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God’s Chosen Team

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Text: Mark 9:38-50
Date: Pentecost 19 Proper 21 + 9/30/18

I assume you’ve heard the old joke about a Christian who died and upon arrival it heaven St. Peter gave him a tour. First they pass by a beautiful sanctuary from which come chanting and the pleasant aroma of incense. “These are the Episcopalians” Peter says. Next they came to a more plain room where people are holding hands and washing each other’s feet. “These are the Mennonites” says Peter. Then they pass by a river with people dancing in the water. “Here are the Baptists” he says. Finally, they come to a little white church with a simple bell tower. They can hear a German chorale as Peter puts his finger to his mouth and says, “Shhh… Be very quiet here.” After silently tip toeing past the building the new resident asks what that was all about. “Those are the Missouri Synod Lutherans” he replied, “They think they are the only ones here!” Continue reading God’s Chosen Team

Compassion for Grief

Text: Mark 5:21-43
Date: Pentecost VI + Proper 8B  7/1/18

This account of a little girl who died and a woman with a hemorrhage forms a key element in Mark’s Gospel for faith, emphasizing Jesus’ power over death and how that power is also at work in your life right now. Various levels of faith are described in this text. First there is a ruler of the synagogue named Jairus who fell at Jesus’ feet saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” Jairus came to Jesus with faith. Continue reading Compassion for Grief

Thy Kingdom Come: What Glory Shall Be Theirs Above

Text: Matthew 17:1-9
Date: Transfiguration + 2/26/17

In Exodus chapter three we are told how Moses was called by God. “The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.’” He never found out. But God called to him out of the bush and was ordered to remove his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. Where God is there is holy ground. Finally we are told, “And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” (Ex 3:2-6). Continue reading Thy Kingdom Come: What Glory Shall Be Theirs Above

Pre-incarnate Word

Text: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Date: The Holy Trinity X Pentecost I X 5/22/16

This is a rather unusual day in the Church Year in that at first it appears to be concerned not with an event in the life of Jesus nor a saint but with a doctrine: the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. It is more than appropriate therefore that we should celebrate this day as a congregation which has taken for our name not that of a saint but the doctrine of the incarnation: The Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word. Some wish to ignore or even disparage “doctrine” as something spun out of human origin. But of course when we speak of “doctrine” we mean nothing else than the all-important teachings of the Bible. Yet the celebration of the Holy Trinity by the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word is not merely of dry doctrine but really is primarily of a Person. He is the Incarnate Word, the Word and Wisdom and Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity. He is the one and only Person by whom alone we are asked to grasp God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. In the end, you see, like everything else, this day and these doctrines are all about Jesus! Continue reading Pre-incarnate Word