Sermon for June 16, 2019

Faith, Pastor, Sermons, Spirit
Gospel: John 16:12-15;First Reading: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31;Second Reading: Romans 5:1-5 The Holy Trinity. If there was ever a church day where everyone scheduled nap time during the sermon, this might be it. Who wants me to lecture about the Trinity for a while up here? No amount of explaining and analogies will all of a sudden make this all clear. But there are some important things to know and learn, so I want to raise a couple of important points to help you engage with the mystery that is the Trinity. The Trinity is how we’ve come to understand or talk about God as three persons revealed in scripture - God the Creator, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are all their own thing, but they are…
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Sermon for April 28, 2019

Easter, Faith, Pastor, Sermons
Gospel: John 20:19-31 Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have come to believe.” (Jn 20:29) This verse, toward the end of our reading today, is for us. We are those who have not seen, and yet we have come to believe. It has been said that this is Jesus’ nod to us - the future believers. That he knew this would be a reality into the future, so he blesses us. “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have come to believe.” What does it mean to believe? What is it that John says we have come to believe in? A little further on, he says what he means, “so that you may come to believe that…
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Sermon for Easter Sunday 2019

Easter, Pastor, Sermons
Gospel: Luke 24:1-12 Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! We gather together today to celebrate new life, especially the resurrection of Jesus through which we believe God has granted new life to the world. And that’s the challenge of this day. There is so much that is hard to wrap our minds around. First, this idea of being raised from the dead… that is so outside of our box, even for us who have a greater understanding of science and how life works from 2000 years ago. Even with all our technology, we can’t bring people back from the dead. Especially those that have been dead for three days. We might have a chance if someone has just died, but not when their body has been lying in…
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Sermon for March 17, 2019

Discipleship, Lent, Pastor, Sermons
Gospel: Luke 13:31-35;First Reading: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 Today’s Gospel reading seems a bit obscure, and yet it is packed full of images and foreshadowing. The main image of the fox and hen is powerful. It’s almost like Jesus compares he and Herod - Herod is the fox, only focused on the here and now, and only on gaining more power, which means eliminating other competition. And Jesus is the mother hen protecting her chicks. Foxes are feisty, but so are mother hens, especially if you threaten the babies. If Jesus or God is the mother hen, and we are her chicks, we need not fear. I am grateful for this feminine image for God today. Those main images are flanked by foreshadowing. There are references all over that help orient…
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Sermon from December 2, 2018

Advent, Pastor, Sermons
Gospel: Luke 21:25-36 Today is finally the first Sunday of Advent. It feels different than normal, because usually this would be the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It’s rare that all four Sundays of Advent fall during December. I like that it feels like we have some space between Thanksgiving and Advent. It helps me feel like there was time to breathe before starting something new. Advent is my favorite church season. I think that’s because it’s the season that embodies our lives now. Advent is about waiting, and we definitely are familiar with it, even if we don’t like to be. There are all kinds of things we wait for in anticipation… if you’re like Talia, you wait with anticipation for your birthday. Or you might wait for certain holidays to come along. We wait for simple things like for dinner to…
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Sermon from May 20, 2018

Discipleship, Pastor, Sermons, Spirit
First Reading: Acts 2:1-21; Gospel: John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15 During the Children’s Sermon we made a rainstorm together to show that we can only do so much on our own. We can do more together, our sound is amplified, we are moved by the work of the Spirit in different ways. What does it look like when the Spirit shows up? Would you be able to name those times when the Spirit has shown up in your life? How does the Spirit show up? In the Acts reading this morning, we get to hear the first known encounter with the Spirit. I say “first-known” because, as a member of the Trinity, the Spirit has been there since the beginning with God the creator and God the Savior. This is not the first time the Spirit has intervened. But this is first…
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Mother’s Day Poem

Holidays, Pastor, Worship
On Mother's Day we read a poem written by Amy who blogs at The Messy Middle, with a few small edits (incorporated below). You can find the full page here. Beyond the surface of mothering Forgive us when we assume that what we see on the surface is all there is to your story. We know in our midst there are women and mothers who: Like Eve, have children with serious rivalry. Like Hagar, have been discarded for a new family and are mothering alone. Like Naomi, have tasted the bitterness of a child’s death. Like the mother of Leah and Rachel, know what it’s like to have one child favored over another by society. Like Hannah, have been separated from a child at a young age. Like Mary, have…
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Sermon from October 15, 2017

Pastor, Sermons
Gospel Text: Matthew 22:1-14; Epistle Reading: Philippians 4:1-9 This is one of those days where it’s hard to say “The Gospel of the Lord,” after reading the Gospel. The good news of the Lord. This one doesn’t feel like it. The Gospel of Matthew continues to throw hardball after hardball lately.  We keep getting to hear parables of judgement, which reminds me why I struggle to  like the Gospel of Matthew.  Because I’d rather hear parables of grace, parables of love.  Those are the ones we all would rather hear, right?  Like the parable of the lost sheep or the prodigal son - parables where we see God’s extreme love for us.  The parable I just read was almost a parable of grace, and then at the end it took a…
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Sermon from September 17, 2017

Pastor, Sermons
Gospel text: Matthew 18:21-35; Epistle text: Romans 14:1-12 Last week we got to reflect on how to handle conflict in the church. Today we move right along to the next set of verses in Matthew and get to reflect on forgiveness. Forgiveness is something we all struggle with, whether you are an active part of the body of Christ or not. I’m sure you can call to mind at least one person that you struggle to forgive. Maybe you’ve been holding onto that person for years, or maybe it’s a pattern in your relationship. “Often we do not really want to forgive someone or ask for their forgiveness, even though we know we “should”.” (Dudley Cleghorn, Feasting On The Word, 70) Forgiveness can be hard to practice! Why? We might…
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Sermon from September 10, 2017

Pastor, Sermons
Gospel text: Matthew 18:15-20 Let’s start off by articulating some things that Jesus does not say in Matthew 18 (articulated by my colleague, Nate Sutton): “If another member of the church sins against you, withdraw quietly yet in disgust, go home in a huff, and stew about it for a few months.” “If another member of the church sins against you, silently hold it against the ministries they love, and decline to support any of them for a year or two.” “If another member of the church sins against you, grumble about it to your friends, or better yet, to the pastor (but don’t mention the name of the offending person), or better yet, to your various online communities.” “If another member of the church sins against you, bottle up…
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