Sermons

  • September 17, 2017 - It’s hard. It is messy/unpredictable. It is understood in so many different ways. This thing called forgiveness. Just because it’s foundational to our Christian faith doesn’t mean it’s something easily understood or practiced. Click HERE to read this sermon.
  • September 10, 2017. BLC is in the midst of a set of changes that have come all at once. In Exodus, we are  reminded of how the people of Israel found themselves in a time of upheaval and transition, too, and God was with them. Jesus reminds his disciples, including us today, that wherever two or three are gathered in his name, he will be with us. W... [read more]
  • [audio:]September 3, 2017 - Labor Day Sunday.  Have you ever thought about the kind of imagination you have access to because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus? Ever thought about what it means for God’s way of seeing the world to literally change the way you see the world? This sermon draws upon Peter’s struggle to embrace the kind of Messiah ... [read more]
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    August 27, 2017.  In these two passages from Exodus and Matthew, we hear of Moses and Simon having holy encounters that lead to a change of identity: a condemned Israelite child born during the time of Pharaoh’s harsh policies is “drawn out of the water” by Pharaoh’s daughter and thereby becomes “Moses;” Simon, son of Jonah, declares Jesus to be th... [read more]
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    August 20, 2017. This week’s sermon is shared by nine youth in our congregation. Their stories capture the learning, growth, challenge, and joy experienced in their ventures to New Orleans, Leadership Lab, and the Boundary Waters. We heard from the following students: Ryan Soule, Gwen Klinkey and Danny Soule (New Orleans); Grace Nelson, Hadley C... [read more]
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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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Bethlehem Lutheran Church