Sermons

Half Truth: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Half Truth: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

“God helps those who help themselves.” That’s today’s half-truth. The problem of a half-truth, of course is that it is not the whole truth. It is only part of the story. At first a half-truth sounds like something we believe but once we give it some thought, we are not quite sure what we are […]

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Hopes and Fears

Hopes and Fears

We gather to celebrate another Christmas, to proclaim the wondrous gift, to acknowledge the hopes and also the fears that are met in this birth. In the silent darkness of this night, let us consider the hopes and fears of this world. In the stillness of this night, let us imagine that we are in […]

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Angels

Angels

We have come once more to hear the story of Jesus’ birth. We have come to remember the turning point, when God came to rule his world, to make right what has gone wrong. We gather in darkness, listening for promise, the slightest whisper of hope. The story begins with Mary’s Song, “God scatters the […]

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Paint Yourself into the Nativity

Paint Yourself into the Nativity

Shortly after we were married, Faith Ann and I purchased a small Renaissance painting of Christ’s nativity, Hugo van der Goes’ “The Adoration of the Child Jesus.” It is a triptych done on three wooden panels so it can sit on a table or altar. Jesus occupies the middle of the center panel, lying on […]

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Here I Come!

Here I Come!

All Advent, we have been praying, “Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Stir up your power, O God, and come.” Now on Christmas Eve, we hear God’s reply, “Okay. Here I come.” We jump back. We are afraid. Will we be able to control God if he really does stir up his power? […]

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Shout It From The Rooftops

Shout It From The Rooftops

Matthew 10: 26-31 Have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body […]

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Turn The Other Cheek

Turn The Other Cheek

The temptation is to give a polished sermon that glosses over the meaning of all these basic but difficult texts. I am going to offer instead a rough Bible study that I hope will allow Jesus’ challenge to shine through. First the Gospel. Turn the other cheek and love your enemy. Luke shows this is […]

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Stop Fooling Around

Stop Fooling Around

For several years I have been trying to lead one of my favorite people into the ministry. I have been extremely sensitive to his needs, letting him work as slowly as he needs through all the obstacles and questions. I have been subtle in my prodding, very gentle. Recently, he came to tell me he […]

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Karen and Jan’s Wedding

Karen and Jan’s Wedding

Ruth 1: 16-17 Ruth said,
‘Do not press me to leave you
 or to turn back from following you!
 Where you go, I will go;
 where you lodge, I will lodge;
 your people shall be my people,
 and your God my God. 
Where you die, I will die—
 there will I be buried.
 May the Lord […]

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At the Mount of the Beatitudes

At the Mount of the Beatitudes

I preached this sermon last January during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with people from Good Shepherd Lutheran in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We were on the spot at the the Sea of Galilee where many believe Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount. We had just been to Caesurea Philippi where Peter confessed Jesus to […]

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