Reformation Day (observed), 2016
John 8:31-36
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

What’s the highest compliment you can pay to a man?

What’s the highest compliment you can pay to a woman?

What’s the highest compliment you can pay to your pastor?

I’m not fishing for compliments or anything like that. Actually, I believe the answer to all of those questions is the same, and it all has to do with today being the day we observe Reformation Day.

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Trinity 22 Sermon, 2016
Matthew 18:21-35
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Do you take the Bible literally?

It says that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish, do you believe that? You should. It’s true.

The Bible says that God created the earth in six twenty-four hour days, do you believe that? You should. It’s true.

It says that Mary was a virgin who conceived and bore a son, that Jesus is our Lord and God, that He rose from the dead on the third day. Do you believe all that? You should. It’s all true.

But are you supposed to believe all of the Bible literally? The answer’s no. You should not.

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Trinity 21 Sermon, 2016
John 4:46-54
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

All of our understanding of today’s Gospel lesson hinges on two seemingly out of place questions.

First: What difference does it make if a verb is past, present, or future tense? Or, to ask it a different way, Why does grammar matter?

And second: What does a stop sign mean?

What does a stop sign mean? It doesn’t mean “Stop.” It means “Stop. Then, when appropriate, go.”

Believe it or not, we have a hard time understanding even the simplest signs.

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Trinity 20 Sermon, 2016
Matthew 22:1-14
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

“Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).

If we take that at face value, we’ll get it wrong and miss the point (the grace, the mercy!) that Jesus has in mind.

Here, “many” means “all” and “few” means “not all.”

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