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Then he went away.
The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.
In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.
After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
Here you have what is yours.
You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather christian poker I did not scatter?
Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, source on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.
So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.
For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Why are we here on Sunday mornings?
Blessings derive from a good education.
Blessings are the work of our clever minds toiling away 60 hours a week.
Why speak of Truth, when we buy into falsehoods of power and greed?
Why speak of Love when we allow hundreds of people to be shot in the streets of christian poker cities and thousands to die on the field of battle and we do nothing.
Where is Love in that?
When I hear part of this scripture reading this morning I understand their disenchantment.
And worthless people are tossed into outer darkness.
This image of God seems harsh and judgmental and ultimately cruel.
That is Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, or maybe 7 to 7, kind of thinking.
On some level we are all a bit cracked, a bit broken, sometimes more than a bit.
I know a church that had a huge fight over where the minister should stand to greet christian poker after the service.
Maybe the church will find its relevance by returning to a theology of failure.
Carrol, who is a faithful Catholic and a former priest, expresses his own doubts and his own worries about an irrelevant church.
And that is risky business.
We live in an age of war.
We long for retribution.
We live in a time of segregation.
Jesus welcomed the stranger.
We walk in a world of fear.
Jesus lived with fear-forgetting grace.
We live in a city that struts with power.
Jesus spoke softly of humility.
We work in a culture that rewards success.
We live in a culture that sells it soul for safety.
In Austin, Texas, where we lived before coming to Westmoreland, there is a beautifully built bridge across the Colorado River.
The bridge is held up by two steel arches that span the river.
The arches are about a foot wide and they stretch 600 feet from end to end.
At the top point the arches are a hundred feet above the roadway and two hundred feet above the shallow river.
I have a friend who is a psychologist.
Several years ago he was talking to a teenaged boy who was in counseling.
At one session, the teenaged boy told the therapist that the night before he and a friend had climbed over the fence that guarded the arches.
In the middle of the night they walked over this metal arch, risking their lives, risking a fall into the christian poker lanes of traffic below or risking a fall into the rocky river down even further.
Our lives are so boring.
Good schools, good parents, plenty of money, clothes, a car.
He had everything except for challenge, adventure.
And so he climbed a bridge in the dark of night.
It is about a life that is challenged to be transformed.
Some families play charades or Go Fish or Apples to Apples.
When I was a child, my family played poker.
My father, who is a pretty decent poker player, thought that was a skill that my brothers and sister needed in life.
Not so much the poker-playing itself, but the sense of risk-taking.
We played poker with match sticks or maybe pennies, no big cash pots at our house.
But I learned some things from playing poker.
I learned that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
And I learned that if I never bet any of my matchsticks, I would never win any more match sticks.
That is, I learned about risk.
So, I think we should play more poker in church.
Now, I know that my grandmother and some of our Puritan ancestors just rolled over in their graves.
But I am saying we should take more risks.
Not unsafe risks, not silly risks, but purposeful, meaningful risks.
We should live and love with a faith that is daring be. poker real money sites useful brave and adventuresome.
I hope you fill out your nominations forms and suggest people to serve on boards and committees for next year.
What would the neighbors think?
It is not easy to find housing for people in need in Montgomery County.
So I was doing research on how different churches across the country provides houses for homeless people.
And I ran across a sermon preached by Saint John Chrysostom.
He was a priest at Antioch, which is in Turkey, in the late 300s.
In his sermon John Chrysostom urged his congregation to set aside a Christ room in their homes, to set aside a guest room specifically called a Christ room so they could welcome strangers, so they could welcome people in need, as if they were Jesus himself.
Just like I can imagine all of the reasons we can come up with for not welcoming strangers into our homes.
In fact at coffee, I want you to play a game.
I told you I learned to play poker as a child.
I want you to pair up or form a group.
And one person should come up with the very best reasons that you should welcome homeless people into your home.
Afraid someone will laugh at us, afraid someone will think less of us, we are afraid.
You are invited to place your completed pledge card for our 2015 budget in the offering plate.
And that is the least of my shortcomings.
But I think we need to be honest.
If we are complacent, if we settle for safe, the church will die.
We may have enough money in the bank to pay for long-term ecclesiastical network status poker 888 care, but make no mistake.
If we settle for safe, if we are complacent, the church will die.
Last Sunday I heard a story that I think I knew, but needed to hear again.
Last Sunday was the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
Our choir took part in a service at the German Lutheran Church.
That service focused in part on the role that Christians in East Germany played in the fall of the wall.
Under the Communist regime, the East German government strongly discouraged its citizens from becoming involved in religious activities.
Christians and churches suffered a great deal in the 1950s and 60s and 70s.
And then in 1980s, Christian Führer came to be the pastor at Nikolai Church in Leipzig, a city of about 500,000 people in East Germany.
In 1982, Pastor Fuhrer began organizing prayers for peace.
In 1985, Pastor Fuhrer put a sign outside his church.
But that sign spoke volumes in Germany where Nikolai Church provided the only space in the country where people could talk about things that could not be discussed in public.
The prayers for peace meetings were open to everyone.
Young people, Christians, and atheists all sought refuge there.
And they prayed for peace, and they read the scriptures, and the pastor preached about nonviolence, and they lighted candles, and they sang songs.
Beginning on September 4, 1989, the peace prayer gatherings became weekly, Mondays at 5 pm.
Hundreds of people showed up, then thousands.
On October 7, 1989, the government ordered the church closed.
Police beat people who tried to gather there, so the prayers for peace happened outside the church.
On Monday, October 9, 1989, there were 70,000 people present.
In a city of 500,000, where religion was essentially outlawed, 70,000 people came to church.
There were death threats.
The army encamped nearby.
Lives were click risk.
And they showed up.
They stood in link streets, holding candles and singing and praying.
The next week, in Leipzig, on October 16, 1989, 120,000 people showed up.
The following week, October 23, more than https://bannerven.com/poker/poker-rooms-europe.html people showed up.
Now these people praying for peace in Nikolai Church were not the only factor at work.
There were political realities, economic troubles, a corrupt system rotting from the inside out.
But on November 9, 1989, at 10:45 pm, an East German commander told his troops to open the checkpoints, and the Berlin Wall was no more.
Those people at Nikolai Church in Leipzig — 70,000, 120,000, 320,000 people — were brave people who risked their lives.
Never doubt the power of prayer and song and candles lighted for peace.
So, what do you feel called to risk?
I invite you to give more of your time.
I invite you to pray more fervently.
I invite you to increase your pledge of financial support.
I invite you to light more candles in the face of darkness.
I invite you poker sunglasses with readers rediscover the centrality of Jesus.
I invite you to take your faith into the streets of our city.
Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ 1 Westmoreland Circle Bethesda, MD 20816 301-229-7766 office westmorelanducc.
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