man called his 3 slaves around him.  They were probably close confidants, people bought and chosen to protect the man’s property.  He gave one of them 5 talents and one 2 talents and one 1 talent.  There is a wide variety of thinking about what a talent was.  But most often you read that a talent was worth about 15 years wages.  So he gave one, what: at least $2,000,000?  Ten million dollars?  More?  Even the one he gave the least had a lot of money to handle, maybe $600,000.  Not probable to us.  But Jesus’s listeners would have understood. (more…)

Sermon: Pentecost 17a – October 5, 2014

The Rev. Dr. William A. Heisley

Lessons:  Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46

I don’t know what the man who owned the vineyard expected. After all, when you have a valuable property, you don’t just turn your back on it. You don’t just go away and expect everything to be OK. The landowner had invested lots of time and money in the vineyard. He bought the land and built a fence – had to be out of stone; that’s all they had – he bought the land and had an elaborate stone fence built and paid workers to dig a wine press, paid lots of money to get the really dirty work done. He paid and paid and paid and then he thought, “Well my work here is done. I’ve put good people in place and I can go to my lake house now. My investments are secure.”

But he was wrong. There was no security. Instead there was intrigue and insubordination and greed. There was a vineyard full of human passions and conniving and desires. The tenants, of course, thought that the profits, the wine they made that year, should be theirs. After all, they did all the hard work. Their feet were the purple ones, not the landowner’s His feet were probably propped up on the side of his fishing boat in some far off vacation locale. (more…)