Category: Sermons

The Heart of the Matter – Pentecost 2023

As we spring from Easter into a summer of Pentecost here’s a playlist and song-infused sermon for Sunday, May 28, 2023. Turns out that Don Henley, Billie Eilish, Mavis Staples, Amos Lee, Brandi Carlile, and many more have written some great songs on the spirit of confession and forgiveness.

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Holy Trinity Sunday – 2021

There’s a lot going on in these weeks so here’s a playlist to accompany the journey. Also, I’ll be chatting with Stephen Bond about the readings for Holy Trinity later tonight. You can catch that conversation on the East Side Lutheran Church Facebook and YouTube pages. Lastly, here’s the video assembly of my new office wall which features a print of the “Lakota Trinity” icon by John Giuliani. 

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Shake It Out and Shake It Off – Epiphany 4B

This weeks playlist and sermon are really intertwined. I’m not really sure where one ends and the other begins, but I know I woke up early a couple days back with this reading from Mark wrapped around a song I learned when I was maybe 5 for 6 years old…

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An Ordination Service

Hello friends, it’s been two weeks since the occasion of our ordination service. The event was streamed on the Season And Story Facebook page. You can also find it on our YouTube channel and in the video below… this post also has a new version of the Street Kyrie with Emmanuel Philor Sr.

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Reign of Christ Sunday 2020

What is there to say about a morning spent with a cup of hot coffee and good music? I’m grateful for the opportunities to listen that come my way. Here’s what I’m listening to in this last week of the Church Year 2020 and the sermon I gave (with quotes from Madeleine L’Engle and Frank Senn) to the fine folks at Highlands Lutheran Church yesterday. Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you.

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Pentecost 22A – Nostalgia or Tradition

…We probably wouldn’t have this past year in Colorado if not for the work of Deacon Erin Power in the Rocky Mountain Synod office. I met Erin almost 20 years ago at Outlaw Ranch. Pastor Lydia Ziauddin and I have known each other even longer. Lydia has hosted Tangled Blue concerts in churches she’s pastored on both coasts. Aimée, Lydia, Erin, and I also spent some time together in Germany for the Luther 500 Festival. And now, here in the mountains, she’s invited me to preach in the community she calls home. I’m genuinely grateful when the arc of the Spirit’s leading is so visible as it is in this photo in front of the Wartburg Castle in Germany. One other long time friend appears in this sermon. Nate Houge is a gifted songwriter and musician, and is the master baker and co-owner at the thriving Brake Bread in St. Paul. Since Nate makes an appearance in this sermon, it’s only fitting that a playlist accompany this post. Here it is…

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A Movement not a Moment

Jesus asks of his disciples what they have to share. They bring forward five loaves, and this is where the Jesus movement heads down a new path. Jesus does not ask whether those who hunger are also pure. He has spent the day with them. He knows that their deep need is all the purity God requires. And to ask for some other proof would be to invalidate both their need and their beauty and worth to God.

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Good Trouble

Now notice what Jesus does in his parable. He does exactly what no gardener would do; he sows mustard into his field on purpose. He gives the so-called weed prime real estate! This is no small parable solely about the small seed of faith growing large and giving shelter. This is also about the disruptive power of that small seed on our carefully cultivated monocultural fields of faith. Make no mistake Jesus knows exactly what he’s saying to both his audience then and to us now. He is not interested in the civility we create with our neatly formed rows of doctrine. He is however interested in whether or not our faith gives shelter to those whose migrations leave them in daily need. This shelter forming faith is the kindom.

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Patience Is Not Inaction

As I’ve been wrestling with this text a thought occurred to me. What if Jesus’ explanation is sarcastic in tone? What if when the disciples come to him demanding an explanation Jesus is just so frustrated that his own students aren’t getting it that he throws up his hands in disgust and gives them the answer they want to hear in which they are the wheat and those other people are the weeds, and the best thing to do is nothing until God comes to burn out the ones rightly judged as worthless by the gods the in-crowd have fashioned in the shape of our own judgements. …Is the idea that Jesus explanation isn’t what it seems starting to get under your skin? I hope so, because it seems to me that this is Jesus’ point: he wants to get under our skin. The Spirit in her wisdom is a knife and Jesus is the storytelling surgeon who knows we need something more than easy answers if we are ever going to grow beyond our self imposed malignancies of us and them. 

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