Sermon – June 9, 2019 – Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday Wow!  The Pentecost story is quite a show. It’s almost as though it were choreographed by some Hollywood producer who was keyed into what trips our trigger, what keeps our attention. We have pyrotechnics…… Flames dancing on the heads of the gathered…… We had a powerful wind that … [Read more...]

Sermon – June 2, 2019 – Seventh Sunday after Easter

  Breaking the Cycles I saw on CNN that a conservative activist recruiting students at Berkley was punched out by an unidentified person, apparently another student.  Last week the editor of an Alabama newspaper wrote that the Klan should ride again an string up folks he called “communist … [Read more...]

Sermon – May 26, 2019 – Sixth Sunday after Easter

Peace Time and again, Jesus would bring comfort to his listeners, to his disciples and to the crowds with words of peace.  Do not be afraid.  Do not fear. Peace be with you.  My peace I give you. Let’s take a minute to wonder what he was talking about. What were the people in 1stcentury … [Read more...]

Sermon – May 19, 2019 – Fifth Sunday of Easter & Confirmation Sunday

Love, Love, Love Friend was sharing with me some remarks she had heard from people who want to leave the ELCA. Not this church.  Another place entirely. One angry person said at a meeting, “Jesus didn’t say anything about social justice. He had nothing to say about that, so neither should we.” … [Read more...]

Sermon – May 12, 2019 – Fourth Sunday after Easter

  The Good Shepherd and the Snatchers I recently had my family DNA evaluated and, not surprisingly, it came back heavy on the Norwegian roots, some Eastern Scandinavia flavored with Russia that reflects my Finnish heritage, and then there was a smattering of genetic markers from all along … [Read more...]

Sermon – May 5, 2019 – Third Sunday after Easter

  He Never Gives Up Let’s remind each other here for a second, just to be clear.    Twice before this encounter the disciples had met the risen Christ, face to face, showed them his wounds.  “We have seen the Lord!” they told Thomas.  He is alive.   They had received the gift of the … [Read more...]

Sermon – April 21, 2019 – Easter

He Is Risen! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Friends, that is what we have to share today. Jesus Christ, who was dead is alive! In our Easter story today death has receded to the shadows, has conceded his chief role in the crucifixion to now a conquered character slinking away … [Read more...]

Sermon – April 14, 2019 – Palm Sunday

I really don’t have a lot to add to that because this story stands on its own. But I would remind us all that in these days Jesus, in the fullness of his humanity, was denied by his closest disciple and betrayed by another in whom he had put his trust. He was misunderstood, misrepresented, mocked, … [Read more...]

Sermon – April 7, 2019 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

  Mary’s Extravagance If you made a good deal, you could pick up a new Corvette Stingray for $54,000.  A tricked out Ford King Ranch pickup would cost you about the same. If you are a new cop in Champaign, you’d be in the $54k range, a little better in Urbana. About the same for a … [Read more...]

Sermon – March 31, 2019 – Fourth Sunday in Lent

  Welcome Home Those of us who have spent any time to time in church probably heard this story 100 times. It’s one of those tales that we could tell from beginning to end probably get most of the details right. But, like most things we’ve heard time and again there is the danger that … [Read more...]