You Brood of Vipers!

Date: February 18, 2018
Liturgical Day: The First Sunday of Lent; Year B

Summary:
We begin our worship like we begin every day: remembering that we are not so different than the brood of vipers who listened to John’s sermons. However, when we approach God with honesty and humility, we receive the greatest gift: “In the name of Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven.”

Some discussion Questions:
1. Which aspects of the liturgy do I live out in my day-to-day life?
2. When could I make time to confess my sins on a daily basis? (morning devotions; mid-day break; evening quite time…)?
3. What has my experience been with making the sign of the cross during worship? How might I overcome my hesitancy to do so?
4. How does spending time in confession, and receiving absolution, make room in my life for God?
5. As God forgives me, who am I inspired to forgive… or to ask for forgiveness?

Download Sermon: 2018-02-18 Sermon

Download Brochure with Discussion Questions: 2018-02-18 LIturgy & Worship

 

The Hope of Lent

Date: February 14, 2018
Liturgical Day: Ash Wednesday; Year B

Summary:
The spiritual practices we engage during this season intend to draw us into the heart of God. Psalm 51 reminds us that our God is by nature one who acts with loving kindness and great compassion. Our longing for faithful living is a response to the grace we have received, and our attempt to thank God with our very lives.

Some discussion Questions:
1. What am I planning to give up or take on during this year’s season of Lent?
2. How do I expect this spiritual practice to impact my faith and my life?
3. What help and strength do I hope to receive from God during this time?

Download Sermon: 2018-02-14 Sermon

Worship Like You Mean It!

Date: February 11, 2018
Liturgical Day: The Transfiguration of Our Lord; Year B

Summary:
The disciples gave themselves to Jesus for 3 years!. Along the way they experienced him fully. They came to expect something extraordinary every time they were with him. As we give ourselves, whole heartedly, to God in worship, it opens up the possibility that we too will experience God more fully in our times of worship. How can our active participation, and a heightened sense of expectation, enhance this?

Some discussion Questions:
1. What are the dangers of not understanding the way we worship as Lutherans?
2. How might it help us to have a deeper appreciation of our worship traditions?
3. In what ways might worship be richer for me (us) if we had higher expectations of what God is planing to accomplish among us?
4. What can I (we) to be well-prepared for worship, and ready to enter into to it most fully?

Download Sermon: 2018-02-11 Sermon

Download Brochure with Discussion Questions: 2018-02-11 LIturgy & Worship

But Now…

Date: February 7, 2018
Holden Evening Prayer Around the World

Holden Evening Prayer Around the World

Summary:
There are may realities in our world that divide us — some that seek to divide us — but we find our true unity and identity as children of God. To the faithful, during their exile in Babylon, God says: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” And to us: “You have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” Anybody ask you who I am? Tell ’em I’m a child of God.

Download Sermon: HEPAW.2018

Let Us Go On

Date: February 4, 2018
Liturgical Day: The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany; Year B

Summary:
Jesus heals many in his adopted hometown of Capernaum, but he doesn’t remain there. He goes on to touch many others in the surrounding areas. His model helps us see how important it is to begin by caring for those who are closest to us, and then continue to share with the world the peace and joy and strength and hope we have as followers of this Christ.

Some discussion Questions:
1. Why were Peter and his companions, along with the whole town, looking so earnestly for Jesus?
2. Why does Jesus ignore their pleas, and move on to the neighboring towns?
3. In what ways will our family move out beyond the boundaries of our own interests, to make a difference for others?

Download Sermon and Presentation Slides: 2018-02-04 Sermon

Download Discussion Questions: 2018-02-04 CarTalk

Sacred Authority

Date: January 28, 2018
Liturgical Day: The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany; Year B

Summary:
In a world where it is far too easy to “Silo” ourselves, and the information that comes our way, we explore what it means to give Jesus (and his word) authority in our lives. When he calls us to change, what is our response?

Some discussion Questions:
1. What did the word spoken by Jesus accomplish in this morning’s Gospel lesson?
2. How does this Gospel story relate to Martin Luther’s understanding of God’s word?
3. How might I become more aware of the power of God in my own life?

Download Sermon and Presentation Slides: 2018-01-28 Sermon

Download “Car Talk” Discussion Questions: 2018-01-28 CarTalk

Come, and See

Date: January 14, 2018
Liturgical Day: The First Sunday after the Epiphany; Year B

true evangelism
Philip says to Nathanael
Come and see


Summary:

These days evangelism seems to have a bad name. But Philip shows us that it actually is quite simple and quite gracious. It has to do with inviting others to come and see how faith has blessed us, and the difference it makes in our lives.

Some discussion Questions:
1. Why do so many cringe, today, at the notion of evangelism?
2. What simle invitation does Philip make to his good friend Nathanael?
3. What do I appreciate most about my faith, and how might I share this, with grace and humility?

Download Sermon: 2018-01-14 Sermon

He Must Increase, but I Must Decrease.

Date: January 7, 2018
Liturgical Day: The Baptism of Our Lord; Year B

the witness of John
a humble, faithful model
Christ is the main thing

Summary:
John understood that his primary purpose was to help people reconnect with God, and prepare them to receive the message and ministry of Jesus. He knew it wasn’t about him — it was about Jesus. We best honor him by organizing our lives around the same principle.

Some discussion Questions:
1. Why does it seem that John is so insistent on drawing attention away from himself and towards Jesus?
2. Was it Jesus’ intent to develop a new religious tradition around himself, or to draw people back to God in a meaningful way?
3. How might I focus less on myself, and more on serving others, so that I might help people reconnect with God?

Download Sermon: 2018-01-07 Sermon

Merry Christmas… All Year Long

Date: December 32, 2017
The Seventh Day of Christmas
Liturgical Day: The First Sunday of Christmas; Year B

Anna, Simeon

faithful saints in the Temple

attentive to God

Summary:
Today we hear the story of Simeon and Anna — two Saints of God who spend their lives in the Temple, worshipping, fasting and praying. They are among the few who recognized Jesus for who he is: the promised Messiah. Their faithfulness, and awareness of the ways of God, invite us to become more aware of what God is doing in the world today.

Some discussion Questions:
1. What causes Simeon and Anna to recognize who Jesus actually is?
2. How might I become more intentional about studying the ways of God, and growing in faith?
3. Where is God involved in my world today?

Download Sermon: 2017-12-31 Sermon

Download Simeon and Anna Plan Commitment Form: form

The Word Become Flesh

Date: December 25, 2017
Liturgical Day: The Nativity of Our Lord; Christmas Day

God in human flesh
transcendent and immanent
that we might have life

Summary:
This morning we remember, and celebrate. From the simple tale of a birth in Bethlehem, to the expansive vision of God’s creating word. From the word proclaimed in the scriptures, to the real presence of Christ received in the meal. From the declaration of absolution in the liturgy, to the witness we share with our neighbors. The babe of Bethlehem. The word become flesh. The incarnate God, who enters into our lives, and draws us into this story.

Download Sermon: 2017 Christmas Day Sermon