Trinity 19 Sermon, 2016
Matthew 9:1-8
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Friday, I went on an adventure through parts of Macoupin and Sangamon counties. It sounds so much better when I say it that way.

A little before nine in the morning, I paid my first visit to the Carlinville Emergency Room. I have only positive things to say about the ER there, but, unfortunately, they had to transfer me to the ER at St. John’s in Springfield.

I’ll spare you the details, but that’s how I spent my Friday.

(more…)

Trinity 18 Sermon, 2016
Matthew 22:34-46
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Between husband and wife, friends, and family, we often develop our own secret language. We say things, we ask questions, and we don’t really want a response to what we say, we want a response to what we haven’t said.

For example, if I ask my wife the question, “What’s for dinner?” I’m really asking, “What are you fixing for dinner?”

Or if I say, “What movie do you want to watch?” what I mean is, “Here’s a movie I want to watch, tell me you want to watch it, too.”

Those scenarios, relatively speaking, are harmless.

But there is, very similar to those, a logical fallacy that can get you in trouble. You’ve heard of loaded questions, right?

(more…)

Trinity 16, 2016
Luke 7:11-17
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

How does God interact with you?

How does He speak to you?

How do you know what God wants?

What is God’s will for your life?

And are you sure?

These questions all have simple answers, but we turn them into a kind of torture of the soul.

(more…)

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2016
Matthew 6:24-34
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

In the context of today’s Gospel lesson, Jesus says, When you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:1-4).

He doesn’t say “if,” He says “when.” When you give to the needy, several things happen. You obey God, which is of course a meet thing to do. You care for your neighbor who is need, which we know we should do. And, you also train your body not to need so much stuff.

I can tell you to obey God, and you won’t get upset with me.

I can tell you to care for those who are in need, and you’ll agree with me nine times out of ten.

But if I tell you to train your body to need less and fewer things, if I tell you to store up treasure in heaven by giving away your earthly treasures here and now, you’ll want me to stop preaching. Well, guess what…

(more…)