Fancy Words & Family Trees


Message Title: Fancy Words & Family Trees
Theme: A Season of Growing
Season: Lent
Main Text: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Scripture Reading: Luke 13:1-9
RCL Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-9; Psalm 63:1-8; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9
Focus: Jesus and Paul want to see people transformed by their faith.
Function: To release our grip on heritage or fancy prayers and cling to Christ.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 13:1-9 Some who were present on that occasion told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices. He replied, “Do you think the suffering of these Galileans proves that they were more sinful than all the other Galileans? No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did. What about those eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more guilty of wrongdoing than everyone else who lives in Jerusalem? No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did.” Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. He said to his gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’ The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it one more year, and I will dig around it and give it fertilizer. Maybe it will produce fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”


  1. AUDIENCE: How do you feel about dandelions? Do you remove them from your yard or let them grow?
    1. Can you name any uses for dandelions?
      1. Dandelions are a bee’s first food in spring before the rest of the flowers bloom.
        1. Source:
      2. Dandelion jelly, wine, fried dandelions
      3. Source:
        1. Parts Used for Food: Roots, leaves, buds and flowers.
        2. Dandelion-and-burdock is a popular fizzy drink made in the north of England. The root has also traditionally been used to make a coffee substitute.
        3. The leaves of the plant are considered to be very nutritious and can be eaten as a salad or fresh vegetable. In Asian cooking, for example, the leaves are used like lettuce, boiled, made into soup or fried.
        4. The flower buds can be added to omelettes and fritters, the flowers baked into cakes, and even the pollen sprinkled on food for decoration and colouring. Blossoms make a delicious country wine and beer is brewed from the whole plant before it flowers.
      4. Source:
        1. Dandelion Capers
  2. Last year Josh and I left our Dandelions out at the beginning of spring while we were still planting our garden. Much to Josh’s chagrin. I know many people hate those “weeds” BUT dandelions are an extremely useful plant. –we did harvest some blossoms and josh fried them up. Though it wasn’t my favorite.

TRANSITION: This disliked weekd is a very important part of our echo system. Where the majority see Dandelions as weeds– God provided it was sustinance. Speaking of being disliked…. we’re going to continue the conversation about not being popular in this world.

MAIN TEXT: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Brothers and sisters, I want you to be sure of the fact that our ancestors were all under the cloud and they all went through the sea. All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.  However, God was unhappy with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness. These things were examples for us, so we won’t crave evil things like they did. Don’t worship false gods like some of them did, as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and they got up to play.[a] Let’s not practice sexual immorality, like some of them did, and twenty-three thousand died in one day. Let’s not test Christ, like some of them did, and were killed by the snakes. 10 Let’s not grumble, like some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer.  11 These things happened to them as an example and were written as a warning for us to whom the end of time has come. 12 So those who think they are standing need to watch out or else they may fall. 13 No temptation has seized you that isn’t common for people. But God is faithful. He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it.


  1. History lesson– a retelling of stories from hindsight. (NOT THE MAIN POINT OF THE PASSAGE)
    1. FYI- Here are the scripture references to stories Paul references. We won’t focus on these today but you are more than welcome to explore these passages and contact me if you want to talk. Or join Bible study where we talk about this kind of stuff all the time!
      1. Exodus 13:21; 14:21-31; 16:4, 35; 17:1-7; 32: 1-10
      2. Numbers 14:26-35; 16:41-49; 20:11; 21:5-9; 25:1-9; 26:63-65
  2. Vs 12 think you’re fine but you really need to watch out
  3. *Vs 13* commonly misinterpreted as “God wont’ give you more than you can handle”


  1. Epistle
    1. Paul is taking excuses away from the Corinthians. They know better than their ancestors, therefore they are expected to do better.
    2. The main point of this passage ISN’T highlighting the failures of previous generations—because each generation has it’s failures.
    3. The main point IS to turn to God when you are struggling or failing. God will guide you. God will equip you.
  2. Gospel:
    1. Tragic events of Jesus’ time: our gospel passage starts with current events (as opposed to Paul’s history lesson). Unfortunately, these events are only recorded here in Luke’s gospel and not in other sources. They didn’t have the “gift” of our media to share news in milliseconds across the globe.
    2. Change your hearts and lives!! REPEAT: Change your hearts and lives!!
    3. Parable of the fig tree
  3. Together:
    1. Both the Gospel & the Epistle use events (historical or current) to highlight their main point.
      1. For Paul: know better, do better.
      2. For Jesus: faith leads to changed lives.


  1. Both these men want to see you practice what you preach. Don’t simply cling to fancy prayers or your ancestry as your salvation. Your faith is your own.
  2. Clinging to a prayer
    1. No where in scripture is our salvation tied to a prayer. It is tied to BELIEF IN JESUS.
    2. Neither our words or actions are salvation. (We can’t “good” our way to heaven.) No fancy prayers or memorized scripture. No special service to the church or community. ONLY BELIEF IN JESUS.
  3. Clinging to heritage
    1. We cannot boast in our Christianity anymore than we can boast in being Americans. We had no control over our nationality. As Christians, our salvation is to boast in Christ—not ourselves.
    2. It’s easy of us to interpret tragic events and assume God is placing judgement on a people or land—I have heard some say as much about Ukraine.
      1. This is frequently built off of taking 2 Chronicles 7:14 out of context. “14 if my people who belong to me will humbly pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
    3. We conflate Israel with modern day governments. Israel was a people, a religious group, & governmental body. No other country has God built in that same structure.
      1. Yes, humans may set intentions for a land—but that is not the same as Israel’s relationship with God. Immigrants came to America and fought a revolution to allow religious freedom. BUT that isn’t the same as God’s relationship with Israel.
      2. NOR is God’s relationship with the 12 tribes the same as the modern country of Israel’s relationship with God.
      3. Our nationality doesn’t save us. Our ancestral heritage doesn’t save us.
  4. Cling to Christ:
    1. Though we cannot boast in our prayers or our heritage—we can boast in Christ. Our label as Christians is not connected to a prayer or our faith family tree, it is connected to Christ.
      1. “Christ-ians”—means Little Christs. No, we’re not called to die on little crosses BUT we are called to be transformed.
    2. We won’t fit in with the rest of the world when we live like Jesus. Just like dandelions are seen as weeds to the uneducated eye.
    3. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: What ways can we stand out? Ways we can do better because we know better.
      1. Opening our homes- allow someone to stay with you whether it be a few hours or a few years.
        1. i.e. fostering, adoption, refugee help, veteran or homeless assistance.
      2. Giving away our excess (or even more)—Ruth is a good example of that. How many times has she given away a couch or her phone to someone who needed it?
        1. I met a pastor in seminary whose goal was to live on 20% of his income and give away the other 80%. Though he had a small pastor’s salary, his goal was to give away $1million dollars in his life time. He lived in a small old home that was always full of guests. He drove an old car. They lived a simple yet full life.
      3. Serving – See people face to face that need love and support. I think the best place to serve is connected to people who make you uncomfortable- the poor, the refugee, the “different”, the recovering addict. We must see their faces and learn the love of God through loving them even when we’re uncomfortable.
        1. I.e. CAM, Jackson Morrow, Kokomo Urban Outreach, Kokomo Rescue Mission
      4. Mentoring-  creating relationships with those older and younger than us to build our connection with God and God’s people. Get yourself a mentor. Be open to mentoring. You don’t have to have all the answers BUT you could be a support when someone is in their darkest place.

CONCLUSION: Know better, Do better. Be the Dandelion blessing rather than the cursed weed.

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