On this first Sunday in Lent, we talk about hope vs. optimism. Continue reading What A Beautiful World This Will Be
We want to think we have all the time in the world to follow Jesus, but if last year has taught us anything is that tomorrow is not promised. If we are going to follow Jesus we have to be willing to follow him now. Life is too short. Continue reading Lenten Reflection-Ash Wednesday
Luke 10:25-42 Who Is My Neighbor Series First Sunday in Lent March 5, 2017 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN Click here to listen to the audio version. Supposedly the commedian W.C. Fields was reading a Bible one day. Fields was known for his kind of outrageous lifestyle of drinking and mistrisses, so having him reading a Bible seemed a little out of character. When asked why he was reading the Bible, Fields responded, “I’m looking for loopholes.” Today we are looking at one of the most well-known parables, the tale of the Good Samaritan. Even people who have never … Continue reading Sermon: Looking for Loopholes
“Borrowed Time” Luke 13:1-9, 31-35 March 12, 2017 Second Sunday in Lent Who Is My Neighbor Series First Christian Church Minneapolis, MN Click here for the audio version. A man leaves home to head into New York City and work in one the city’s tallest buildings. It’s the morning of September 11, 2001, and the man’s family never saw their husband and father again. On that same morning, a husband drops off his wife at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC. He kisses her, expecting to see her when she returns a few days later. The woman is on a flight … Continue reading Sermon: Borrowed Time
Like the woman at the well, I was seeking For things that could not satisfy. And then I heard my Savior speaking— “Draw from My well that never shall run dry.” Fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up Lord; Come and quench this thirsting of my soul. Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more. Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole. We are going to be singing the song “Fill My Cup,Lord” (the song above) in church on Sunday. It comes from the story in John 4 about the Woman at the Well. … Continue reading Like The Woman At The Well?
Genesis 2:15-17 & 3:1-8 and Matthew 4:1-11 First Sunday in Lent March 9, 2013 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN For about two or three years growing up, I took swimming lessons. Sometimes I too the lessons at the local YMCA and sometimes at the YWCA. I’m not a great swimmer, but I do credit these classes for helping me not be afraid of the water. I remember once experience very vividly. It was the last class and I was excited. So my mother drops me off and I head into the dressing room. I got my street clothes off and … Continue reading Sermon: “Natural Born Sinners”
This is a sermon I gave at an ecumenical service in 2010. “A Tale of Four Marys” John 19:25 Good Friday April 2, 2010 Central Lutheran Church Minneapolis, MN When I was asked to speak on the three Marys, I have to be honest that nothing was immediately coming to mind. What could I say about these women? And then I realized something: my mother was also a Mary. My mother, born 76 years ago in Canonvanas, Puerto Rico was given the name Maria, Spanish for Mary. Her name reminded me of a time when I was in pretty … Continue reading “A Tale of Four Marys:” A Good Friday Sermon
I’m preaching next Sunday and the gospel text is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Bible Scholar Kenneth Bailey brings a different perspective of the famous story grounded in the context of Middle Eastern culture. h/t Michael Kruse Continue reading The Four Misconceptions of the Prodigal Son
Like many people, I’ve been rather surprised to hear that Oscar Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend. The South African athelete, who is a double amputee, is known as “Blade Runner” for his carbon fiber legs and his speed. Pistorius was a symbol that persons with disabilities can achieve great feats, like being a world champion runner. Yes, he was to use that tired cliche, an inspiration. He helped put the Paralympics on the map, helping us to see it as a serious sporting event on par with its sister event, the Olympics. I remember watching … Continue reading Ashes to Ashes…We All Fall Down.
Ten years ago during Ash Wednesday of 2002, I was a chaplain at Luther Hall in Minneapolis. Luther Hall was what you would probably call a nursing home, though the people there were at various stages in their lives; some were transitioning from surgery, back to home or to another facility; but some were there for the long haul, or short haul as it might happen. There were people there who were basically at death’s door. Some died immediately, others had a longer leave taking. It was during that Ash Wednesday, that I, a seminarian finishing up the last requirement … Continue reading Remember You Are Dust…