Category: Songs

Angels in your living room and other songs for Advent 4B 2020

What does the music of Paul Simon, Khalid, Sara Bareilles, Journey, Ed Sheehan, Elvis Presley, Over the Rhine and others have in common? Songs from these writers fit like a hand in a glove with the themes of Advent 4B and the longest night of the year… 20 songs for angel sightings in Advent

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Episode 2 of the Reluctant Hope Podcast

We are in week 2 of our journey together in Advent. This week on the Reluctant Hope podcast, Bishop Constanze Hagmaier sits down with Ann Marie Rossing to talk about “relationships.” The text this week comes from Malachi 2:10-3:1. Tangled Blue lead us in song. Aimee’s lovely rendering of the Lord’s Prayer is accompanied by Rob Ticherich, Hilary James, and Joel. Songs also featured in this podcast are “O Come O Come Emmanuel”, and “I Will Not Let You Go”. 

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Advent 2B 2020

We’ve been super busy, so this is just a simple post to share the playlist for Advent 2B – the week of December 6, 2020. It’s Wild Man Sunday once again: that Sunday in the Church calendar when we always have a reading about John the Baptist. This playlist includes songs from The Flaming Lips, Lenny Kravitz, The New Standards, Andrew McMahon, The Twilight Hours, John Mark Nelson, Jonathan Rundman, Bruce Cockburn, U2, The Vigilantes of Love, Page CXVI, John and Amanda Ylvisaker, The National Lutheran Choir, Jacob Pavek, Leah Ottman, Sara Groves, and two tunes from Aimee and I… and if you’re a Spotify listener then you get a track from Mötley Crüe because Lenny Kravitz’ “Like a Jet” isn’t on Spotify.

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Advent 1B 2020 Pandemic Playlist

There are so many great themes tied to the readings for Advent 1B, the first Sunday in the Church year. Here’s what I’m listening to on my commute. Tunes from The Suffers, West Philadelphia Orchestra, Lenny Kravitz & JAY-Z, King’s X, REO Speedwagon, Chicago, Storyhill, David Wilcox, Collective Soul, Arcade Fire, John Hermanson, Glen Phillips, NONONO, Kelly Clarkson, Jimmy Cliff, Spin Doctors, Pastor H.E. Dixon & Truth Tabernacle, and a couple tracks from the Tangled Blue Advent album Aimée and I finished in 2008.

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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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20 songs for 2020

I’ve posted a little request/challenge of some of my friends that’s turned out to be a really lovely and inspiring exercise in listening. Here are the few directives I’ve given: Make a playlist on any service(s) you choose, any 20 songs that have played a part in your year, any theme you like (funny, motivating, ironic, favorites, whatever), share your playlist link and maybe add #20songs42020. That’s it!

Have a playlist to share? Let me know. Here’s mine…

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Fire of Pentecost – a playlist for summer 2020

In July and early August of 2020 I had the new experience of preaching for five Sundays in a row for the first time in my life. Fire of Pentecost is a playlist of songs that accompanied me in this journey preaching the texts from the Gospel of Matthew. The voice and music of Mavis Staples is prominent in this playlist. Her voice is one of the ways I’m getting through this summer; she is a prophet for this time; her words a balm… more healing than soothing, both heat and light. If you are unfamiliar with her story check out this video.

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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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