Category Archives: Sermons

Confirmation Sunday

We are proud that 10 young men and woman affirmed their baptism this past Sunday. Throughout the year they have had many opportunities to continue in the covenant with the church, God, and their parents made with them in their baptisms. One of the ways in which they were able to make these promises their own, was to write a creed. The creeds were personal statements of belief. On Sunday morning they shared 3 sentences from their creed for the congregation. These are the 3 sentences that each of our young men and women shared.

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Coming to Faith

The text for this sermon is John 20:19-31.

In the 80’s when Lutherans realized they were shrinking nationally, they reacted with a big push on witnessing.  The thinking, I suppose, if we could just get our people to tell their neighbors and friends about how they came to Jesus, people would choose to come to Jesus with us.  From what I can tell from the numbers, it didn’t work out so great. Continue reading Coming to Faith

Good Friday: It is finished.

It is finished. These are the last words of Jesus in the book of John.  I’ve been thinking of how Jesus might have said these three words.

To state the obvious, Jesus has had a horrific week. Greeted as a Jewish savior when he entered Jerusalem, by Friday he is dying on the cross.  Just in the last twenty four hours he has been arrested, tried, and beaten, mocked and humiliated.  On an instrument of torture he has hung physically exposed, his body aching, his wounds bleeding, his throat gasping for water his life leaving him. Continue reading Good Friday: It is finished.

The Stories and Rituals of Holy Week

Stories make my small world larger and allow me to understand deeper truths about life.   Rituals bring me comfort and mark parts of my life as important.  I love them both, which is good because the churches best tools to communicate God’s love are story and ritual.  At her best, she uses both to draw people closer to God.

The rituals of Holy Week help us enter into the story. We are part of the parade on Palm Sunday and shout with the crowd when we read the Passion.  We share a meal of bread and wine on Maundy Thursday as Jesus did on the night he was betrayed.  We drag a wooden cross on Good Friday as Jesus dragged one down the road to Golgotha. Continue reading The Stories and Rituals of Holy Week

Esther: The Gift of Courage

The text for this sermon is the book of Esther, especially the fourth chapter.

Today, and this week on Wednesday, we discuss courage. To understand courage I want to look at the book of Esther, often overlooked by Lutherans.  Luther did not like the book of Esther because he thought it contained too much “heathen naughtiness”.  We won’t have time for the entire story, all the naughty details, but I encourage all of you to take the 30 to 45 minutes and read it for yourself. Continue reading Esther: The Gift of Courage

Forgiveness

Throughout Lent we are looking at what we can learn from different Old Testament characters. Pastor Karl talked about Ruth for the first two weeks of Lent and now we find ourselves spending a couple of weeks with Jonah. We have seen Jonah disobey God’s message to go to Nineveh and end up in the belly of a big fish. Over a period of time in the big fish Jonah is transformed, so God has Jonah spit up on dry land.

This week we find two stories of forgiveness within the 3rd chapter of the book of Jonah. The chapter begins with Jonah receiving God’s word for a second time. God gives him the same exact instructions as he did the first time. This time around, Jonah decides to listen to God’s word and bring a difficult message to the people of Nineveh. God forgives Jonah even though he didn’t listen the first time and went far away from God. So Jonah spends three days in Nineveh telling the people that the city will be overtaken in 40 days. The people believe the message that Jonah brings them and decide to change their evil ways. God sees that the people of Nineveh were sorry for the sins they had committed. So, God forgave the people and did not bring upon them the destruction that had originally been planned.

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