Tag Archives: Psalm 23

Risky Comfort (Good Shepherd)

Welcome to Good Shepherd Sunday.

Our scriptures are beautifully comforting, but its language cloaks risky revolutionary tones. In addition to the beautiful language, our distance in place and time from its historical context contributes to the lack of understanding and even recognizing it as such.

Within our time, particularly within the United States, we desire to remove political language and undertones from the scriptures but it often cannot be detached as such. These scriptures were written within the social and political culture of the Greeks and Romans, who presented their kings and emperors as ‘good shepherds’.

At one time, the Israelites were governed by judges, but these judges begun to pervert justice turning from it and towards personal gain. The Israelite people demanded that Samuel appoint, thus anoint, a king to govern, such as the other nations. God, through Samuel, warned that kings are flawed often succumbing to their ambitions for political power, Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 3, 2020 in Sermons


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Sheep and Shepherds

Did you notice the common theme in ALL of our Scriptures? (Shepherd)

It is the Shepherd. This fourth Sunday in Easter is informally known as “Good Shepherd” Sunday, which always reminds me of the relationship between the sheep and the shepherd.

Although it sounds odds, it also always reminds me of our understanding and use of language. There is a reason.

My internship was served at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, which included working with the senior high youth. I created a Facebook page for our youth group featuring a picture I took in Ireland of sheep resting in a field. It was a beautiful and peaceful image, but the communications director was in my office 30 minutes later informing me that it needed to be changed because ‘we’re NOT sheep’.

In our time, place, and culture a person called a ‘sheep’ is often one that has seemingly turned off their logical minds, closed their eyes, and are being blindly led… perhaps led stray.

BUT, have you been around or worked with sheep?
Do sheep turn off their minds and do as they are told?
(They don’t do anything you tell them to do.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 12, 2019 in Sermons


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Motivated by Christ’s Heart

As I prepared this week, a single phrase continued to echo in my mind “he was moved by compassion” for the people.

Within our scripture, we heard about the need to care for ourselves with the reoccurring theme of rest and restoration. Jesus, through out scripture, seeks to escape the crowds in order to recharge his own batteries.

Jesus had sent his disciples out to proclaim the Word. If not openly welcomed by the community, the disciples were instructed to simply shake the dust from their sandals and to move along to the next community. In our passage, the disciples have returned from their adventures and are excitedly telling Jesus of the proclamations preached, the miracles performed, and the healing of the people. Jesus replies “It is great that you listened and now it is time to rest.”

We forget at times about those needed pauses in scripture.

At one time, I saw a Facebook meme that read:

I was talking to a pastor that said he never takes a day off because the devil doesn’t either.
I said “you might want to get a new role model”. 
Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 25, 2018 in Sermons


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Becoming a Good Shepherd

Becoming a Good Shepherd

This morning we have one of the most common images within scripture: the Sheep and the Shepherd.

I served as an intern at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, where I was in charge of the Senior High Youth program for a while. During that time, I created a Facebook page with this picture of sheep as our primary picture.


The administrative manager within a couple of hours had come upstairs to my office and informed me that I needed to change the picture because “we might be the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd but we are not sheep”.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 23, 2018 in Sermons


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Shepherd? Sheep? Sheep Herding Dog?


Most Sundays, we don’t notice a common theme through out all of our scriptures. It is usually a little bit of a challenge to see a common theme or thread that connects our, well in Easter, both New Testament readings, the Psalm, and the Gospel; but this fourth Sunday in Easter is always the Sunday of the Good Shepherd. Each year, we have a set of common texts about what that means.

In our Acts (2:42-47) text, we have an idealistic image of the early church, one where all the believers lived in unity together and no one was in need or want. They lived a life of fellowship. You might ask, what does that have to do with the other texts that all have to deal with the shepherd. I’ll get back to that in a moment.

Most of our sermon today is going to deal with Psalm 23, a very beloved Psalm, and the parable in John 10 (1-10). The parable of the shepherd, the gatekeeper, and the sheep. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Sermons


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Unexpected and Exposing the Darkness

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This week I had a couple of themes interwoven into my sermon.

The first theme begins with 1 Samuel 16. Samuel, a prophet of our Lord, anoints David as king while King Saul is still on the throne.

David not of the royal family, but of a family of shepherds. David was the youngest of eight sons and the runt of the litter, not who we would imagine God choosing as our king. We know the mighty things that David would come to do. We also know how flawed and sinful of a man he was.  A Dominican (Catholic Order) monk classmate once said “you can sin like King David, if you can repent like him”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Sermon Summaries


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