2016-08-07 Sermon on Luke 12:32-40
A watched pot never boils. We all know that saying. What does it mean? Well, have you ever tried to watch a pot boil? There you go. Actually, there’s a lot of meaning in that little phrase. One thing it gets at, is anticipation. When we’re waiting for something, doesn’t it feel like time slows down? And the more you want or need whatever it is you’re waiting for, the worse it gets. We encounter this in a lot of ways – waiting for a restaurant order. Waiting for medication to take effect. Waiting for an appointment. Waiting for an answer. These are totally different situations, but it all comes down to the same basic thing. Waiting. And don’t we do a lot of it?
2016-07-31 Sermon on the Parable of the Rich Fool
You can’t take it with you. Isn’t that the old saying? That’s kind of what Jesus seems to be saying here – “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you” That’s death by the way. “And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” You spend your life building your fortune, and then you die. The Lord giveth and taketh away, and there’s not much good news about that, is there? Now, considering this is a parable, what do we usually do when we hear one? We always try to figure out which character we are. Why? Because we figure Jesus is trying to use a story to tell us what to do. Who do we associate with here? The rich guy, right? Well, the only people in the story are God and the rich guy, and I’ve never met anyone who associated with God. So, what do you think the message is going to be? Things can’t save you? Stuff weighs you down? Be generous? That’s all good, but it sounds just like common sense, so I don’t know that we need the Bible for that. Maybe Jesus is up to something else here…..
2016-07-10 Sermon for the Parable of the Good Samaritan
So, a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan walk into a bar. Ouch!
This has got to be one of the best-known parables in all of scripture. Surely everybody knows who the Good Samaritan is. We call people Good Samaritans. We’ve got laws named for him. Sometimes when you’re driving on 465, you might see one of the CVS/Samaritan vans on the side of the road, helping out a stranded motorist. Really, it’s fascinating how this story even sticks with people who don’t profess any sort of religion at all. Maybe it’s because it sounds like a simple lesson about being a good neighbor, and you don’t have to be Christian to know that’s a good idea.
2016-07-03 Sermon for Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
So, funny story – the first time I went to Luther for on campus courses, they lost my baggage! I tried so hard to pack everything I needed, so many books and all the wool and flannel I could find because it’s St. Paul in January, and that’s like the sub-arctic, right? I’ve never been there, so I expected the worst. I get up there, my first time to seminary, no idea what to expect or what kind of people I’ll find there, and discover that I’ve got nothing but the clothes on my back. So I’m standing at the carousel thinking, well, this is an epic fail. Jesus, what have you gotten me into this time?
2016-04-17 Sermon for Good Shepherd Sunday
Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.” Could there be a more beautiful promise than this? No conditions. No if/then. And he’s talking about *us*. He never asked our permission. He chose us. And no one will snatch us away.
2016-01-03 Sermon on John 1:1-18
New beginnings. Starting over. These are powerful ideas, aren’t they? And very appropriate for today too – Happy New Year! Maybe you’re like me, and it’s easy to think about the messes of this past year. And now we have a brand new year to do better. Or maybe you’ve going to exercise or read more. Maybe we’ll try to be a nicer person for a change. More patient? More accepting? More generous? It’s kind of an endless list, but hey, we’ll never be bored, right? So how about resolutions? Did any of you make some? Maybe they’ll work. I hope so. But to be honest, I’m not too big on resolutions. Somehow I just end up falling back into old habits. Does that happen for you too? Maybe we really are just creatures of habit. We say that a lot, or at least we think it.