Commentaries Written by Chelsey Harmon

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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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Luke 11:1-13 Sermon Commentary

Proper 12C

Coming straight on the heels of Jesus telling Martha that her sister Mary will not be deprived of sitting in the presence of God, Luke depicts Jesus as doing the same. The stories are less chronologically connected (i.e., there is no indication that this scene immediately played out after his night as a guest at…

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Luke 10:38-42 Sermon Commentary

Proper 11C

Whether it was sharing a bedroom with one of my siblings for most of my childhood, or having housemates as an adult, I can sure relate to Martha’s frustration with Mary. There always seems to be that one member who doesn’t pull their weight, plays the role of helpless, or gets so easily—and conveniently—focused on…

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