"Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity" - Henri Nouwen
Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-35, Acts 2:14, 36-41
On this Holy Humor Sunday, we consider the truth of 1 Corinthians 1:18; the wisdom of the cross is foolishness to those perishing. We proclaim a baby born of a virgin, a Samaritan hero, a farmer planting seeds on rocks and in weeds, the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame rise up and walk. And craziest of all, a Messiah who is killed, but after 3 days arises. God constrained by the world's wisdom? Inconceivable!
Scripture Reading: John 20:19-31, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
From our Lenten studies of Brene Brown's Rising Strong, we've learned to consider three forms of transitions - the Reckoning, the Rumble and the Revolution. Good Friday is the Rumble - change with uncertainty and fear. Easter is the Revolution with hope held high. Jesus tells us we don't need to be good enough, we may have life abundantly here and now. We're not alone, God is with us. Christ is Risen, Alleluia!
Scripture Reading: Mark 16:1-8; Isaiah 25:6-9
The women went to the tomb in grief, hoping to tend further to the body. They, as well as Peter and John, found the tomb empty. When Mary stayed, Jesus came and told her he was on his way to God but and to tell his disciples he had risen. Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Scripture Reading: John 20:1-18
It is dark. Our beloved Teacher has been crucified. We are afraid and lonely. Those of us closest to him can only gather and pray and wait. Everything is unsettled. It is The Rumble.
Scripture Reading: John 18:1-19:42, Isaiah 52:13-53:9, 11b-12
God makes three covenants in the Old Testament; blessings to and through Abraham; 10 commandments through Moses; a promise of a House of David. Jesus comes with a new commandment - bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus - and a new promise - forgiveness of our sins and Christ with us always. Be a billboard for Christ, love others as Jesus loves you.
Scripture Reading: John 13:1-17, Psalm 23
Faced with troubles and problems, we wonder not only how much God loves us, but whether God loves us. We have the gospels telling us how Jesus came from infinity to the manger, to the cross, to the tomb, then rose and came back again. Because he loves us that much.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:11-54, Luke 19:29-38
It is common to think that being stong and brave means being independent. Jesus points out that in God's economy strength and bravery come through the new commandment - Love God, love your neighbor as yourself. It is by opening up to others that you are encouraged.
Scripture Reading: John 16:25-33
Human babies are born without capability but a lot of potential. As they grow, their bodies learn to do things: to walk, to talk, ride bicycles, throw clay. Some direction and practice can go far. Jesus gave Lazarus direction -"Come out!" and the mourners were directed to get in touch with the reality of resurrection. By baptism we have the Holy Spirit in us, by practice with the Holy Spirit we can strengthen our love of God and of our neighbor. “Proclaim, Grow & Serve"!
Scripture Reading: John 11:1-44, Romans 8:15-17
(Link to Facebook video shown during sermon)
Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-judgment, Generosity. With small bits of trustworthiness with each other, you can build honesty and trust with each other.
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:1-4
Baptism is sometimes called enlightenment. The gospel for this Sunday is the story of the man born blind healed by Christ. I was blind, but now I see, declares the man. Like the blind man, let us make a journey of faith to realization that Jesus is the Son of Man, the Messiah.
Scripture Reading: 9:1-41, Psalm 23
Boundaries, Integrity and Generosity, bywords for living B.I.G. Know your boundaries and accept the limits of others, be honest with yourself and God, share God's blessings with others. Neither a borrower nor a lender be and to your own self be true.
Scripture Reading: John 4:1-42, Psalm 16:5-6
The Samaritan women comes to the well as an outcast, coming in the middle of the day when no one else should be there. But there is someone, Jesus. She expects Jesus, as a male Jew, to ignore her, if he doesn't prevent her from getting to the water. But he talks to her, and more than talks, gives her hope and through her brings hope to her whole village. You can get hope, also, and spread that hope to your village.
Scripture reading: John 4:1-42, Romans 5:1-8
Pixar uses a standard template for their stories. Protagonist is given challenge, protagonist works through possibilities, protagonist meets challenge in spite of ristk and effort. You're likely caught in the middle of your own story. The day to day of working through the usual irritations. The rumble, as Brene Brown puts it. But we have God on our side. As Paul puts it, 'perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.' You can do it. Get out there and rumble.
Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12
In today’s gospel Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born of water and Spirit. At the font we are given a new birth as daughters and sons of God. As God made a covenant with Abraham, in baptism God promises to raise us up with Christ to new life. From Worship we are sent forth to proclaim God’s love for all the world.
Scripture reading: John 3:1-17, Genesis 12:1-4
Our God is a God of Truth. Accordingly, when we are truthful, open and honest with God, our self and others, God takes our vulnerability and makes us free and strong. It may not be easy, you will be different and the people nearest you may work hard to make you the way you were, but God will be with you to support you. Scripture reading: Luke 10:25-37
We begin our journey into Lent with further consideration of trials and temptations we are exposed to. We have as examples the temptations Jesus faces in the wilderness. All pose questions to Jesus: If you can change rocks to loaves; does God love you enough; can you handle the people worshiping you? Jesus answers 'God is enough'. We are the beloved children of God. Shut fear down and lean further into Love.
Scripture readings: Matthew 4:1-11 and Psalm 91
With the start of Lent, many people feel that they have to give something up. Close on those feelings are the feelings that they haven't given up enough. Jesus makes a different request. He tells us to give up our worries, our concerns, our anxieties; to let him carry them. His burden is light - he is doing all the carrying. If you let him.
He will create in you a clean heart and put a right and new spirit in you, if you let him. Scripture readings: Matthew 11:28-30 and Psalm 51:1-12
Today we're talking about making a shift, from one thing to another thing. Putting the words of ancient scripture to a Garth Brooks tune. Making the Word of God accessible to all. Scripture readings: Matthew 17:1-9 & Exodus 24:12-18.
We simply do not know the impact we will have on someone's life. Love triumphs and strengthens us in wondrous ways, gathered at camp beneath the stars, or in a scribbled note rediscovered decades later. Scripture Readings from Matthew 5:38-48 & Galations 5:6.
The law isn't here to allow you to judge others or feel better than others for living in righteousness - the law is wisdom to form healthier relationships with God and our neighbors. Jesus came to show us in person how to live the righteousness of God, which surpasses the requirements of the law as we have come to understand it. It is life-giving wisdom to do our best. Scripture readings from Matthew 5:21-37 and Deuteronomy 30:15-20.
How do we reflect Christ's light in the world? What was Ghandi's suggestions for Christians? Scripture readings from Matthew 5:13-20 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-12.
Let's begin with "Benediction" - from Latin meaning "good" and "speech" - and explore how blessings brighten our days. Scripture readings from Matthew 5:1-12 and Micah 6:1-8.
In times of change and heavy darkness, we continue "becoming" and recognizing the light. Scripture readings from Matthew 4:12-23, Psalm 27:1,4-9, and Isaiah 9:1-4
While our social self helps us navigate daily life, we must keep it in balance so that our essential self is not crushed. Scripture readings from John 1:29-42 and 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.
ELCA Deacon Amy Hartman preaches about strategies for prayer and reminding young people that they are not alone, especially those who have been harmed by human trafficking and abuse. Scripture readings from Matthew 3:13-17 and Isaiah 42:1-9.
Whatever we do that is kind, just, and loving is living out the name we share in Jesus. As we remember how Jesus got his name, we reaffirm our baptismal promise in Jesus' name. Scripture readings from Luke 2:15-21 & Philippians 2:5-11.