July 31, 2016
Luke 12:13-21
Colossians 3:1-11
Hosea 11:1-11


Reasonable Expectations
Proper 13 | OT 18 | Pentecost 11

Go to the full commentary
More commentaries from the archives

New illustrations
Illustrations from the archives


Frank Ramirez
Reasonable expectations -- they’re implicit in these scripture texts. Most reasonable of all is the overarching reconciliation that God seeks and achieves. In the Hosea passage, and indeed throughout this prophetic work, a case is made that humanity has failed in keeping up its end of the bargain. We have strayed to the point where God has renamed us “Not My People!” But the reasonable expectation that God will give up on us gives way to God’s declaration that despite the alienation we have caused we are still God’s children, and God’s love will avert disaster. God cannot deny us.

Paul tells us in Colossians that all the barriers will be removed through the action of Jesus. There is a reasonable expectation that, having received this gift through Jesus Christ, we might just reciprocate by getting rid of our old behaviors and clothing ourselves with the new self (which is our real self), the image of God.

In the passage from the gospel of Luke, there are reasonable expectations that are not met. It is reasonable for the man to ask Jesus to settle his dispute with his brother. This was an obligation in Roman society, towards which Luke directed his gospel. But it’s not reasonable to see Jesus, who has come to bring justice, solely as a means to a personal end when that end is greed.

It’s also reasonable to prepare for the future. Fill your barn and build a bigger one. But what makes the wise man a fool in the parable is that we cannot count on time that is not ours. The real silo we need to be filling is the storage tank for all those moments we could use to serve God, instead of our own greed....

Go to the full commentary
More commentaries from the archives

New illustrations
Illustrations from the archives

What is Emphasis Online?

Emphasis Online provides in-depth lectionary-based commentary on lectionary texts, plus thousands of sermon illustrations to help you create riveting sermons.

For over 35 years, Emphasis has provided subscribers with scripturally sound, Lectionary-based commentaries and sermon illustrations that really connect with the people in the pews.

For each Sunday, Emphasis writers and editors delve into the heart of the four lectionary readings, providing you with several fresh, solid ideas -- based squarely on the lectionary texts -- for creating sermons that speak powerfully to your audience. The team looks for overall themes that hold the readings together. Then, they zero in on the themes and the specific scripture links, suggesting directions for the sermon and worship service. Since a single idea each week may not provide what you are looking for at that particular time, Emphasis suggests several, giving you the opportunity to select the one that matches your specific needs.

Emphasis is like having a dedicated, thoroughly-versed sermon research and sermon resource team right in your own study to help you create riveting sermons that are truly yours, and that speak powerfully to your audience.

Easy-to-Use Format
Emphasis Online brings to the web the high quality content you have come to expect from Emphasis in an intuitive and easy-to-use format. No longer will you have to wait for postal delivery of your printed copy of Emphasis; just log-on to Emphasis Online and you can view the complete current issue as soon as it is published.

Archives
Emphasis Online gives you even greater value by putting back issues of the journal at your fingertips. This access to the Emphasis Archives, combined with powerful search features, takes the utility of Emphasis to an entirely new level. You can search the current issue, or the complete archives, for content from Charting the Course (commentaries) or the sermon illustrations, by lectionary, scripture reference, or keyword to find exactly what you need.

Become more Productive
Emphasis Online will add time to your day by helping you make more productive use of the time you spend on preparing your weekly sermon and worship service. Instead of locating and leafing through myriad of sermon resources in a time-consuming quest for relevant sermon material, you can now spend your valuable time crafting your own presentation.

>> Subscribe to Emphasis Online
This Week
July 31, 2016
Proper 13 | OT 18 | Pent 11
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
Looking Ahead
August 7, 2016
Proper 14 | OT 19 | Pent 12
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
August 14, 2016
Proper 15 | OT 20 | Pent 13
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
August 21, 2016
Proper 16 | OT 21 | Pent 14
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
August 28, 2016
Proper 17 | OT 22 | Pent 15
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives

Recent Installments
July 24, 2016
Proper 12 | OT 17 | Pent 10
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
July 17, 2016
Proper 11 | OT 16 | Pent 9
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
July 10, 2016
Proper 10 | OT 15 | Pent 8
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
July 3, 2016
Proper 9 | OT 14 | Pent 7
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
June 26, 2016
Proper 8 | OT 13 | Pent 6
Commentary | Archives
Illustrations | Archives
Commentary
Writers



David Kalas


Wayne Brouwer


Sandra Herrmann


David Coffin


Catherine Venkatesh


Frank Ramirez


Illustration
Writers



Mark Ellingsen


Ron Love


Bob Ove


Frank Ramirez


Bonnie Bates


Bill Thomas


R. Robert Cueni