Sermon for November 24, 2019

Faith, Grace, Pastor, Sermons
Christ the King Sunday Gospel: Luke 23:33-43; First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6 This seems like an odd gospel for today. We’re almost gearing up for Christmas, the birth of Christ, and today we hear the story of his crucifixion. It feels like odd timing. But maybe it’s the perfect gospel for today.  “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah, the son of God!” “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us! These three statements hearken back to the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4) where the devil tempted Jesus with three questions, the last of which was to throw himself off the top of the temple and save himself. And then, in that story, since Jesus doesn’t give…
Read More

Sermon for September 15, 2019

Creation, Discipleship, Pastor, Sermons, Worship
Season of Creation 1 - OCEAN Gospel: Luke 5:1-11 Other Readings: Job 38:1-18; Ps 104:1-9, 24-26; Eph 1:3-10 It is a little strange to be doing this Season of Creation. I am usually so tied to the lectionary, which is where we usually get our readings from. I like staying tied to it because I think there is a gift in exploring so many different texts in a 3-year cycle. And having texts assigned means we’re sometimes doing texts that I wouldn’t have chosen myself, and that’s a good thing. I heard a colleague once describe the lectionary not as a circle that we repeat over and over again, but as a spiral, where each subsequent cycle draws us deeper and deeper in faith. I have found that to be true for myself. Doing this Season of Creation will take us a bit…
Read More

Sermon for September 1, 2019

Communion, Faith, Grace, Pastor, Sermons
Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-14; First Reading: Jeremiah 2:4-13 A couple of years ago, there was an article that came out on the Kitchn, a website full of recipes and articles to inspire every aspect of home cooking. The title of this article is “5 Rules for Hosting a Crappy Dinner Party (And Seeing Your Friends More Often).” In it, the author talks about her stress toward inviting friends over for dinner in the midst of her life with three kids. She would stress over cleaning, including snapping at her kids to do their share, and the added time for shopping and preparing a special meal.  A friend of hers moved back from a small community where she said the people would just show up at each other’s houses, unannounced, and feed each other whatever happened to be in the fridge. Inspired by this, they decided to…
Read More

Sermon for August 25, 2019

Baptism, Pastor, Sermons
Gospel: Luke 13:10-17 Our gospel this morning has me thinking about rules. In this text we have another example of Jesus pushing boundaries and breaking the rules of his day. I’m thinking especially of a certain 5-year-old in my house who is starting to push boundaries, and of kids going back to school, maybe relearning the rules, or at least learning what rules will apply to their new classrooms.  Rules are important. We all know that. They are put in place to keep us safe, or to keep others safe. Living by them will often help our lives be more fulfilling and enjoyable, and they typically help the life of the community - of all of us living together - to thrive instead of just survive.  Now I imagine there are some of you who are saying to yourself - yeah, but rules were meant…
Read More

Sermon from June 30, 2019

Discipleship, Pastor, Sermons
Gospel: Luke 9:51-62; Epistle Reading: Galatians 5:1, 13-25 The Gospel today is a bit over the top. I told a couple people this week that we get mean Jesus today, not the loving, compassionate Jesus that we like. Maybe Jesus was just having a bad day. Whatever it is, since it’s written in the Gospel, we’re left to wrestle with it. That’s a good thing for us to do - wrestle with scripture, especially scripture we don’t like. It would be naive for us to only read and look at passages we were comfortable with, and doing that would kinda go against everything Jesus was about. Jesus certainly wasn’t about making sure people were comfortable. In fact, he made a lot of people quite uncomfortable, and still does today, even almost 2000 years after his death.  “Let the dead bury their own dead.” “No one who…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More