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HOW MANY TIMES? HOW MANY WAYS? – Covenant Community Church, Birmingham Alabama



Today is the Third Sunday of Kingdomtide. As I shared earlier, the assigned scriptures for Kingdomtide speak to living out the 2nd of the 2 greatest commandments. We see it repeated in Luke through Jesus’ actions and teachings.

In beginning of Luke 14, Jesus is visiting a religious elite’s home for a meal. While there Jesus observes a person in physical distress. So, Jesus healed him. And you know what happened? The religious elites and authorities pitched a fit because Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath.

Then Luke begins chapter 15 with these words: “Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:1-2) That is the framework for 3 parables in chapter 15: (1) the story of a shepherd and his sheep, (2) of a widow and her coins, (3) of a man and his two sons. In each of the 3 parables Jesus is trying to convey to humanity what Paul speaks of in Ephesians 3:19, “The extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. (Encouraging us to) Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the Depths! Rise to the Heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. (Message)

As I mused over these verses, I could help but think, “How many times? How many ways does God have to say it and Jesus has to demonstrate it for us to receive, experience and know God’s unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance is of us? And then to live it out!

Join us in worship this Sunday at Covenant, in-person, on Zoom or Facebook Livestream, as we explore those questions using these familiar parables in light of 2 questions: “How Many Times? How Many Ways?” That’s my sermon title based on “Luke 15:1-10.”

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