Mary of Bethany (a Lenten sermon on John 12:1-8)

Our sense of smell can bring back memories in such powerful ways. I have what was left of my father’s aftershave when he died. I keep it in my dresser and every now and then when I come across it, I’ll open it and close my eyes and sniff – and I’m instantly brought back […]

If Not Now

Reflections on Shuffle-Play I could sum up the gospel for this Sunday in one sentence. Here it is: We are each given gifts from God, and we are expected to do something with those gifts in order to grow them, however we can – not for the benefit of only ourselves, but for the benefit […]

What to do When You Just Can’t Get Along… (sermon – 9/10/17)

For the better part of two years, she didn’t speak to me. When I saw her at church or downtown, she pretended not to see me. She skipped the line to shake my hand after worship. I suppose I’m normal in that I hate conflict – I loathe it with the fire of a thousand […]

Roots – (White Supremacy is Sin. Say it. Sermon 8/20/2017)

Grace and peace to you on this Lord’s day. On our trip to Norway these past couple weeks, there were 34 people plus a guide who led us through the mountains, valleys, and fjords of the southern part of Norway. It was meaningful for me to see the places where my own family members had […]

Rest and Grace (sermon – July 9, 2017)

Last Tuesday, the Fourth of July, was a blissfully inactive day at our house. It was one of those rare, precious days when we were all at home the whole day. We made no plans for any of it and just did what we wanted – which, for me, included about three movies, a walk, […]

Of Course He Isn’t Safe. But He’s Good.

Sermon from Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church – 14th Sunday after Pentecost – August 30, 2015 Gospel:  Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 I remember having a conversation with a group of ladies at the first church I served out in Western New York state. We were sitting at a table eating soup and we started talking about […]

Scars

I have a scar on my index finger from a car accident back in 1996.  One minute, I was cruising down a road near Parkers Prairie and the next my car was skating across glare ice until I landed upside down in the ditch.  In the sub-zero November temperatures I assessed my situation.  My glasses […]

Parables and Promises (a sermon from June 14, 2015)

Well, it is summertime – and summer means all sorts of things.  It means Bible School and there are beautiful days to be out on the lakes, it means family vacations and time with friends, it means mosquitos and woodticks, and it means that we are to the season of Pentecost in which we get […]

Slippery Strands of Faith

Faith is a funny thing. For some faith is just a lifelong journey beginning with the waters of baptism. It is a beloved relationship. Spirituality may not be something completely understood, but there is nowhere else we are likely to be found on a Sunday morning than right here with our eyes fixed on the […]