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Category Archives: Sermon Summaries

A Life Well-Lived

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At the end of reading the Gospel, I always say “the Gospel of our Lord” and the congregation replies “Praise to you, O Christ”, although they were a little hesitate this week.

Our texts were a little heavy on the law and Lutherans think the law and gospel should be balanced, like a brewmaster balancing the bitter hops with the sweet malt. You could say our texts were a little hoppy this week.

In our Deuteronomy text, we are asked to choose life or death, not mortal physical life or death, but a life well-lived. How do we live a life well-lived? By obeying, or walking in and with the law, the teachings (Torah), the guidelines for our relationship with God and neighbor, such as Psalm 119 speaks. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Sermon Summaries

 

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We’re Salt & Light: But are we?

We’re Salt & Light: But are we?

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Our texts this week built upon our texts from last week and I asked each of us to discern what it means to do true worship in our time and in our place. The worship to do justice, to love kindness, to walk humbly with our God.

In Matthew 5, we get the second piece of the Sermon on the Mount, the call to be the light and the salt of the earth. Isaiah builds upon what that means, and it is to break the bondage of oppression, to break the yoke of burden, to feed the hunger, to shelter the homeless.

This week I came across commentary and songs that spoke to this text better than I could summarize. I apologize in advance if this is a little longer than normal (which it is).

The first comes from Christian Century, where the author holds a powerful mirror in front of us, in order to convict us of our short-comings and show us a better way. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2017 in Sermon Summaries, Sermons

 

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True Worship: Justice, Kindness, Walk Humbly

True Worship: Justice, Kindness, Walk Humbly

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I struggled this week with our texts in light of our world.

Our gospel text was Matthew 5, Matthew draws some similarities between Moses and Christ. Moses went up the mountain into the presence of God, received the Torah (teaching) and brought it down to the people. In Jesus’ first act of public ministry, he brings the people up the mountain into the presence of God to teach.

He begins his Sermon on the Mount with a beloved text, the Beatitudes. Blessed, Holy, Honored are those who are poor in spirit, meek, peacemakers, and persecuted on my behalf.

I am not meek. I don’t like drama, but I am also known to not compromise simply for the sake of keeping the peace. It got me thinking about how often Christians are criticized for being hypocrites, for not upholding those teachings we profess. This brings me to Micah. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Sermon Summaries

 

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Light to the Nations?

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Our texts this week are deeply intertwined in its history, as well as our own time and place.

First, I want to talk about the image of light which started in Advent and has continued in this Time after Epiphany. During Advent, we have the wreath that symbolizes the light banishing the darkness. The light symbolizing hope, peace, joy, love, and Christ that banishes despair, violence, hate, and evil.

Light also helps us to create order in the chaos of the darkness.

Our Isaiah (9: 1-4) text have been focused upon us as the light to the nations, to the peoples, to the world. In our text this week, we have a transfer of political power and some of the people are excited and hopeful about this new leadership, while others are not and their hope is being clanged to a future leader that will restore the people. We can’t look at this text in that way without thinking about the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Sermon Summaries

 

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Our Mission, Shall We Accept It.

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Hello. We doing a two for one deal this morning.

On January 8th was a feast day, the Baptism of our Lord Jesus (the) Christ. On January 15th, we cancelled church, but the texts are deeply connected and intertwined with the Baptismal texts of January 8th.

On January 8th, our texts were Isaiah 42, where Isaiah talks about the servant (we associate with Israel) as being a light to the nations. In Matthew 3, we have Matthew’s account of the Baptism of Jesus (the) Christ; where the heavens open, the dove/Spirit descends, and the voice says “this is my Son” leaving us to wonder whether Jesus was the only one or not, who witnessed these events.

This past Sunday (January 15th), the text was Isaiah 49 which is included in the servant songs and the servant, again, is being told to be a light to the nations and that this is a mission, a calling, that existed prior to their birth. In John (John 1), we have a text about John the Baptist, who is pointing the way towards Christ telling people ‘this is the one who I saw the Spirit rest upon during his Baptism’.
They (the people) go to Jesus and ask, ‘Rabbi (teacher), where are you staying’.
He (Jesus) replies ‘come and see’.

The thread that goes through all four of these texts is the thread of mission. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in Sermon Summaries

 

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Holy Family

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This was our fourth and final Sunday in Advent. We shifted from a focus on the Second-Coming/end times to God breaking into our world, incarnated as the Christ-child. We often have the story of Gabriel visiting Mary, but in our Matthew text this week, we have the angel visiting Joseph.

Mary and Joseph lived in a time, in a place, in a culture that was based on shame. We don’t see this type of culture much, especially in the United States with the exception of the Amish community. If you bring shame or disgrace upon yourself, upon your family, upon your community you are excommunicated and all ties, all connections, all relationships to everyone and everything you’ve ever known ends. This was the society that Mary and Joseph was living.

Mary comes to Joseph and tells him “I’m pregnant by the Holy Spirit”. Joseph is thinking “what have you been doing? and with you? Your story is pretty unbelievable”.

Joseph is trying to figure out what to do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in Sermon Summaries

 

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True Joy

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This Sunday was the third Sunday in Advent. We lit the pink candle because the theme of the day is JOY. During our “time with children”, one of the youth noted that hope was mentioned a lot in our texts as well.

Hope (the first candle) is important and goes hand in hand with this concept of joy. Hope is different than being optimistic. Being optimistic is the notion that tomorrow will be better. It is the Scarlett O’Hara affect, countless times she says “I’ll think about that tomorrow, [for] tomorrow is another day”. It is the sense that between now and tomorrow the solution will show up or the problems will melt away. True hope is rooted in a promise that there is a better day, there will be ‘merciful reversal’ where justice will be the norm, where no one will be in need or want. Hope is that one day this will come true while understanding that it probably is not tomorrow.

Similar to our misconceptions about hope, we have misconceptions about joy. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2016 in Sermon Summaries

 

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Be Prepared

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Transcript:
Sunday was the First Sunday in Advent and I took a moment to talk about the Advent wreath. The Advent wreath is one white candle in the middle surrounded by three blue or purple candles and a pink candle. Now the blue (or purple) candles represent Hope, Peace, and Love while the pink candle represents Joy. The white candle represents Christ. Each Sunday in Advent we light an additional candle around the wreath and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we light the center candle as a symbol that the Light of the World, Christ, has come.

Advent is a mystical time where we await the fulfillment of the promises of God as the First Advent (the Christ-child in the manager) as well as the Second Advent (the return of Christ) and really every day in-between. It is a time when the past, the present, and the future all co-exist together.

In our texts this week, we hear about urgency and the need to be prepared. I use to work in a very high-end grocery store in the meat department. It goes without saying that the day before Thanksgiving, we would receive phone calls from people: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2016 in Sermon Summaries

 

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Christ the King: Our Year in Review

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Transcript:
Sunday was Christ the King and for traditions like Catholicism, Lutheranism, and other Mainlines, we celebrate a liturgical Church year which ends with Christ the King Sunday. You may notice the change of color in the church building, the stoles that the priest or pastor wears. You may not understand the significance behind it, because honestly we’re not real good at explaining that and the method behind the madness. There actually is purpose and reason for it. So instead of a regular Sunday service, we did a review of the Church year with scriptures, hymns, and reflections from this last year.

Advent (Blue)
The Church year begins next Sunday with Advent. Advent is a time of hope, expectation, and preparation. The world considers this the “Christmas season” as they prepare for Christmas day. In the church we too are preparing for Christmas day, but in a different way. We are preparing with a very complicated understanding of God breaking into our world. God making his home among us whether that be the Christ-child that Mary is carrying, or whether that be the grown Messiah, or whether that be the Messiah who is to return and initiate the end times (what we call the second coming). Its a complicated time and it ends with Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2016 in Sermon Summaries

 

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Heal Wounds, Reconcile Divisions

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Transcript:
Our texts this week were from 2 Thessalonians 3 and Luke 21. In Thessalonians, Paul reminds us to not grow weary of doing what is right. [And] Luke 21 is a popular text about the end of the world; no stone will be left on stone, nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. But, it concludes with Christ reminding us to remain in him.

I have a policy, I don’t preach politics from the pulpit. But if I ignored the election and its aftermath, I would be negligent as a preacher. However, its not necessarily the way you envision. If you have heard me preach, if you have watched these videos, a common theme is division. A common theme is that although we have differences, they don’t have to be divisions. Let alone dangerous divisions. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2016 in Sermon Summaries

 

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