Commentaries Written by Scott Hoezee

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Jeremiah 18:1-11 Sermon Commentary

Proper 18C

The image of a potter at a wheel molding a wet lump of clay into various shapes is both a vivid image and one that most people can picture easily in their minds—it even cuts across multiple cultures seeing as the art of pottery making is quite ancient.   Skilled potters are downright amazing in their…

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Jeremiah 2:4-13 Sermon Commentary

Proper 17C

According to the old adage, “You are what you eat.”  But parts of the Bible, including Jeremiah 2, give voice to a different point of view: You are what you worship.  In Jeremiah 2, one of the prophet’s initial broadsides against the people of Israel was the sad fact that in worshiping gods that were…

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Psalm 112 Sermon Commentary

Proper 17C

Very often the Psalms are actually a form of beatitude.  Psalm 1 sets the tone: “Blessed is the one who does not walk with the wicked.”  Beatitudes—including the most famous ones of them all from Matthew 5—are very often blessings spoken over people whose lives the rest of the world may not deem to be…

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Psalm 103:1-8 Sermon Commentary

Proper 16C

There are some pieces of music, certain poems, some scenes in movies that are so lyric, so moving, so flat out beautiful that it doesn’t matter how often you hear it, read it, or see it: it gets you every time.  Psalm 103 is like that.  I usually balk a bit when the Lectionary slices…

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Jeremiah 1:4-10 Sermon Commentary

Proper 16C

It sometimes seems as though Jeremiah 1 means more to preachers than to average church-goers.  There is something about this pre-natal call to ministry—not to mention the lyric image of God’s filling the prophet’s mouth with his Word—that strikes a chord for lots of us who preach.  But since the church long ago began to…

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Psalm 82 Sermon Commentary

Proper 15C

What are we to make of Psalm 82?  Who are the “gods” that get referred to multiple times?  If you as an orthodox believer are convinced there really are no other gods beyond the God and Father of Jesus Christ, then these references to other gods may be a bit unsettling.  But as I read…

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Isaiah 5:1-7 Sermon Commentary

Proper 15C

As commentators note, Isaiah 5 begins with what looks like some light-hearted romantic ballad. A kind of troubadour opens this chapter by saying, “Listen up! I’m going to sing you a ballad about my beloved one–a song about the vineyard of our love!” It looks like a love song but quickly changes into a lament….

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Isaiah 1:1, 10-20 Sermon Commentary

Proper 14C

To get the full impact of Isaiah 1:10-20, you need to back up to verse 9 (left out regrettably by the Lectionary) in which the people of Israel say to themselves (in the wake of great desolation in their land) that with at least a few folks still living, they were not quite as bad…

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Psalm 33:12-22 Sermon Commentary

Proper 14C

Suppose you are a person who is leery of civil religion, of the possible idolatry that can come when people equate a given nation with God’s kingdom.  Well, in that case, Psalm 33:12a might give you pause, or it might flat out trouble you a bit.  “Blessed is the nation whose God is Yahweh.”  That…

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Psalm 49:1-12 Sermon Commentary

Proper 13C

At times there is a very fine line separating the poems we call Psalms from the biblical literature we call Wisdom such as in the Book of Proverbs.  Psalm 49 is a classic example of a definite blurring of that fine line.  In fact, Psalm 49 sounds sufficiently like any number of passages in Proverbs…

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