Sermons

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    August 13, 2017. In this story of Jesus walking on water in the Sea of Galilee, we hear Jesus inviting Peter to walk on the water. Peter starts out fine and then, when hit with doubt, he begins to sink while calling out for help. In our own time, as disciples of Bethlehem Lutheran, we are invited to walk on the waters of Baptism and to take a stand... [read more]
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    August 6, 2017. A lot of things get in the way of us seeing and responding to hunger and homelessness in our area. This sermon engages those obstacles and lifts up the call and responsibility that is fundamental to who we are as Christian people: feeding the hungry, giving shelter to those who have no home, seeing the humanity and belovedness in ev... [read more]
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    July 30, 2017. Jesus uses ordinary, everyday things of life to teach about the kingdom of heaven, and in the very same sentence, Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven is hidden. There’s an element of intentional surprise and unpredictability in how God works in this world. That can be delightful, and it can be downright frustrating. When have y... [read more]
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    July 23, 2017. With this Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, we may think we know who is good and who is bad; yet Jesus cautions us to leave the harvest to God alone. We are reassured in the seeds of God's love planted in our Baptism that we are loved as "saint-sinner" children, warts and all, which leads to all sorts of "we'ds" (we would's) worth purs... [read more]
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    July 16, 2017.  The foolishness of the Sower in this well-known parable makes us scratch our heads and furrow our brows. Why does the Sower waste such good seed on soil that’s going to kill the seed? This sermon wrestles with God’s boundless, even reckless love and ponders what it means to live our lives in light of that love. Click HERE to stre... [read more]
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    July 9, 2017.  In the Gospel according to Matthew, we hear Jesus inviting all who are weary to come unto him, take on his yoke, and find rest. This counter-intuitive notion jars us from our self-made aspirations and beckons us to see afresh how, in our Baptism, we disciples are all yoked together in the life, death and resurrection of Christ! Cl... [read more]
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    July 2, 2017.  The theme of disciples emerges in the 10th chapter of Matthew’s gospel.  Jesus wants us to hear that “compassionate hospitality” lies at the heart of Christian discipleship. When we offer and receive hospitality Jesus is made present.  It is a reminder for us that Christ is already here – among us, among the other! Click HERE to s... [read more]
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    June 25, 2017.  When we think of “God moments,” we tend to think of the mountain-top moments of joy, connection, and clarity. But Jesus’ tough words about discipleship convict us with the truth that moments of discomfort, resistance, even conflict can also be “God moments” in our lives. Click HERE to stream this sermon on your mobile device.... [read more]
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    June 18, 2017. In Exodus, we hear of the people of Israel making it out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, to the foot of Mt. Sinai, and there beginning a new conversation with God through Moses.  Even while they are in transition, a new relationship is being formed that will last through the ages.  In a similar manner, Bethlehem Lutheran is in its own... [read more]
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    June 11, 2017.  The way a story ends changes what it means. Matthew ends his Gospel not with Jesus' resurrection, but with Jesus commissioning the disciples to go forth and make disciples. The First Creation Story in Genesis 1:1-2:4 ends not with Creation, but with Sabbath. These two endings point to a central tension in the Christian life: the cal... [read more]
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    June 4, 2017. Today the church celebrates Pentecost, a celebration of the Holy Spirit's fiery arrival long ago, and a celebration of all the ways that Spirit continues to guide, comfort, disrupt, and strengthen us today. Sometimes it's hard to make sense of the Holy Spirit and to identify her work in our lives. This sermon identifies three things t... [read more]
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    May 28, 2017.  What does it mean for Jesus to offer a prayer to God on our behalf?  Our hope is in a unity of living as followers of Jesus drawn together by Christ for a common purpose.  Jesus’ prayer is for us to be in relationship with each other as Jesus is in relationship with God!   This sermon explores what this means for us as we live in com... [read more]
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    May 21, 2017.  What does it mean to be the church in this peculiar time in American religious history? In this sermon, Andrew Packman challenges the common interpretation that we are living in a secular age, and instead suggests that we are living in time of religious confusion. All of us are wired to worship God, but it’s awfully easy to worship a... [read more]
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    May 14, 2017. Jesus’ farewell discourse, the words that he shares with his disciples just a few days before his death, are words that give guidance and hope to us as a congregation as we move into a time of transition and change. Goodbyes are difficult; they mark the ending of what we’ve known, and the beginning of what we do not yet know. In times... [read more]
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    May 7, 2017. The picture of the early church in Acts 2 is of a young community on fire with the Holy Spirit. One of the characteristics listed is that they shared bread together.  As I leave Bethlehem after thirteen years of marriage ministry is this wonderful place, my prayer is that this church will continue to share bread with glad and generous ... [read more]
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    April 30, 2017.  The journey to Emmaus is the journey of dashed hopes. The disciples were utterly devastated after Jesus’ death; the future they had hoped for is no longer possible. Their hopes were so fixed on what they wanted Jesus to do and be that they are unable to recognize the risen Jesus when he joins them on the road. Sometimes our hopes a... [read more]
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    April 23, 2017.  Thomas always gets a bad rap.  Just because he wants details before he is able to accept that Jesus is risen, he is forever labeled the “doubter.”  But I contend that this passage of Scripture is not primarily about doubt; rather, it is about reality.  When Jesus appears before Thomas, with the gift of peace and forgiveness, rather... [read more]
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    April 16, 2017 - Easter Sunday. The musical "Hamilton" is successful not just because it is a history lesson. It is also a commentary on contemporary social issues ranging from racism, prejudice, and power politics.  Similarly, the events of Holy Week are not just about remembering history. They wake us up to the suffering that is everywhere in our... [read more]
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    April 13, 2017. On this Maundy Thursday we visit Jesus and his disciples where Jesus shows his disciples a new way to love and care for each other.  Jesus is commanding us to love in this new way too --with the towel and the basin!  What does it mean for us to love one another like that?  How might doing this allow the world to see us for who we ar... [read more]
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    April 5, 2017.  At our final Wednesday Vesper service of this Lenten season, Suzanne Warner provided context around our upcoming pastoral transition and encouragement that our community has everything we need to continue in strong ministry during this time. We already know how to "do transition" well, unfortunately because we've also done it badly ... [read more]
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Bethlehem Lutheran Church