All of Jesus’ ministry could be summed up in his proclamation that the kingdom of God—the reign of God—had come and yet was still on its way, so get ready.

You have made us for your own, O Lord, and we are restless until we find our rest in you. Amen.

Those in the know say that preachers basically preach only one or two sermons over and over again throughout their ministry. They change the wording, they use different stories, throw in a few new quotes, but by and large, most preachers, it is said, preach the same couple of messages in every sermon they’ll ever give. If this is true, I am no exception.

One of my favorite poets is the late William Stafford. I love his poetry and I also deeply admire the moral courage that he spoke with his life. He chose some very costly and unpopular paths because he believed they were morally right.

When I was growing up, I loved to hear stories about the saints. I was always interested in how a saint came to believe, and what a difference it made, not only in the saint’s life and times, but for others, both then and now.

Knowing the jealousy and resentment of a starving artist, Anne Lamotte jokingly writes, “If you want to know what God thinks about money, look at who she gives it to.” Today is Commitment Sunday, which is the culmination of our annual Stewardship Campaign here at St. James. And so, as you might expect, this is a sermon about money. There aren’t many topics that will make people squirm in their pew (or on their sofa) quite like a sermon about money. So, let’s take a moment and collectively get our squirming out of the way, and then I’ll proceed.