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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Sermon from July 30, 2017

Pastor, Sermons
Gospel text: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 Jesus has many parables to tell us today that give us glimpses of the kingdom of heaven. But to start, I wonder if Matthew’s phrase, “the kingdom of heaven,” is problematic? Because we’re not talking about heaven as that place in the sky you think you might get to go to someday. We’re talking about the kingdom of God, the holy realm, the place where God dwells, which would include, but not be limited to this earth in this present time. Jesus is opening our understanding, or challenging our understanding of how we might envision God’s kingdom to be. We like to think God’s kingdom is full of rule followers, law-abiders, people who are nice to each other, and hopefully our animals. But what Jesus…
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Sermon from July 16, 2017

Discipleship, Pastor, Sermons
Gospel text: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 Today we get to hear the Parable of the Sower. This is one of those famous passages from scripture. And it happens to be the first parable in each of the Synoptic Gospels - Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It may have been Jesus’ first parable, but it certainly paves the way for the Gospel writers in telling the parables of Jesus. In the middle of what we read, in the verses we skipped, Jesus explains to the disciples why he uses parables to speak to the people. Jesus says that the crowds have indeed fulfilled the prophecy - if you remember, fulfilling prophecy or what was written in the Old Testament is Matthew’s thing. That prophecy comes from Isaiah and says, “You will indeed listen, but…
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Thoughts from the Pastor – VBS

Newsletter, Pastor
This past week a bunch of our kids were over at Kennewick First Lutheran for Day Camp run by three counselors from Lutherhaven. I got to be over there regularly, checking in and helping to make sure things were running smoothly. From what I can tell, all kids of every age had a great time! They learned new songs, played games and created crafts, and explored what it means to be God's masterpiece, created in the image of God. I am grateful for this opportunity for our kids, and for our youth and adults as well. There are many that deserve our thanks for investing in our kids this past week! One thing that excites me about our day camp is that it is a wider-church event! There were at…
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Sermon from June 25, 2017 – PK

Baptism, Discipleship, Pastor, Sermons
There were a number of people who wondered how my sermon might be able to be passed on. I've been thinking about this topic - posting sermons, and how that should be done. I wrestle with posting the written word because the sermon is much more about proclamation - it's about the hearing, and the experience, and even where it takes you while you're listening (yes, some of those tangents in your mind may be the Spirit at work!). I don't think sermons are meant to be scrutinized the way we do the written word, and yet I am reminded over and over that God has given me words to speak, to preach, to proclaim. And I am hearing that there is desire to pass them on, or hear them…
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