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The Passionate Jesus

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Topic Features About Grace

The Rev. Christopher Henry

Chris Henry: The Problem with Piety

Luke 18:9-14

23rd Sunday after Pentecost - Year C

October 23, 2016

The Rev. Christopher Henry (PCUSA)


In the fall of 2000, I began my studies at Duke University as an intended political science major with my sights set on a future in elected office. I only lasted one semester with this intended concentration and vocation. One of the primary reasons was the first course I took in the political science department. The course was titled, "Political Systems in Contemporary America" and it had a deeply negative impact on me. It was not the brilliant professor, nor the challenging reading list, nor the fascinating subject matter. It was one particular lecture on the growing use and impact of negative campaign advertising that did me in. We often complain about such pieces from both ends of the political spectrum, describing them as "attack ads" and "mudslinging." They disappoint us and erode our trust in the political system. And, perhaps most disturbingly, they are successful. These attack ads get results. I remember our professor explaining that the reason for the increasing prevalence of such campaign ads was their consistent record of effectiveness. "It turns out," he said with a smile, "that in politics you really can lift yourself up by tearing others down. I have the research to prove it."

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The Rev. Dr. Ruth Hamilton

Ruth Hamilton: Keeping the Sabbath Holy

Luke 13:10-17

14th Sunday after Pentecost - Year A

August 21, 2016

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Hamilton (ELCA)


When I was growing up, Sundays meant church, family, and food. My extended family would gather at our congregation for worship, armed with giant Tootsie Rolls to keep us kids quiet during the sermon. Afterwards, we would head over to my grandmother's house for a quick snack of cream-filled coffee cake. Later we all drove over to the cemetery, where we would tidy up the graves of our relatives: planting, watering, weeding, and sweeping dirt off the headstones. Tired and hungry, we would return to my grandmother's house, where roast pork or roast beef waited--after table grace, of course. Finally, after games of hide-and-seek for us kids and lots of conversation, everyone would go home for bedtime prayers and sleep.

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Other Recent Content About Grace

The Rev. Joe Evans Transcript

July 27, 2014

We Do Not Know How to Pray

The Rev. Joseph Evans (PCUSA)

The Rev. Joe Evans explores Paul's teaching in Romans 8 and encourages us to consider prayer as the act of giving up on our will and trusting in God's, of relinquishing our limited power while placing all our hope in God's ultimate power.
The Rev. Dr. Mary Anderson Transcript

June 16, 2013

Alabaster Extravagance

The Rev. Dr. Mary Anderson (ELCA)

The Rev. Dr. Mary Anderson reveals how Jesus' willingness to forgive sinners, as in the case of Luke 7:36-50, demonstrates God's loving acceptance of all who love God.
The Rev. William E. Flippin, Jr. Transcript

March 10, 2013

The Day God Ran

The Rev. William Flippin, Jr. (ELCA)

In his message for the 4th Sunday in Lent, the Rev. William Flippin Jr. offers a fresh perspective on the parable of the prodigal son, showing us a God who loves us so much he runs to meet us.

A Life of Joy

The Rev. Peter Wallace

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11

No Good Without God

The Rev. Peter Wallace

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." —Psalm 16:1-2

The Golden Rule

The Rev. Peter Wallace

Jesus said, "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets." —Matthew 7:12

Waiting for God

The Rev. Peter Wallace

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror. My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord—how long? Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. —Psalm 6:2-4
The Rev. Dr. Kris Lewis Transcript

October 30, 2011

Practice What You Preach

The Rev. Dr. Kris Lewis (TEC)

We can learn a great deal about the humility and sacrificial service Christ desires of his followers by exploring his prickly condemnation of the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of his day.