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Sermons

Lectionary 26A (October 1, 2017)

You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk? That is the question. The Lutheran Church today is frequently cited as an example of “quietism”: our talk sounds nice, but our theology leads us to do nothing. It is true our theology has a low opinion of humankind’s capacity …

Lectionary 25A (September 24, 2017)

What do we think when we hear Jesus say, “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last”? I don’t know about you; I always assume I’m getting a promotion. I know the ways in which I am not first, and I await the day when God will …

Lectionary 24A (September 17, 2017)

The Second Reading today contains maybe my favorite one-liner in Scripture: “The weak eat only vegetables.” I don’t care if someone is or isn’t a vegetarian; I just find it funny you can find a verse out of context for something like that. We need some context. That verse gives …

Lectionary 23A (September 10, 2017)

In 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts, an ecumenical worship advisory forum, published the Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year cycle of readings for worship use, rooted in the lectionary traditions of the western Church. Since 1992, for 25 years, we have known what texts will be used on what day, …

Lectionary 22A (September 3, 2017)

It’s been an eventful week. As a result, we may have forgotten last Sunday’s Gospel. When Peter boldly confessed to Jesus, “You are the Christ,” Jesus responded, “And you are Peter, “The Rock,” and on this Rock I shall build my church.” I remind you of this because today’s reading …

Lectionary 21A (August 27, 2017)

“The Gates of Hades will not prevail against the Church!” I am glad Jesus has that much faith in us. I think. Before I say for certain, I’d like to know exactly what he’s talking about. What are the Gates of Hades, or Gates of Hell? In Jesus’ world, within …

Lectionary 20A (August 20, 2017)

Whenever you’re interpreting the Bible, you’re asking, “What does this have to do with us?” One way to do that is to ask who we are in the story. As Lutherans gathered today, after the events in Charlottesville last weekend and the events of the subsequent week, who are we …

Lectionary 17A (July 30, 2017)

“Have you understood all this?” It’s a lot to understand. Yet we seek understanding. How do we find it? With so much in this gospel we just have to start somewhere, so I picked the shortest parable. (I start vacation tomorrow and don’t feel like going in depth on anything …

Lectionary 16A (July 23, 2017)

We must discuss this parable. It forcefully rejects our attempts at judging the faith of others, yet winds up with the potential to leave us more judgmental than when we started. But before we can do discuss the parable we’ve got a problem, thanks to Isaiah, our First Reading. If …

Lectionary 15A (July 16, 2017)

The term “kingdom of heaven” permeates Matthew’s Gospel. John the Baptist declares it at hand, Jesus repeats John’s claims to his first disciples, preaches about the kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount, and teaches about it wherever he goes. If Jesus were a character in a 1970s sitcom, “kingdom …