Commentaries Written by Chelsey Harmon

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Luke 17:5-10 Sermon Commentary

Proper 22C

We plop right into a conversation already in progress in verse 5, but as you may already be aware, reading the previous verses isn’t a guarantee that you’ll immediately understand our lectionary selection! If you wish to include the first four verses of chapter 17, it’s fine to do so, since they are seemingly what…

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Luke 16:19-31 Sermon Commentary

Proper 21C

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” – Jesus (Luke 6.24) So goes the story of the rich man in Jesus’ story. He should have known better; he could have been (and done) better. He received good things, but built up treasures for himself instead of being rich towards…

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Luke 16:1-13 Sermon Commentary

Proper 20C

This set of verses is a difficult one to bring clarity to while preaching. Forget the fact that there are any number of interpretative directions you can take when sharing this parable: for every way this story can be understood, a fair amount of detail will need to be explained in order for the interpretation…

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Luke 15:1-10 Sermon Commentary

Proper 19C

Taking his cue from the setting given to us in verses 1-3, Justo González says these parables are less for the lost than they are for the “never lost”—those who foolishly think they have no need for the Physician of heaven. Our lectionary passage starts with the grumbling Pharisees. What are they grumbling about? Jesus…

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Luke 14:25-33 Sermon Commentary

Proper 18C

If this scene seems familiar, it is because it is the second time this summer that we have encountered this scene: Jesus among a crowd on the road to Jerusalem, questioning people’s abilities and willingness to be truly committed to discipleship. In fact, throughout our lectionary passages, we have listened in as Jesus specifically tells…

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Luke 14:1,7-14 Sermon Commentary

Proper 17C

Jan Richardson describes this text as one of the many that exemplify “the endless wisdom of the table.” Of course, the wisdom comes from how Jesus transforms the space in order to reform the community. Having just spent time in one last week, the lectionary skips over a Sabbath healing story (verses 2-6) to bring…

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Luke 13:10-17 Sermon Commentary

Proper 16C

“Don’t go getting any ideas.” That’s the leader’s message to the multitude of people who have gathered on the Sabbath day and were just given a spark of hope. That’s the leader’s response to Jesus’ miraculous healing of a woman’s horrible suffering. Not here, not today, not for any of the rest of you. Imagine…

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Luke 12:49-56 Sermon Commentary

Proper 15C

It seems to me that this passage is hitting many of us hard this summer. Denominations of every size, evangelical or mainline, are at crossroads, as synodical and convention decisions will force many of their members to leave the only faith homes that they have ever known. Is this the work of Christ’s fire baptism…

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Luke 12:32-40 Sermon Commentary

Proper 14C

By pairing the parable about the Master and attentive servants and the commands to sell our possessions so that we might make treasures in heaven (i.e., be rich in the things of God), verse 32 becomes the major point of doctrine: We need not be afraid because it is God’s good pleasure to give us…

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Luke 12:13-21 Sermon Commentary

Proper 13C

Whether it’s Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life, prompts for charitable donations on Giving Tuesday (after the two biggest shopping days of the year), or the persistent sound of the Salvation Army bells ringing at storefronts, Christmas seems to be the season when we think it…

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