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Sermons

Lectionary 16C (July 21, 2019)

There’s the object, and there’s our interpretation, and these two things are not the same. This is a common theme in philosophy and the study of how humans think and perceive. Consider today’s Gospel. The earliest interpreters felt that Mary and Martha each represented different ways of being Christian: Mary …

Lectionary 15C (July 14, 2019)

“And who is my neighbor?” On the surface, this is a ridiculous question. The word literally means “someone really close by.” Coming from a “lawyer,” or Jewish Torah expert, this is a real jerk question.        Jesus responds, as he often does, with a parable, one of his most famous. At …

Lectionary 12C (June 23, 2019)

One of Trinity Lutheran Church of Valparaiso’s identifying marks is that we do not (usually) need (much) assuring or exhorting to believe that service in the world is God’s work. Martin Luther famously challenged the medieval hierarchy of clergy (who got to play with holy things and were themselves holy) …

The Holy Trinity (Year C, June 16, 2019)

On Trinity Sunday we pause and reflect on the God who is revealed in the Church’s stories. The text we read today may not be Exodus or Easter, but they reveal the same God. What happens in our texts? What is revealed? In Proverbs, Wisdom is present before creation, with …

Lectionary 13B (July 1, 2018)

There are times when belief in God truly is challenging. I’m talking about believing in a good, gracious, and righteous God when you’ve been mysteriously bleeding for twelve years, believing after you little girl is dead, believing after seeing neighbors rounded up for being Jewish or socialist or gypsy or …

Lectionary 12B (June 24, 2018)

Swamped. That’s how Mark describes the boat. Most of us have been there. Maybe we’re there, now. Trying to have my kid every place they need to be, trying to plan the family schedule and family budget, trying to keep up with work, trying to keep up with health care, …

Lectionary 11B (June 17, 2018)

We Lutherans, we’re the grace people. It’s a basic Christian doctrine that we cannot make ourselves right with God or save ourselves, and whenever someone says we can, we Lutherans rush to be at the front of the line to say, those things are gifts from God. We’re willing to …

Lectionary 10B (June 10, 2018)

Jesus has been busy. After getting baptized and tempted he called disciples, he cast out demons, healed the sick, cleansed lepers, forgave sins, dined with sinners, and there was last week’s challenge to the Pharisees. He has been dis-organizing life. He has been knocking down the rules by which his …

Lectionary 9B (June 3, 2018)

Silence binds these scenes together. Silence explains them. Silence condemns the silent. Silence demands to be filled. The silence of which I speak is not the blessed, healthy quiet that comes when we mute the voices that would increase our anxiety and consume our attention. The silence of which I …

The Holy Trinity B (May 27, 2018)

Roughly 736 years before the birth of Jesus, an official court prophet in Jerusalem named Isaiah went into the Temple. I was an anxious time for Judah, the kingdom in which he lived. The King of Assyria had declared himself king of the world and set out to make sure …