Sermons

Palm Sunday

The voice of the suffering savior, Jesus, can be heard in the prophet Isaiah’s words and the pleading of the psalm. We are invited into the agony of our Lord in the extended reading of the story of Jesus’ passion. We who have put on Christ in holy baptism are urged to let the mind of Christ be our own. Lent leads us to this holy moment. Embrace it.

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We Love to Overdo It!

The Lord our God makes all things new. In the first reading God promises it. In the Gospel Mary anticipates it, anointing Jesus’ feet with costly perfumes in preparation for the day of his burial. In the second reading we recall the transformation of Saul, the persecutor, into Paul, the apostle. In baptism, God’s new person (you!) rises daily from the deadly mire of trespasses and sins.

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Prodigal Son

The psalm sets the tone this day: “Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away!” Happy are those who have “become the righteousness of God” in the merits of Christ Jesus. Happy are those for whom the forgiveness of God has “rolled away…the disgrace” of former times. Happy is the father at the return of his prodigal son. Happy are we that our sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake. Rejoice!

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Channel of Your Peace

The warnings are plentiful and blunt on the third Sunday in Lent. Lent is a season of repentance. Cut it out or get cut down! The warnings are accompanied by God’s invitation to attentiveness: “Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.” The landowner’s ultimatum is forestalled by the gardener’s readiness to till the ground one more year. That is good news for all of us. Thanks be to God!

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Shelter in Place

Though we sometimes doubt and often resist God’s desire to protect and save us, our God persists. In Holy Baptism, God’s people have been called and gathered into a God-initiated relationship that will endure. Lent provides the Church with a time and a tradition in which to seek the face of the Lord again. Lent provides another occasion to behold the God of our salvation in the face of the Blessed One who “comes in the name of the Lord.”

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Who’s in the Lead Car?

These forty days called Lent are like no other. It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues; to receive the gifts of God’s grace; to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the wonder of God’s love in Jesus; and to resist temptation at every turn. This is no small pilgrimage on which we have just embarked. It is a struggle Jesus knew. It is a struggle Jesus shares. The nearness of the Lord, in bread and wine, water and word, will uphold and sustain us.

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Face Time with God

Witnesses to the glory of God in the face of Jesus will be unable to avoid reflecting that glory in the world. It was true for Moses. It was doubtless true for Peter, James, and John. We pray that it will be true of all of us who see the glory of the Lord in the Word and in the supper and who are being “transformed into the same image” by the Spirit of God.

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Love Your Enemies

Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Joseph lives it in Egypt. Jesus preaches it in the gospel. The Spirit guides us into merciful lives with the power of forgiveness to reconcile what is fractured and divided. Such merciful living is the baptismal blessing of having put on Christ. It is the gift of the life-giving Spirit. It is a reflection of the glory of God revealed in the Christ.

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Blessed Are the Poor

“Blessings and curses abound on the sixth Sunday after Epiphany. We would do well to listen closely to whom the “blessed ares” and the “woe tos” are directed and to find our place in the crowd among those who desire to touch Jesus. The risen Christ stands among us in the mystery of the Holy Supper with an invitation to live in him and the power to heal us all.”

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Here Am I, Send Me!

The fifth Sunday after Epiphany continues to highlight unlikely instruments and circumstances, appointed to reveal the glory of the Lord. “Who will go for us” queries the voice of the Lord. A man of unclean lips, a former persecutor of the church of God, and three fishermen who couldn’t catch a thing. More surprising still, perhaps, is the fact that we are also called.

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