Category archives: Pastor Mark

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    November 13, 2016. Download/print this sermon: Nov13-BldgCommunity    
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    October 30, 2016. We take the celebration of Reformation Day as a reminder that we are always being called back to the “basics” of our Lutheran heritage.  As Martin Luther reminded the world, we are not forgiven or saved by what we do, but "because, because, because, because, because" of who God is—a God whose doesn’t keep score and doesn’t hold a ... [read more]
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    October 16, 2016.  Jesus uses an example of an unjust judge who finally gives in to the unrelenting pleading of a widow as and encouragement for all of us to keep praying and not lose heart.  "How much more,” will God grant justice to those who plead for it.  In today’s political arena, we are all pleading: for freedom, for justice, for peace, and ... [read more]
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    September 18, 2016.  Jesus seems to make a hero of the kind of person we hear a lot about in the news: A financial manager who “cooks the books” for his own benefit and success.  Of course, Jesus means to shock us.  If the wicked and the crooked can be so clear about their mission to defraud, why can’t Jesus' followers be just as clear and focused ... [read more]
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    September 11, 2016. In his parables, Jesus highlights the simple joy that God feels when one who is lost is found. On this anniversary of 9/11, we can imagine the heartbreak of those who lost loved ones and friends, the absolute joy felt by those who found their lost ones, and the incredible bravery by those who sacrificed themselves to bring othe... [read more]
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    September 4, 2016. When Jesus talks about picking up our cross and following him, he makes it clear that there is no discipleship without sacrifice. Unfortunately, we have been led by our culture to think of sacrifice as a bad thing. But there are sacrifices and there are sacrifices. Some sacrifices lead to greater life, and some don’t. Some sacrif... [read more]
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    August 21, 2016. We heard a lot of “dream talk” during the Olympics. It seems that every athlete who succeeded in winning a medal talked about how the experience was “a dream come true.” In this week’s gospel Jesus meets and heals a woman who had been ill for eighteen years—what kind of dreams did she have? Jesus gets in trouble for accomplishin... [read more]
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    August 7, 2016. There is so much to fear in this world, Jesus statement, “Do not fear, little flock,” may seem a bit naïve. Actually it is a brave statement of faith. It is the reassurance that what is seen is not all that is and a reminder that the fears all around us need not have the last word in defining our life. It is a statement of absolu... [read more]
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    July 17, 2016. In the movie "City Slickers", Jack Palance tells Billy Crystal that the secret of life is finding the “one thing” and sticking to it. In today’s readings, the one thing is hospitality. Abraham and Sarah welcome strangers who turn out to be messengers from God. Jesus is welcomed into the home of Martha and Mary. We are the body of... [read more]
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    July 10, 2016. The brilliance of a parable like The Good Samaritan is that it draws you in, encourages you to identify with a character, so before you know it, you are part of the story.  The Samaritan is an image of our rescuing God; he sees the man in trouble, comes near him, and acts with compassion.  This is an excellent model for all us strugg... [read more]
  • June 5, 2016. Today is full of beginnings and endings.  Both Jesus and Elijah raise the only son of a widow from death to life—talk about endings becoming beginnings.  In our congregation we bless graduates, say good by to beloved friends, and welcome new friends into our fellowship.  All of life is full of beginnings and endings.  But one thing re... [read more]
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    May 15, 2016.  The challenge of Pentecost is to become the kind of people so filled with Christ’s spirit of love and generosity that the outside world sits up and takes notice.  If Bethlehem is to be such a community, we need to center our ministry on creating a community of hope, freedom and courage in the midst of confusing times.  We need a cent... [read more]
 
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