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Lectionary 15C (July 10, 2016)

There’s a Good Lutheran inside of me. Allow me to explain. My theology is Lutheran. My ethnic background is Lutheran. I promised to teach and preach in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions not because I had to in order to get ordained but because I think they’re good. That’s not …

Lectionary 14C (July 3, 2016)

It is Fourth of July Weekend. I state that at the risk of being labeled Captain Obvious, but sometimes things that should be obvious are not obvious. The holiday is part of our context today, and if we’re honest it does influence our readings of today’s texts. America’s 240th birthday …

Lectionary 13C (June 26, 2016)

Jesus calls. Jesus preached, Jesus in the sacraments, Jesus in the New Testament calls, calls us to look at ourselves and how we live, and to ask the question: Is the Church following God? Our Scriptures this morning ask this question. In Galatians, Paul shifts from his famous arguments about …

Lectionary 12C (June 19, 2016)

Those of us who are trained in family systems and those of you who did Healthy Congregations are likely familiar with the term “Identified Patient.” Edwin Friedman defines the Identified Patient as “the one in whom the family’s stress or pathology has surfaced.” He writes: “When an unresolved problem is …

Lectionary 11C (June 12, 2016)

  Luke writes like a mystery writer. You get crucial evidence late in the story. It makes sense of some of what has preceded, changes the way you see other events. Luke does it today. We only learn part way through this scene that Jesus has not been shown the …

Lectionary 9C (May 29, 2016)

Our Christian symbols are rich and powerful. They carry a lot of meaning, baggage, some may say. And they’re frequently in your face. We’ve had our share lately of in-your-face Christianity. Two blocks from here on Monday night Valparaiso’s City Council approved a Human Rights Ordinance amidst well-organized opposition by …

The Holy Trinity (May 22, 2016)

The words of Proverbs 8 may be 2,500 years old yet we still find them radical and unnerving. The early Christians found them exciting. Here was someone (in the Old Testament) who identified as a person separate from another person both of whom were doing God’s creating work and were …

Pentecost (May 15, 2016)

“Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Philip requests proof or evidence of God’s existence. I got this one. I was a Philosophy major in college. St. Thomas Aquinas covers just about all the arguments for God in his Summa Theologica. He says, “The existence of God …

Easter 7C (May 8, 2016)

We say that Christ liberates us from sin and death. In a sense, we are the community of those whom Christ liberates. Paul and Silas are liberated, both from Sin, Death, and the power of the Devil, and from their bondage in Philippi. And they give us some insight into …

Easter 6C (May 1, 2016)

Today’s First Reading is one of those “Meh” readings from Acts. We often read Acts like it is a historical chronicle. I get to a scene like today’s I’m thinking, “Luke just wrote down everything, didn’t he?” One day Paul had a dream, we took off on an uneventful boat …