SERMON TITLE: “Parables of Power: Managing Faithfully”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 16:1-13
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: July 24, 2016, at First UMC
There’s been a story in the news this week about the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Over a four-year period, a former employee of the schools embezzled $67,000. She used business credit cards for personal purchases and “then took steps to conceal the transactions.” The financial analyst got away with that immoral and illegal activity because she was very good at covering her tracks. Apparently, a lack of staff and significant turnover of supervisors added to the problem. As soon as this corruption was discovered, the employee was fired. The schools are now seeking criminal charges against the woman. “‘I’m just disgusted,’” said Joel Coleman, superintendent of the schools. “‘For the life of me, I can’t understand someone who would steal money donated to deaf and blind children. It just makes me sick.’”*
That sad story from our own state goes well with today’s scripture reading. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been focusing on Jesus’ “Parables of Power” in the Gospel of Luke. So far, we’ve heard Jesus tell stories about investing in the future, sowing and growing, and seeking and finding. Today, we’re moving on to Luke chapter 16, where we listen to Jesus tell a strange and puzzling story about a dishonest manager who is fired but then commended by his master. Let’s consider this parable and see if we can find power in managing faithfully.
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