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2018 Sermons

  • How to Listen to God | A Sermon on Prayer from A Deep Life Series October 17, 2018 This sermon is part two of a three-week mini series on prayer from A Deep Life series. We live is a noisy world filled with hundreds of voices screaming at us every second of our mediated lives. How can we discern which voice is God’s voice? This sermon explores three practical steps to do just that. Read Manuscript What would you do if you received a Facebook friend request from God? Would you automatically think it was ...
  • Why Pray? | A Sermon from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 in A Deep Life October 17, 2018 This sermon continues A Deep Life series and launches a three-week mini series on prayer. What is prayer and why is it important. The main text is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Read the Manuscript Prayer is weird. Think about it. You talk to someone, or something, that you can’t see and that never seems to talk back. You ask for things, but don’t always get them. Then, to make things even weirder, when we gather together we spontaneously regurgitate a ...
  • Growing and Going in A Deep Life | A Sermon from Colossians 2:6-7 September 20, 2018 Where am i where am i going how will i get thereWhat are the three questions we must ask when we take a trip? Where Am I? Where Am I Going? How Will I Get there? This sermon explores A Deep Life with the metaphor of a journey, and applies these questions to the process of growing in faith. How can we continue growing and going in A Deep Life? The main text is Colossians 2:6-7. We started A Deep Life Series with this image. A Deep Life ...
  • What is A Deep Life? | A Sermon from Psalm 1:1-3 and John 15:1-5 September 12, 2018 This is the introductory sermon to the series A Deep Life and looks at Psalm 1:1-3 and John 15:1-5. We live in a busy world that pulls us in many directions. A Deep Life is one that takes a breath and sinks roots deeply into the Love of God, through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, for the sake of the world. I invite you to take out a writing utensil. You can ...
  • Spirit of Hope | A Sermon on the Revelation September 10, 2018 Why is there so much violence done in Jesus’ name? Much of it comes from a misunderstanding of the metaphors found in the biblical book called the Revelation. This sermon revisits Revelation and demonstrates how the first and second coming of Jesus don’t contradict each other. Jesus’ victory is through truth and love, not violence. Images from the sermon ,    
  • Spirit of Loving Neighbor | A Sermon from the Alive Series July 24, 2018 This sermon continues the Alive Series taken from Brian McLaren’s book We Make the Road by Walking. We cannot say that God is love or that we love God without recognizing that the love of God is the love for neighbor. The story of Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10:1-49 sets the tone for how the Holy Spirit shatters our cultural boundaries and leads us into God’s radical love. Read this post and this post and this ...
  • Walking in the Spirit | A Sermon from the Alive Series June 19, 2018 This is the second sermon from the Summer Worship Series: Alive! The question today is “How do we walk in the Spirit?” Colossians 2:6-7 gives us three keys to understanding what it means to walk in the Spirit and keep in step with how God is moving in the world. Follow the PowerPoint   Read this post to get more background in the text. Here is a visual exegesis of the text.
  • How to Process Grief | A Sermon from the Overcome Series May 31, 2018 This sermon explores the topic of Grief. What is it? What does the Bible say about it? How can we deal with it? The story of Job gives us some clues about how to sit with someone in grief and how not to sit with someone in grief. Sermon Manuscript Lona’s scream pierced my soul. We knew all day that something was not right. No one had heard from her Dad that day. He was on location in ...
  • Overcome (by) Anger | A Sermon from the Overcome Series May 7, 2018 This is the next sermon in the Overcome Series. It deals with Anger. Jesus was angry. Paul said, “Be angry, but don’t sin.” Anger is a gift from God that alerts us to a threat or a violation. The real challenge is how to channel that anger into something constructive, not destructive. Read this post for notes.
  • A Sermon on Anxiety from the Overcome Series April 24, 2018 This sermon is the first in a series on mental health issues called Overcome. This week we look at anxiety. What is anxiety? What does the Bible say about anxiety? What are we called to do with anxiety in the church today? Read this post and listen to this podcast to get the study behind this sermon. Follow the Slides as you listen to the sermon. This is the RSA Video on Brene Brown’s presentation on Empathy that I ...
  • Snowpocalypse, You Can’t Stop Church! April 16, 2018 This was a very eventful weekend for churches in Minnesota. We had an historic blizzard spiral over the state for three days with a bullseye on the Twin Cities. I think the official snowfall was 15+ inches…in mid April! All the church buildings that I know shut down and church leaders told everyone to stay home and be safe on Saturday night and Sunday morning. The text messages flew across my phone on Saturday evening as ...
  • Where Does New Life Dwell? | A Sermon for Easter from John 20:1-18 April 3, 2018 He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia! This is my first Easter sermon at Easter Lutheran Church. We have been following the Narrative Lectionary since Christmas as it tracks through the Gospel of John. The series is called Come and See. View all the sermons from both campuses here. There is no manuscript or PowerPoint for this sermon. I simply used the images from the Visual Meditation found below. Enjoy. https://www.stevethomason.net/2018/03/30/a-visual-meditation-on-the-resurrection-of-jesus-in-john-20/
  • What Were You Expecting? | A Sermon on the Triumphal Entry in John 12:12-27 March 26, 2018 What were the people of Jerusalem expecting the day Jesus rode into town? Did they want a King who would lead them into battle to finally defeat the Romans? Probably. That’s not what they got. Instead, they got a man riding on the back of a young donkey who was prepared to give up his life for the sake of the world. This sermon examines John 12:12-27 and shows three ways that Jesus may surprise us ...
  • Here, Your King | A Sermon on John 19:1-16a March 21, 2018 This sermon concludes the two-part exploration of Jesus’ trial before Pilate. Here we see scenes 4-7 of this story found in John 19:1-16a. Pilate ultimately condemns Jesus to death at the prompting of the religious leaders in Jerusalem. We encounter three truths about Jesus and one choice we all have to make. The presenting question of this sermon is: How far will fear drive us away from our core convictions? View the visual meditation that prepared ...
  • What is Truth? | A Sermon on John 18:28-40 March 14, 2018 The trial of Jesus before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, takes place in seven scenes. This sermon walks through the first three scenes in John 18:28-40. We explore that age old question, “What is Truth?” The answer might surprise you. View this post to see the images from the PowerPoint.
  • Peter’s Denial | A Sermon on John 18:1-27 March 9, 2018 Do you ever feel like you have to pretend to be someone else in order to survive? This sermon explores the story of Peter’s Denial of Jesus and what leads us to do the things we don’t want to do. The good news is that Jesus waits for us on the other side of our fear and doubt. This sermon comes from John 18:1-27. Read Manuscript slide 01 Do you ever feel like you have to pretend to ...
  • The Woman at the Well | A Sermon on John 4:1-42 February 7, 2018 We continue the Come and See series through the Gospel of John this week by looking at John 4:1-42. Jesus had to go through Samaria because he had to show us where he abides. He sits in the light of day with a Samaritan Woman who has suffered the oppression of her male-dominated society and the schism between Jews and Samaritans. This woman shows us what true evangelism looks like. Follow the PowerPoint Watch the Movie I decided ...
  • What Does it Mean to Be Born Again? | A Sermon on John 3:1-21 February 1, 2018 This sermon continues the Come and See Series through the Gospel of John. Nicodemus visits Jesus at night in John 3:1-21. Jesus tells him that unless you are born again/from above you cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God. What does this mean? What does it mean to step out of the darkness and into the light? Read more in this post. Follow the PowerPoint
  • What Makes God Angry? | A Sermon on John 2:13-22 January 27, 2018 This sermon continues the Come and See series through the Narrative Lectionary selections of the Gospel of John. Jesus’ angry cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem stands in stark contrast to his sign of abundance and grace at the wedding party in Cana of Galilee. Both stories illustrate where God abides; not in temples of stone, but in the hearts and lives of all kinds of people. There is no manuscript, but you can read the ...
  • Come and See | A Sermon from John 1:35-51 from the Narrative Lectionary January 9, 2018 Four people encounter Jesus for the first time in John 1:35-51. Each of them have a different experience. Jesus invites each of them, not to memorize a creed or join an institution, but to follow him and to come and see where he abides. That is the invitation of the Gospel of John. Come and See who Jesus is and how we can abide with God each day. Follow the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript I hope you had ...

2017 Sermons

  • Love All | The Final Sermon in Advent Conspiracy December 21, 2017 This is the fourth and final sermon in the Advent Conspiracy Series. The last way that we can push back against consumerism this season is to Love All. The main text is 1 John 3:16-18    
  • Sermon from Advent Conspiracy | Spend Less December 4, 2017 The Second step to conspire against consumerism this Advent season is to simply spend less. This sermon explores why we have associated gift giving with Christmas in our society and how we might bring it into balance.
  • Worship Fully | Part One in the Advent Conspiracy Series November 28, 2017 This is the first sermon in a four-part series called Advent Conspiracy. The texts are Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Philippians 2:9-11, Luke 1:39-55. The first step in overcoming the consumerism of this season is to focus our hearts on the presence of God. This is the video I showed during the first part of the sermon. https://youtu.be/CsdOHQO0QfQ  
  • How You Live Matters | A Sermon on Law and Gospel from the CORE Series October 25, 2017 This sermon continues the CORE Worship Series. It looks at Law and Gospel. This is a core teaching of Lutheran theology. Follow the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript I’m curious. How many of you have ever had a traffic ticket, speeding or parking? Wow! Easter Lutheran Church, runnin’ with the rebels. I’m right there with you. In fact I even had a warrant out for my arrest once. I discovered that’s what happens when you don’t pay your ticket. Yep, I’m ...
  • The Bible is Our Guide, Not Our God | A Sermon from the CORE Series September 20, 2017 This is the second sermon in the CORE Series. This sermon explores what role the Bible plays in our faith. What is the Bible and why does it matter? The key passages are Psalm 1:1-3 and John 1:1-5, 10-14.
  • Jesus is God’s Best Idea Ever | A Sermon from the CORE Series September 14, 2017 This sermon launches the Worship Series called CORE. We spend eight weeks looking at the core elements of our faith as followers of Jesus, specifically within a Lutheran framework. This sermon asks, “Why Jesus?” We need Jesus to both see God, and to know God. The texts are Galatians 2:16-21 and Luke 24:44-48. I did a lot of blogging in preparation for this sermon. Read posts Growing Out of Hell, Unpacking Galatians 2:16, A Visual Meditation, ...
  • A Sermon on Rest to Conclude the Good Life Series September 9, 2017 This sermon looks at the Sabbath Rest and how it is a gift from God for health, equality and Freedom. We explore Exodus 20 and Mark 2. This is the final sermon in the Good Life worship series.
  • Love in the Face of Racism | A Sermon from the Good Life Series August 23, 2017 This sermon continues The Good Life series and focuses in on love. Little did we know, when we planned the series, that this topic would fall in the same week that white supremacist groups rallied in Charlottesville. These events prompted an official statement from the pastors at Easter and led me to frame the topic in the face of racism. The audio includes the reading of the statement, the congregational reading of the text, and then ...
  • A Sermon on Handling Conflict from the Good Life Series July 25, 2017 This sermon comes from the summer worship series: The Good Life. It uses Gary Smalley’s LUV Talk as a practical tool for carrying out the ministry of reconciliation to which the church is called. I did not write a manuscript, so please follow along in the PowerPoint. You can see the illustrations for Smalley’s LUV talk in this post.  
  • A Sermon on Emotions from the Good Life Series July 21, 2017 This sermon is part of our summer worship series: The Good Life. We explore how to process emotions in the church. All of our emotions are a good gift from God. We need to have a safe space to process them as we carry each other’s burdens and do life together. Key texts: Psalm 142:1-3, 1 John 4:18-19, Matthew 11:28-30 View the PowerPoint I did not write a manuscript for this sermon. I simply drew this mindmap and ...
  • A Sermon on the Good Life in Community July 6, 2017 This sermon continues our summer series on The Good Life. It also happened to fall on the Weekend of Independence Day in the USA. So, we explore the difference between the American Dream of the Good Life and the God Dream of the Good Life that Jesus promised to bring. The texts are Psalm 84:1-7, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 18:18-20. View the PowerPoint There is no official manuscript for this sermon. View this post and this post ...
  • A Sermon on Beauty from the Good Life Series June 26, 2017 This is the third sermon in our series on The Good Life. How does beauty play into the Good Life that Jesus came to bring us? Do you believe that you are beautiful in the eyes of God? The main texts are Matthew 6:28-30, Psalm 104:24-30, Genesis 1:26-31. View the PowerPoint I did not write a manuscript for this sermon. There’s just pictures and audio. Here is the music video I played at the end of the ...
  • A Sermon on Family from the Good Life Series June 18, 2017 There is no manuscript or slideshow for this sermon. Here are some sketches. How can we live the Good Life Jesus offered in our families? Remember that family is a gift, so embrace it. Family is a practice field, so build it. Family is the church, so live it. Amen.
  • Do Something to Bless Others | A Sermon on Galatians 3:1-9, 23-29 May 28, 2017 This is the second sermon in a three-week mini series from the Narrative Lectionary on Galatians 3:1-9, 23-29. Paul supports his argument that we are justified by faith and not by the works of the Law by looking at God’s Promise to Abraham in Genesis 12. Through faith we are one in Christ. We are blessed to be a blessing. View the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript Have you walked into a room and knew you didn’t belong? Turn ...
  • Do Something to Embrace Life | A Sermon on Galatians 1:13-14, 2:11-21 May 21, 2017 This is part one in a three-week mini series on Galatians from the Narrative Lectionary. The text is Galatians 1:13-17, 2:11-21 where Paul establishes that salvation is not dependent upon the Works of the Law, but on the faith of Jesus Christ. View the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript A couple weeks ago I had the privilege to meet the Confirmation students for the first time. It was their last night of confirmation for the year and my first night ...
  • My Last Sermon at Grace | Easter Vigil 2017 April 16, 2017 This is more than a single sermon. It was a retelling of God’s story of Promise and Redemption throughout scripture. It was also the last time I spoke at Grace Lutheran Church. Thank you, Grace, for a fruitful season of ministry, 2010-2017. Follow along with the PowerPoint… view the images in this post.
  • Salvation Has Come | A Sermon on Luke 18:31-19:10 April 2, 2017 Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today, Salvation has come this house.” What does that mean? How can there be salvation before Jesus died on the cross? This sermon reframes the Zacchaeus story in a missional imagination. View the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript Salvation. That’s a really churchy word that we use a lot. To be saved. It begs a question. Saved from what? When I was growing up there was only one answer to that question. You were saved from Hell. Adam ...
  • …a great chasm… | A Sermon on Lazarus and the Rich Man from Luke 16:19-31 March 26, 2017 View the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript Marley was dead, to begin with. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail. These are the opening lines to what classic story? A Christmas Carol. My favorite version of this story is the audio book, read by Patrick Stewart. It’s fabulous. We all know the story. Jacob Marley was business partners to Ebeneezer Scrooge; a miserly man who loved money for than life itself. He believed that the poor were the surplus population. Marley ...
  • Are You Listening? | A Sermon on Luke 10:25-42 from the Narrative Lectionary March 5, 2017 This sermon looks at Luke 10:25-42 from the Narrative Lectionary. It brings the story of the Good Samaritan and the story of Mary and Martha together to explore a key theme in the Gospel of Luke. There are two kinds of people: those who listen to Jesus and those who are distracted. What are the things that distract us in life? View the PowerPoint Read the Sermon Do you remember Doug, the talking dog from the movie Up? “My ...
  • Where Glory Dwells | A Sermon on the Transfiguration from Luke 9:28-45 February 26, 2017 This sermon explores the idea of glory from Luke 9:28-45. This is the story of the transfiguration where the disciples see Jesus in his glory. What does glory mean, and how does Jesus call us to follow him? As with the rest of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’ idea of glory is the reversal of what you might imagine. Follow the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript What do you think of when you hear the word glory? Perhaps one of these images is close ...
  • Who is at the Table? | A Sermon from Luke 7:36-50 February 19, 2017 This sermon explores the story of Simon’s dinner party in Luke 7:36-50. Why was the woman considered a sinner? How should we deal with labels in our society, and who is welcome at the table? Watch the Video https://youtu.be/gpkM97XXXEs?rel=0 View the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript Imagine that you have the opportunity to throw a dinner party at your house for a well-known person that you really respect. You want to make a good impression. You want that person to meet ...
  • Faith and Compassion | A Sermon on Luke 7:1-17 from the Narrative Lectionary February 6, 2017 This sermon looks at two contrasting stories. The first is the powerful centurion who humbled himself and demonstrated unusual faith. The second is the widow who lost her only son and the compassion that Jesus has on her. These two stories demonstrate how the kingdom of God is the great equalizer where everyone is welcome. Follow the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures? It is amazing. It is a true story that takes place ...
  • Good News, Bad News | A Sermon on Luke 4:16-30 January 15, 2017 This sermon looks at the story of Jesus when he preached in his hometown synagogue. It started out as good news. He is the Messiah. Then things went bad and the people tried to kill him. What changed their minds? Follow the PowerPoint Read the Sermon I invite you to take out the White Insert from your bulletin called What’s the Big Idea. It has some discussion questions to take home, a daily reading schedule, and a place ...
  • Igniting the Kingdom Life | A Sermon from Luke 3:1-22 in the Narrative Lectionary January 8, 2017 This sermon examines three things we need to rethink if we want to live deeper into the Kingdom Life. These things are taken from Luke 3:1-22, the story of John the Baptist. View the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript Last month I took a two-week vacation and didn’t go anywhere. It was one of the best vacations ever. I did something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but just never got around to doing it. I joined ...

2016 Sermons

  • Open Hearts, Liberating Spirit | A Sermon from Joel 2 for Advent 2 December 4, 2016 This sermon, from Joel 2:12-13, 28-29, looks at the two sides of love. On one side we must open our hearts. When our hearts are open, then, on the other side, the Spirit of love and peace can flow to and through all people. Watch the Video https://youtu.be/CPFryrTDvH8?rel=0 Follow the PowerPoint Read the Sermon When I was a boy, my grandpa had open heart surgery. I was very worried about him. One day my family went to the mall and ...
  • Hope in the Midst of Beasts | A Sermon from Daniel for Advent 1 November 27, 2016 This sermon looks at the story of Daniel in the lions’ den in Daniel 6:6-27 and asks how we can find hope in our own lives when we feel like we are surrounded by beasts. Watch the Sermon Video https://youtu.be/aurb_QzMRwQ?rel=0 Follow the PowerPoint Read the Sermon Do you ever feel trapped? Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a hopeless situation? It is like you are surrounded by forces that are beyond your control that threaten to harm you either ...
  • The Making of a Servant | A Narrative Lectionary Sermon from Isaiah 6:1-8 November 13, 2016 This sermon looks at the story of Isaiah’s call to ministry found in Isaiah 6:1-8. Here we see a cycle of three qualities that are necessary to form us into servants of God. Follow the PowerPoint Read the Sermon I invite you to take out the insert labeled “What’s the Big Idea?” There is some background information on the text, some discussion questions for you to take home, and a place to take notes. What do you think of ...
  • How Much Should We Give? | A Sermon on Giving October 23, 2016 This is the fourth sermon in our Take a Step to Give Series. This week we ask the practical question: How much should we give? The Bible does not give a clear answer, but this sermon explores how percentage is a way to think about equality in giving. This is our fourth week in the Take a Step to Give series. In case you weren’t here last week, let me reiterate something. I don’t like to ...
  • Gratitude, Giving, and the Essence of the Church October 16, 2016 This sermon explores how we can take a step in gratitude by getting back to the basics. The church is a group of people gathered around the Good News that we have been set free through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. The reality of the Gospel sparks an attitude of gratitude that overflows in generosity. Follow the PowerPoint Read the Sermon This has been an interesting week in the life of Grace Lutheran ...
  • God’s Promise in Broken Families | A Sermon from Genesis 50:15-20 September 25, 2016 Have you ever looked at your family system and felt shame and/or disappointment? “How is God at work in this mess,” you wonder. This sermon comes from the Narrative Lectionary text, Genesis 37:3-8, 26-34; 50:15-21, and reminds us that, even in a messed up family system like Joseph’s, God is faithful through it all. Follow the PowerPoint Read the Sermon I invite you once again, to take out the Big Idea insert in your bulletin. There’s a nice overview ...
  • Count the Stars | A Sermon from Genesis 15:1-6 September 18, 2016 God makes an impossible promise to Abram and Sarai. How could they possibly become a great nation when they can’t even have a child? This sermon, from the Narrative Lectionary, explores the nature of trust and how we can trust God when the promise seems impossible. Follow the Sermon Slides Watch the Video This sermon had lots of visuals in it which were made in the procreate app on my iPad. This app allows me to export the ...
  • Honest to God | A Sermon on Job 42:7 September 4, 2016 This is the final sermon in a five part series on the story of Job from the Hebrew Scripture. There are two take-aways from this series. First, we can be honest with God, no matter how we feel. God invites us into authentic relationship. Second, God calls us into the space of paradox that brings warring dichotomies together. Watch the animation to see what I mean. PowerPoint Here’s the Animated short I played at the end of the ...
  • How Does Pain Help Spiritual Growth? | A Sermon from Job 19:25 August 21, 2016 This is the third sermon in a five-part series on the book of Job. We look at Job 19:25 and see how Job was still in a dark place. The sermon demonstrates how there are different types of pain and how they each intersect the phases of the spiritual journey through Purgation, Illumination, and Union with God. Follow Along with the PowerPoint Read the Sermon Do any of you remember the 1985 Movie called Brazil, by Terry Gilliam? It’s ...
  • How to Speak in Times of Suffering | A Sermon from Job August 14, 2016 This is the second sermon in a five-part series on the book of Job. Join the online discussion at the Grace Learning Center. This sermon looks at the big portion of Job (chapter 3-31) as his “friends” attack him and accuse him of being in sin. From this negative example we explore practical ways to bring comfort to those who are suffering. Follow Along with the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript What do you say when you encounter someone ...
  • Why Do You Love God? | A Sermon to Introduce the Book of Job August 7, 2016 Narrative Lectionary Text: Job 1:1-22 When I was in middle school my little group of buddies and I would love to get together and have sleep-overs at each other’s house. One night we were at my house. We lived in a first ring suburb of Detroit, and our house was one of those salt box houses built in 1908. It was small and old and had a really cool attic. The only way to get to the ...
  • Prayer and Independence | A Sermon for Independence Day from Luke 11:2-4 July 3, 2016 Happy Independence Day. 240 years ago a group of British Colonists in the colonies of New England became frustrated by unfair taxes. They tried to reason with the Kingdom of England, but was shut down. Eventually, this led to a revolution. The Continental Congress declared its independence from England on July 4th, 1776. A war ensued, and between 1776 and 1783 France and Spain joined the war against Britain.  It is estimated that nearly 70,000 Americans ...
  • The Gospel in a Culture of Mass Shootings | A Sermon from 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 June 21, 2016 How can we talk about reconciliation in a culture of mass shootings and hatred? This sermon tries to deal with this question as it brings 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 into conversation with the violence and divisions our country experiences every day. Read the Sermon It’s been a crazy week. We’ve all watched in horror as the news media has replayed the events of last Saturday night again and again. A man walks into a nightclub, starts shooting, and 50 ...
  • Treasure in Jars of Clay | A Sermon from 2 Corinthians 4:1-15 June 5, 2016 Can God actually use broken and imperfect people? This sermon explores Paul’s defense of his right to be a preacher of the Gospel. He is not like the flashy teachers. He is just an afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down clay jar. It is in the darkness of real life that the Gospel shines the brightest. Narrative Lectionary Text: 2 Corinthians 4:1-15 Sermon Slides Read the Sermon How would describe a successful person? We are very tuned into this question ...
  • Can You Be Spiritual Without Being Religious? | A Sermon for Pentecost from 1 Corinthians 12 May 19, 2016 One of the fastest growing demographics in our society is the “None Zone.” These are people who respond to the question of Religious Affiliation on the Census by checking the “none” box. Many of these “nones” are very spiritual. They are spiritual, but not religious. This sermon explores the idea and makes a bold claim: You can’t be spiritual without being religious…at least according to the Apostle Paul. We celebrated Pentecost this weekend. The sermon drew from 1 ...
  • What is Love? | A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 May 3, 2016 There is no manuscript for this sermon on 1 Corinthians 13. I basically preached through this post. You can listen to it, though. The real sermon is the CBS video below. This is my simple translation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love puts up with us even when we blow it, it is the most excellent way of goodness and kindness that gives us a chance, because it has a low boiling point. It doesn’t toot its own horn or ...
  • You are a Missionary | A Sermon from Acts 18:1-4 and 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 April 26, 2016 Watch and Listen to the Sermon https://youtu.be/FyG_U91txzE Read the Sermon What comes to your mind when you hear the word missionary? Maybe it is a couple like this . When I was growing up and our church would have a huge annual missions conference, it seemed like every missionary couple that had been serving in the jungle was frozen in the 1950s with beehive hairdos and plaid sport coats. Or, maybe you have a picture of a couple like this . Perfect ...
  • The Healing Touch | An Illustrated Sermon from Acts 3:1-10 April 12, 2016 Watch the sermon The drawings were as important for this sermon as the words, so I decided to set the audio track to the PowerPoint and make it into a video. Enjoy. https://youtu.be/N-Ivulrn7N4 Read the sermon Narrative Lectionary Text: Acts 3:1-10 When we started having kids in the early nineties, my wife and I made the decision to move into that next phase of life as a suburban family. We bought…a minivan. As an artist, I was somewhat reluctant to ...
  • On the Night in Which He Was Betrayed | A Sermon for Maundy Thursday from Mark 14:22-42 March 25, 2016 It’s Maundy Thursday. Thank you for taking the time to invest in this moment. This is one of those moments that defines us as Christians. This past Tuesday we had our regular staff meeting and prayer time. Carroll Potter told a really cool story. She said there was a group of children being interviewed. They were asked, “What is your favorite holiday.” Some of them said Easter, because you get candy. Most of them said Christmas, because you get ...
  • Rejected Stone | A Sermon for Lent 3 from Mark 12:1-12 March 2, 2016 Jesus uses a parable in Mark 12:1-12 (Narrative Lectionary) about a landowner and some wicked tenants to attack the religious leaders of his day. This story also provides two more answers to our question: Who is the Christ? Jesus is the Landowner’s Son and the rejected and true Cornerstone. View the PowerPoint Read the Sermon When I was a freshman in college I had a prized possession. It was a pearl white Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. Oh yeah. I ...
  • A Glimpse | A Sermon for Transfiguration Sunday from Mark 8:27-9:8 February 10, 2016   https://youtu.be/JnsIPGQ8qzo view the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript I wonder if you have seen this movie. It came out back in 2000. It is called the Family Man, starring Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni. I love this movie. It tells the story of a man who had risen to the top of Wall Street. He lived in New York City, was wealthy and powerful, but he didn’t have love. One day he wakes up and he is in a ...
  • The Story of Two Touches | A Sermon on Mark 5:21-43 January 26, 2016 Jesus heals two women in this Narrative Lectionary text Mark 5:21-43. One enjoyed the center of community life, the other lived on the margins. This sermon explores how each had to take a different path to find Jesus’ healing touch. view the PowerPoint read the sermon Do you like to be touched? I know that can be a touchy subject (groan), but really think about it. Let’s do a little experiment. I invite you all to stand up. Now turn ...
  • The Parable of the Four Soils | A Sermon from Mark 4:1-20 January 19, 2016 Jesus describes the mystery of the Kingdom of God by telling the parable of the Sower and the Four Soils in Mark 4:1-20. This sermon asks: How can we cultivate the promise of God and be good soil? View the PowerPoint This is the Animated Text https://youtu.be/rU5cO1RiO4A Read the Manuscript Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for. I know that you have had your countdown timers set since Rally Day, anxiously awaiting this moment. Today is the day ...
  • How to Follow God Well in the New Year | A Sermon from Matthew 2:1-12 January 5, 2016 What does it take to follow God well? Dallas Willard tells us that it requires Vision, Intention, and Means. This sermon explores how we can cultivate a deeper relationship with God, ourselves, our neighbors, and the world in the New Year. View the PowerPoint Read the Manuscript Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Today is the 10th day of Christmas. Wednesday is Epiphany. This is the day when we traditionally remember the story of the magi from the ...

2015 Sermons

  • Managing Fear and Doubt | A Sermon for Advent 4 from Luke 1:5-25, 67-80 December 30, 2015 How does Zechariah react to God’s good news in Luke 1:5-25, 67-80? Fear and doubt. This sermon offers advice on managing the conjoined twins of fear and doubt. View the PowerPoint Read the Sermon Do you recognize this guy? What is his name? Yep. Fear. He is one of the five emotions inside of Riley’s head in the latest Pixar movie: Inside Out. If you haven’t seen this movie, then I highly recommend it. It tells the story of how ...
  • Waiting on God’s Word | A Sermon for Advent 1 from 2 Kings December 4, 2015 This sermon is for the first week of Advent. It is the story of Josiah found in 2 Kings 22:1-10, 23:1-5 from the Narrative Lectionary. Josiah is confronted with the Word of God and it leads to a national reformation project. How, then, can we make scripture the center of our lives today? Listen to Sermon View PowerPoint Read Sermon We are not a culture that likes to wait… On Thanksgiving, my wife, my parents, and I watched the classic ...
  • The King Who Serves Life | A Sermon on Isaiah 5:1-7; 11:1-5 November 23, 2015 A sermon for Christ the King Sunday from the Narrative Lectionary text Isaiah 5:1-7; 11:1-5. What does God do when God’s children continually rebel and turn to self-destructive behavior? How do we balance Law and Grace in our lives and in our violent world? Listen to the Sermon Read the Sermon There are many ways to break a heart. I wonder if you have ever been broken-hearted? Your spouse cheated on you. Your spouse violated the vows you made and ...
  • Service: The Antidote for Greed | A Sermon from the Narrative Lectionary on 1 Kings 12 November 4, 2015 This sermon begins our focus on Service for this month. We continue in the Narrative Lectionary with the story of Rehoboam and how his pride and greed destroyed the nation. He denied the invitation to become a servant leader of the people. Sermon Slides Listen to the Sermon Sermon Manuscript I have to say, I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed last month. The series on vocation was fun. I loved watching the video testimonies, browsing through ...
  • A Call to Friendship | A Sermon on Vocation from Ruth 1:1-17 October 23, 2015 This sermon is the third in a series on vocation. We see, in the story of Ruth, how God calls us to befriend those who are in a hopeless situation. Narrative Lectionary Text: Ruth 1:1-17 Listen to the Sermon Sermon Manuscript Fun fact. The name Ruth means friend. To be ruthless means to be…without a friend, or to be without friendliness or compassion. Sometimes I feel like the world is ruthless. What do you think? Another fun fact. I’m doing something very ...
  • The Key of Our Calling | A Sermon on Vocation from Deuteronomy 5:1-21; 6:4-8 in the Narrative Lectionary October 12, 2015 This is the second sermon in a series on Vocation. It is also the next installment of the Narrative Lectionary text that takes us to Deuteronomy 5 and 6. This sermon explores how the Law and Promise provide the Key in which to play out God’s vocation in our everyday lives. Narrative Lectionary Text: Deuteronomy 5:1-21; 6:4-8 and Mark 12:28-31 The Sermon PowerPoint Listen to the Sermon Read the Sermon This is the second sermon in our series on vocation. ...
  • What’s Your Name? | A Sermon from the Narrative Lectionary on Genesis 32:22-30 September 28, 2015 Jacob wrestles with a man in Genesis 32:22-30. The mysterious wrestler asks, “What is Your Name?” This question creates a defining moment for Jacob and for us. This sermon explores how spiritual formation must begin with a healthy identity as a child of God. Sermon Manuscript What is your name? The answer to that question really depends upon where and when you are. When I was a kid they called me Stevie, because I was the youngest of the ...
  • What’s the Big Deal about Church? | A Sermon on #missional church September 7, 2015 This is the fourth and final sermon in our series on Tough Questions. What is the Big Deal about Church? In an age when more and more people choose to disengage from organized religion and would rather be considered spiritual, but not religious, how should we think about the church? What is it, and why should we care? We were able to use this animation that I did last October as a way to engage with ...
  • Does Prayer Make a Difference? | A Sermon August 29, 2015 One of the tough questions that the congregation asked was: Does prayer really make a difference. This sermon will explore that important question. What is prayer, and why should we pray? Advance the PowerPoint as you listen Read the Sermon The next question that you asked back in September is: Does prayer really make a difference? Yes, it does. Let’s close in prayer. Just kidding. This is a great question. My guess is that the heart of this question comes from a ...
  • Why Does God Allow Suffering? | A Sermon August 19, 2015 This sermon is the first in a series called “Tough Questions.” We polled the congregation back in June and asked for questions upon which we could build a sermon series. The first question is the biggest question humans tend to ask. How can a good God allow such evil, pain, and suffering to exist in the world. Texts: Habakkuk 1:1-3; Luke 13:1-9 Back in June we filled out cards, asking what questions you would like to hear ...
  • I Believe in the Trinity | A Sermon on the Apostles’ Creed August 6, 2015 This is the final sermon in a series on the Apostles’ Creed. It pulls it all together and asks if the Trinity really makes any difference in our everyday lives. Narrative Lectionary texts: Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Matthew 28:16-20 listen to the sermon audio CLICK HERE. Sermon Manuscript We’ve come to the end of our Catechism experience. For the past three weeks we’ve been looking at the Apostles’ Creed. Three weeks ago I kicked it off, and we learned that the word credo ...
  • I Believe in God | A Sermon on the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed July 30, 2015 Listen to sermon audio CLICK HERE. I didn’t write out a manuscript for this sermon, but put notes in the Powerpoint. Download I Believe in God sermon.
  • Praise the Lord | A Sermon on Psalm 146 July 11, 2015 listen to audio CLICK HERE. Narrative Lectionary text: Psalm 146 I didn’t write a manuscript for this sermon. Here are Powerpoint Notes. this is the image:
  • Whom Shall I Fear? | A Sermon on Psalm 27 July 11, 2015 Listen to the audio CLICK HERE Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 27:1-6 When my daughter Micki was 7 or 8 years old we were swimming at a friends house one Sunday afternoon. Lona and I were standing in the shallow end, watching as the kids were doing back flips off the edge of the pool into the deep end. Over and over they would flip themselves backwards, do a spin, and land in the water. Micki pushed off for another ...
  • Praise the Lord! | A Sermon on Psalm 113 June 10, 2015 Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 113 listen to sermon audio: CLICK HERE I want to begin with a little experiment. I’m not sure if you all know something. So, I’m going to sing a phrase, and if you know what to do and say next, then I want you to do it. OK? Here we go Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah… Let’s do this. This side will be the hallelujahs and this side will be the praise ye the Lords. Hallelu, ...
  • Alive in Christ | A Sermon for Confirmation from Romans 6:1-14 May 24, 2015 Narrative Lectionary Text: Romans 6:1-14 listen to the sermon audio CLICK HERE. What makes you come alive? What is it that, when you do it, you feel this rush that makes you feel amazing? I’m not talking about a quick buzz, like you feel when you ride a roller coaster or see an amazing movie. I’m not talking about the quick fix that comes from taking drugs, having sex, or eating that tenth piece of chocolate. Those things can make ...
  • The Incredible Hope | A Sermon from Romans 5:1-11 for Easter 6 May 15, 2015 Narrative Lectionary Text: Romans 5:1-11 listen to the sermon audio CLICK HERE. Are you discouraged today? I have to be honest, I often struggle with discouragement. So many people are suffering at different levels. On Wednesday, our bishop, Ann Svenegsun’s son died. He was Downs Syndrome and had leukemia. He died at age 30. I look around and I watch families struggle. Some break apart, some suffer in silence. I watch the elderly slowly fade into the margins. I watch ...
  • The Power of the Gospel | A Sermon on Romans 1:1-17 for Easter 5 May 5, 2015 listen to sermon audio CLICK HERE Narrative Lectionary Text: Romans 1:1-17 We have a tall order today. I need to introduce us to the apostle Paul, the letter he wrote to the Romans, and discuss what he meant by the Gospel, all in under twenty minutes. We can do this! I’m going to do this by asking three basic questions: Who is Paul? Why did he write this letter? Who cares? Right? I mean, why should we care about a personal letter ...
  • Messy Life Together | A Sermon on the Great Commission from Matthew 28:16-20 April 16, 2015 listen to sermon audio CLICK HERE. Narrative Lectionary Text. Easter 2. Matthew 28:16-20. Here’s my big question for today. Are you a missionary? What do you think of when you hear the word “missionary?” When I was growing up, whenever I imagined a missionary in my mind, it always looked a lot like this. When I was growing up we had a huge map of the world on the wall of our worship center with the words “GO YE INTO ...
  • The Sheep and the Goats | A Sermon for Lent from Matthew 25:31-46 March 27, 2015 listen to sermon audio CLICK HERE. Narrative Lectionary text: Matthew 25:31-46. I’d like you to imagine something with me. Imagine that you work in customer service. You have the kind of job where your pay is reflected in the type of feedback you get from the people that you help. One day you are doing your job and you have been helping people all day long. It’s getting to the end of the shift and there are two ...
  • You’re Invited | A Sermon for Lent from Matthew 22:1-14 March 12, 2015 listen to the audio CLICK HERE. When my kids were little I worked at the hotel in Vegas and our shops were open from 8am to 1am every day of the year. I had to be disciplined and guard my time at home very carefully. One evening I was at home mowing my lawn. Lona comes out to get me and says, “David Copperfield is on the phone.” Do you remember David Copperfield; the world-famous illusionist? So, I take ...
  • Is God Fair? | A Sermon for Lent from Matthew 20:1-16 March 4, 2015 Listen to the sermon CLICK HERE. Narrative Lectionary Text: Matthew 20:1-16. I have to admit something. This parable has always bugged me. I don’t like this, because I have been working hard my whole life. I had my first job as a sophomore in high school and have been working ever since. I worked twelve hours a day, six days a week, every summer during college. Most of my adult life I have worked at lease two jobs. I ...
  • Living Upside Down | A Sermon for Ash Wednesday from Matthew 18:1-9 February 22, 2015 Living Upside Down | A Sermon for Ash Wednesday from Matthew 18:1-9 from Grace Lutheran – Andover, MN Listen to the audio CLICK HERE. Narrative Lectionary Text: Matthew 18:1-9. Do we have any pilots in the room? I want you to verify something for me. When a pilot is flying at night, the pilot has to rely completely on the instruments, right? I heard a story about a fighter pilot who was running a ...
  • Living in Righteousness | A Sermon from Matthew 5:1-20 January 27, 2015 Listen to the audio CLICK HERE. Narrative Lectionary Text: Matthew 5:1-20 Who do we look up to in our society? Next weekend there will be millions of people and billions of dollars spent on something. What is it called? Right. The Superbowl. What is the Superbowl again? Oh right, a game. There is a list of successful companies. What do we call that list? Right. The Fortune 500. What allows a company to make that list? Money. We love to ...
  • Living in Freedom | A Sermon for Baptism Renewal from Matthew 3:1-17 January 14, 2015 listen to sermon audio CLICK HERE Narrative Lectionary Text: Matthew 3:1-17 What do you want to burn today? I know I would like to burn about twenty pounds. Are you with me on that one? It is the New Year and many of us are asking this question. What would you like to burn off, or throw away, or drown? What is cluttering up your life? You know I’ve been working on my dissertation. By the way, that cold day on ...
  • Moving Forward in Uncertain Times | A Sermon from Matthew 2:13-23 January 6, 2015 Narrative Lectionary Text: Matthew 2:13-23 The Flight to Egypt Happy New Year, everybody. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been eating non-stop since Thanksgiving. Anybody else? The new year always brings mixed emotions for me. It is that time when we tend to look in two directions at the same time. We look back to the past year and remember, and we look forward to the new year and wonder. It’s a ...

2014 Sermons

  • A Light for All | A Sermon for Advent 3 from Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 12:15-21 listen to the sermon audio CLICK HERE Narrative Lectionary Text: Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 12:15-21 Every week we say that Advent is a season of waiting. I wonder. What are you waiting for? I know my son told me that he is waiting for the day when we stop talking about waiting. What about you? I think that question is different for each of us. Some of you are waiting for something wonderful, like a baby to arrive, or a job promotion ...
  • Wealth, Social Class, and the Kingdom of Heaven | A Visual Sermon from Matthew 25:31-46 Listen to the sermon audio One lens through which we can look at the human condition is that of the socio-economic landscape. What did Jesus have to say about how the socio-economic classes should interact? There are basically three classes of people in the world, when observed through this simplistic lens: The poor, the middle-class, and the wealthy. Of course, this is a continuum, and there is a wide range within each class. However, there is a ...
  • Mirror, Mirror | A Sermon on 2 Samuel 12:1-9 and Psalm 51:1-9 Narrative Lectionary Text: 2 Samuel 12:1-9; Psalm 51:1-9 listen to the sermon audio “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” When the Queen spoke those words in the tale of Snow White, I don’t think she was really asking a question. Did she really want to know the truth, or did she want the mirror to tell her what she wanted to hear? Mirrors are interesting things. They serve one purpose. They ...
  • Framing the Promise | A Sermon on the Ten Commandments in Exodus 19:4-7; 20:1-17 Narrative Lectionary Text: Exodus 19:4-7; 20:1-17 Let’s start off with a fun little experiment. If you have a pencil and a piece of paper, maybe the back of your bulletin, you can write this down. If not, just try to remember. I want you to think of the first thing that comes to your mind when I say these colors: Red Yellow Blue Green Orange Do you have your ideas? Turn to a neighbor and compare your list. How many of you had exactly ...
  • Sermon Series on the Ten Commandments This weekend I will be preaching Exodus 19:3-7; 20:1-17 from the Narrative Lectionary. This is the first giving of the Ten Commandments, but I don’t really want to focus as much on the Ten Commandments (20:1-17) as I do on the framing of the commandments in 19:3-7. God gave the commandments to the people so that they could be a holy priesthood; so that they could show the world what loving God and loving the ...
  • Blessed to Be a Blessing | A Sermon on Genesis 12:1-9 Listen to sermon audio I want to start off today with a really difficult question. Why did God choose Abraham? Is God into playing favorites? Let’s think about it. Last week we talked about Noah’s family and the flood and how God made a promise to all flesh on earth. This was a cosmic story and a cosmic promise. It was obvious in that story that God’s desire was to redeem the whole earth and all life in it. So, ...
  • Sign of the Covenant | A Sermon on the flood of Genesis 6 – 9 listen to the audio This has been one of the wettest years on record here in Minnesota. Do you remember how much it rained at the end of May? On one particular Saturday night it poured and poured and my sump pump would not stop pumping water, until it did. Yeah, that was an interesting Sunday morning. I come bopping down the stairs into the basement…bop, bop, bop, splash! The sump pump had stopped during the ...
  • Ruth: The Making of a Hero | A Sermon on Ruth 3-4 CLICK HERE FOR SERMON AUDIO I love superheroes. On the count of three, I want everyone to say the name of your favorite superhero. Got it? One. Two. Three. The truth is that we like heroes of all kinds; The super ones, and the real ones. I had a conversation with some of our high school students on Wednesday night about heros. We listed the things that heroes do. When you boil it all down, a hero does what? ...
  • Hope in a Time of Chaos | A Sermon from Ruth 1:1-22 Narrative Lectionary Text: Ruth 1:1-22 listen to sermon audio It is good to be back. I’ve been on a sabbatical for the past six weeks so that I can focus on writing my dissertation. First, let me officially say thank you to Pastor Mark, the vision board, and all of you for allowing me the space to do this. Second, let me give you a quick update. I got over the big hump of figuring ...
  • The One Talent Man | A Sermon on Matthew 25:14-30 Sermon Text: Matthew 25:14-30 Listen to sermon audio CLICK TO LISTEN I have a confession to make. When I found out that I was supposed to preach from the parable of the talents, I didn’t really want to do it. I have been wrestling with this passage for a few years now. I grew up thinking it meant one thing, and recently I’ve been leaning toward interpreting it a completely different way. But when you’ve done it one ...
  • God’s Words of Promise | A Sermon on Exodus 20:1-11 God’s words of promise from Grace Lutheran – Andover, MN Text: Exodus 20:1-11 I’d like to start today by running a little experiment. Listen to these two statements. If I said, “YOU will read the whole Bible,” How would you interpret that? Now, if I said, “you WILL read the whole Bible,” how would you interpret that? Let’s do this in another way. Scenario one: A mother is working with her child. The child is struggling with math and ...
  • The Spirit of Pentecost | A Sermon for Pentecost – Acts 2:1-21 Spirit of pentecost sermon slides Acts 2:1-21 from Grace Lutheran – Andover, MN Sermon: What Language Does God Speak? Text: Acts 2:1-21 LIsten to the Audio I want to begin today by asking a question. What language does God speak? Think about that for a second. The Bible records many stories where people heard God speak. What language did he speak? If you were to ask this question to the churches that I grew up in, many people ...
  • What Palms Do You Bring? | A Sermon for Palm Sunday Narrative Lectionary Text: John 19:16-22 listen to the audio Have you ever been disappointed by something? One thing that I often find myself disappointed with is movies. Have you ever been disappointed by a movie. Anyone? Let’s try something. Take a moment and think of a movie that really disappointed you. Do you have it? Now, think about why it was disappointing. OK? Now, turn to the person next to you and tell them what movie it was and why ...
  • What is Power? | A Sermon for Lent 5 on John 19:1-16a Narrative Lectionary Text: John 19:1-16a listen to the sermon audio Do you ever find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place? Do you ever find yourself caught in a situation where, no matter what decision you make, you feel like you are going to hurt someone, or lose somehow? Let me give you a classic example of this. How many of you would agree that the Bible tells us that it is a sin to lie? How many ...
  • Peter’s Broken Journey | A Sermon for Lent 3 from John 18:12-27 The Narrative Lectionary Text is John 18:12-27. This is the story of Peter’s Denial of Jesus. It is our story, too. I invite you to look at this image for a moment. If you have a writing utensil, write down on your bulletin, or piece of paper, some of the times or places where you have felt the need to do this. You don’t have to share this with anyone, I just encourage you to really think ...
  • Looking Death in the Face | A Sermon for Lent 1 from John 11:1-44 Two things converged on me this week that sparked some creativity-from-desperation for the sermon. The first was that I had two sermons to prepare–one on Ash Wednesday and one for the weekend. (Not to mention that I’m neck-deep in my Dissertation research…but now I’m just whining) The second was that the Gospel text is extremely long. I don’t care how dynamic the reader might be, that’s a lot of text to read in one shot. I ...
  • The Broken Journey | A Sermon for Ash Wednesday from John 8:1-11 Text: John 8:1-11 Have you ever been busted? When I was in fourth grade we moved back to the Detroit area. It was our fourth move in four years. That was hard on all of us. I was shy, a little chunky, and not very athletic. I didn’t have very many friends, didn’t think I could make friends. A kid down the street befriended me and invited me into his house. His house was the kind of house ...
  • Jesus Got Mad? | A Sermon on John 2:13-25 | Jesus Cleanses the Temple Narrative Lectionary Text: John 2:13-25 The first few seconds of this audio are hard to hear because I was in the Narthex throwing tables around and screaming. That’s why I ask the congregation to check their bodies. I scared a few people. 🙂 This audio also includes the children’s sermon at the beginning. listen to the audio Check your body right now. How do you feel? What I just ...
  • Water into Wine | A Sermon about God’s Abundance from John 2:1-11 Narrative Lectionary Text: John 2:1-11 I did not write a manuscript for this sermon. I had a basic outline and then went for it. Not best practice, but sometimes that’s how a pastor’s week works. 🙂 I make reference to a link to Walter Brueggemann’s article about God’s Abundance and the Myth of Scarcity.

2013 Sermons

  • Wise men, Really? | A Sermon for Christmas Morning from Matthew 2:1-12 The Narrative Lectionary Text: Matthew 2:1-12 This sermon was delivered on Christmas morning, December 25, 2013. I did not write a manuscript, but stood up and started talking. I am indebted to Karl Kuhn and his commentary for the bulk of this message. I love what one woman said afterward. “We know there must have been women among the magi because they stopped and asked for directions.” I love it! Listen to the audio
  • Home for Christmas | A Sermon for Advent 3 | Isaiah 55 Narrative Lectionary Text: Isaiah 55:1-11 and John 4:13-17 listen to the audio Let’s play the fill in the blank game. I’ll say a phrase and you say what comes next. There’s no such thing as a free _______. lunch. You can never go ________. home. If something is too good to be true, it probably ______. is. Isn’t that interesting how common those ideas are? It’s pretty safe to guess that a vast majority of people operate under those basic assumptions ...
  • Advent 1 | Firm in Your Faith | A Sermon from Daniel 3:1, 8-30 Text: Daniel 3:1, 8-30 and John 18:36-37 Nebuchadnezzar. That’s just a fun name to say. Say it out loud with me. Neb-u-chad-nezz-ar. Then there’s Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Or Rack, Shack, and Benny. Any Veggie Tales fans out there? The bunny, the bunny, oh, I love the bunny. This story is so big and the message of hope is obvious that it pretty much preaches itself. Some of you are hoping, “Maybe he’ll just pray and we’ll ...
  • Let Justice Roll Down Like Water | A Sermon from Amos 5:21-24 The Narrative Lectionary Text: Amos 1:1-2; 5:14-15, 21-24 Imagine this. “Howdy, y’all. I’m a farmer from Alabama. The Lord told me to come here today all you Yanks to give y’all a message. He says, ‘I hate your worship services. I despise everything about them–your music, your offerings, your prayers. They make me sick. If you don’t start getting Justice flowin’ and righteousness goin’, then it’s lights out for you.’ I guess that’s it. By the way, ...
  • When God is Silent | A Sermon on 1 Kings 19:1-18 Text from the Narrative Lectionary: 1 Kings 19:1-18 Have you ever been disappointed by God? I know that sounds sacrilegious, but let’s be honest. Has there ever been a time in your life when you thought that you had done everything that you were supposed to do, and things still didn’t work out well. What’s going on, Lord? I’ve lived a clean life. I didn’t smoke, I didn’t chew, I didn’t go with girls who do, I’ve ...
  • Don’t Label Me | A Sermon on 1 Samuel 16:1-13 Text: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 Listen to the audio. We like labels. They make life easier. If a jar says poison, it can quickly save my life. If it says gluten-free, then it is safe for some people. Labels help us make quick decisions about certain things, and that is good. The problem is that we like to slap labels on people. Many of you know that I began my adult career as a caricature artist. I drew at the Great ...
  • Discerning the Voice of God | The Call of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:1-21 Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 Samuel 3:1-21 This is the video that was played throughout the sermon… http://youtu.be/82Y0hJJEIzU?rel=0 If someone told you that they were hearing voices in their head, what would be your first reaction? Let’s be honest. We would probably start reaching for the phone to get the nice men in white jackets to come over. Or we would think, “there’s probably a medication that can take care of that.” What if they told you that the voice ...
  • Practicing Daily Bread | A Sermon about Manna from Exodus 16:1-18 Narrative Lectionary Text: Exodus 16:1-18 https://www.slideshare.net/stevethomason/manna-sermon-slides?from_m_app=ios Have you ever asked “Why?” or maybe, “What’s the point?” I run into these questions all the time as I interact with students and adults. I wrestle with this question in my own life. There are days and seasons in life when it seems like all you are doing is walking in circles and there is really no point. This leaves us very hungry, doesn’t it? The question for us today is, “How ...
  • Stand Strong in the Lord | A Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-20 Text: Ephesians 6:10-20 You may also want to hear this sermon on the same passage. Read the sermon Zombies. Have you noticed how zombies seem to show up everywhere in our popular culture these days. There are zombie movies–like World War Z–but zombies have even made it into classical literature. Check out the young adult section of the book store and you’ll see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I’m not making this up. My son has recently been watching a ...
  • Walking Worthy of the Calling | A Sermon on Ephesians 4:1-16 Text: Ephesians 4:1-16 Listen to the audio Two weeks ago I asked if you are a springer or an oozer. We looked at Ephesians 1 and saw how our vision of God’s promised and preferred future shapes our present attitude. Last week we looked at the past. Ephesians chapter 2 showed us what Jesus has done. He has taken two hostile cultural groups, broken down the wall of hostility, and made them into one new thing; the temple of ...
  • Unity in the Body | A Sermon on Ephesians 2:11-22 Text: Ephesians 2:11-22 listen to audio Unity in the Body | A Sermon on Ephesians 2:11-22 from Grace Lutheran – Andover, MN Last Friday Lona, Ethan, Micki and I went on a college visit to Concordia College in Moorhead. It was a really great day. At one point in the presentation three students stood up in front and taught us the cheer. If we have any Cobbers here, feel free to join in. It goes like this: Lutefisk ...
  • Sealed with a Promise | A Sermon on Ephesians 1:1-14 Text: Ephesians 1:1-14 listen to audio Sealed with a Promise | A Sermon on Ephesians 1:1-14 from Grace Lutheran – Andover, MN I have an important question today. Are you a springer, or an oozer? I’m talking about how you get out of bed in the morning. Do you spring out of bed, excited to do what you have to do, or do you slowly ooze out of bed, wondering if it is even ...
  • Trust in The Lord…in ALL things | A Sermon on Proverbs 3:5-6 Text: Proverbs 3:5-6 Listen to the audio Last week we introduced Wisdom literature and the Proverbs. Today we are going to dive into it and look at some verses in Proverbs 3 that you may have heard before. These are really popular verses when our confirmation students are asked to choose a life verse. Let’s read them together from Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ...
  • The Beginning of Wisdom | A Sermon on Proverbs 1:1-7 Text: Proverbs 1:1-7 and Luke 6:47-49 listen to the audio Words of wisdom. Our culture is obsessed with them. Look at the bookstore and noticed how large the self-help section is. There is a book about how to succeed in just about everything. Five steps to losing weight, to a better love life, to getting a promotion, to inner peace. Look at how popular Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz are. Most of this wisdom literature comes in the form ...
  • The Gift of Forgiveness | sermon on the Lord’s Prayer part Four Text: Matthew 6:12 Read the sermon It’s week four of our look at the Lord’s Prayer. Our Father, our parent who walks across the room to pursue a relationship with us, may your reputation be made holy and special through how we live. May your vision and dream for a healed and reconciled world become a reality on earth among all people. Provide our needs, may there be peace with everyone who provides our bread and a piece ...
  • Sermon | Our Daily Bread | Matthew 6:11 Text: Matthew 6:11 Listen to the audio. We’ve come to week three of our study in the Lord’s Prayer. Two weeks ago we were reminded that God is our Father, the loving parent who walks across the room and pursues us and desires to be in relationship with us. That Heaven is here and now in how we live. That we are asking God to make God’s reputation holy through us. Then last week we saw a real-life ...
  • Sermon | God, Our Father | the Lord’s Prayer, part 1 Text: Matthew 6:9 | The Lord’s Prayer God, Our Father Listen to the audio. Have you ever noticed that when you say a word over and over it starts to lose its meaning, like its not even a word. Let’s try it. I want you to say your name out loud, over and over until I tell you to stop. Ready. Go. Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve. OK, stop. First of all, ...
  • One in Christ | A Sermon on Galatians 3 listen to the audio Here is the video I used in the sermon. https://youtu.be/sddBy_xnJxY?rel=0
  • Justified by Faith | A Sermon on Galatians 1:13-17, 2:11-21 listen to the sermon audio Justification. That’s a word that I’m guessing you probably didn’t use in the last week. It’s one of those words that we tend to lump into the category of stuffy and abstract theology. “I’ve been baptized, justified, homogenized, and petrified. Amen, FM.” How do we use the term justified in our culture? We say, “he was just trying to justify himself.” What does that mean? _____. Right, it means making up excuses for ...
  • A Part for Everyone | A Sermon on Acts 6-7 | Easter 2 Text: Acts 6:1-7:60 listen to the sermon audio. I want to take a quick poll. How many of you were raised Lutheran? It’s OK if you weren’t. I wasn’t. Of those who were raised Lutheran, I’m curious to know how many of you thought of yourself as either Swedish Lutheran, Norwegian Lutheran, or German Lutheran? Let’s see how many Swedes. How many Norwegians? How many Germans? Isn’t that interesting. That fact that you are sitting here today, in the same ...
  • Tables and Gates | A Sermon on The Rich Man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31 | Lent 4 listen to the audio. Text: Luke 16:19-31 I want to talk about tables and gates. I love tables. They are things that bring people together. Take a moment and think about one of your favorite table moments. Maybe it was sitting at the kids table at family gatherings. The lunch table with all your camp buddies during summer camp. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy Sunday Evenings @ Grace so much. We sit around tables and eat together. ...
  • Lost | A Sermon on Luke 15:1-32 | Lent 3 Text: Luke 15:1-32 Oh, its’ you. I’m so glad to see you! I can’t believe it. I’m so excited, we need to have a party. Hit it! We’ll talk later. Oh, it’s you. What just happened there? No offense, I was just doing an object lesson. _ Have you ever been on the receiving end of one of these kinds of receptions? Or, have you ever been on the delivering end of one of these kinds of receptions? Why do ...
  • Where’s the Fruit | a Sermon on Luke 13:1-9, 31-35 | Lent 2 Listen to the audio Text: Luke 13:1-9, 31-35 Did you see this video clip of the meteor that exploded over Russia last week? Wasn’t that incredible? What would be going through someone’s mind at that moment? Ahhhh. We’re gonna die! It’s the end of the world! This is God’s judgment! Have you noticed how some people are quick to associate God’s judgment with natural disaster? When a hurricane, or an earthquake, or a tornado hits; when a meteor ...
  • Ash Wednesday Sermon | Ash Moments | Luke 9:51-62 The quality of this audio isn’t the best, because it was recorded on a device sitting out in the open space, rather than taken straight from the sound board. It is better than no recording at all and I am grateful for it. Text: Luke 9:51-62 Here’s a link to the book I reference in the sermon. Death by Suburb: How to Keep the Suburbs from Killing Your Soul by David Goetz. A few years ago I took ...
  • Gone Fishing? | A Sermon on Luke 5:1-11 | the Great Catch of Fish | Epiphany 4 Listen to the sermon audio Text: Luke 5:1-11 and Isaiah 6:1-8 There is no manuscript to read for this sermon because I never wrote one. There was a huge funeral in the week leading up to this sermon so I did not have a chance to write it out. It was plotted out fairly well in my head, but you can only to listen to it. The gist of the sermon is that Jesus entered into Simon’s home ...
  • Set Free to Be Free | A Sermon on Luke 4:14-30 Listen to the sermon audio “Give me liberty, or give me…death” Who said that? Patrick Henry. These are the words that swung the opinion of the Virginia Convention to join the revolution against the British Empire. Patrick Henry had a dream of liberty and freedom for the American colonies. On Monday we will celebrate a man who cried out, “Free at last, free at last, praise God almighty, we are free at last.” Dr. King had a ...
  • Where Is The King? | A Sermon for Epiphany | Matthew 2:1-12 Listen to the audio Text: Matthew 2:1-12 | Psalm 72:1-14 Happy New Year, and Happy Epiphany. Christmas is over and now it is time to start fresh. A new light is dawning. That’s what Epiphany means. Something new is dawning. We see things in a fresh way. This is the time of year when many people make what? New Year’s…resolutions. I have only made one resolution that I’ve truly kept. Many years ago I resolved to never make ...

2012 Sermons

  • The Glory of Christmas | A Sermon on Christmas Morning | Luke 2:8-20 Narrative Lectionary Text: Luke 2:8-20 There is no manuscript for this sermon because I didn’t write one. I had a basic idea of where I wanted to go, and decided to see what happened when I started talking. The sermon is based on the fact that the word translated “glory” in English is the Greek word “doxa.” It means reputation. To glorify someone is to uphold their reputation and make their reputation greater among the people. What ...
  • Return to Me | A Sermon on Joel 2:12-12, 28-29 | Advent 2 Narrative Lectionary Text: Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 What do you long for? I have a hunch that if we were honest, that every one of us in this room has a deep longing for something right now. Granted, for some of you, it might be a longing that the Vikings would win the Super Bowl. Or you are longing for a big fat steak, or simply to take a nap. But, I think if that we dug a ...
  • Sermon on Daniel in the Lions Den | Daniel 6:6-27 | Advent 1 | #hate2wait Narrative Lectionary Text: Daniel 6:6-27 Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is all about waiting. The problem is that we hate to wait! Waiting is hard to do. We’re suburbanites. We don’t wait for things. If the person in front of us at the light waits more than .3 seconds to go when the light turns green, we’re on the horn. We have such a hard time waiting, we start Black Friday on Thursday Evening! This week, ...
  • Ruined and Reconciled: A Sermon on Isaiah 6:1-8 Narrative Lectionary Text: Isaiah 6:1-8 “bang!” “Holy Blank, Batman!” Get it? I shot a blank. That’s funny. Do you remember who used to say “Holy ______” all the time? Robin. Right. As in Batman and Robin. The caped crusader’s sidekick was technically correct and biblically accurate in his use of the term. Let’s see how this works. Let’s say you saw a turtle on the ground. You’d say, “there’s a turtle.” Now let’s say you saw a ...
  • Sermon on The Golden Calf – Exodus 32:1-14 Sermon preached at Grace Lutheran Church. October 7, 2012 | Text: Exodus 32:1-14 Listen to the audio A couple weeks ago I was walking down the street and…oh, wait. No, sorry. That wasn’t me. That was supposed to be a joke. The funny thing about it is that I actually do that. Ask my wife. I’ll be telling a story to somebody about something that we did and I’ll look over at Lona and she’ll be looking at ...
  • Sermon on Elijah and the Widow | 1 Kings 17:1-16 | Faith in Famine Narrative Lectionary text: 1 Kings 17:1-16 Sandy hit hard this week. It’s hard to imagine what that storm was like, especially as we sat here in such perfect fall weather. Have you tracked with the story at all? Seeing the images of the streets of New York all empty was eerie. One reporter said it felt like he was on the set of a post-apocalyptic movie.  As I was thinking about those empty streets, and that storm, and ...
  • Stand Strong in Everyday Struggles – A Sermon on the Armor of God This is the sermon on Ephesians 6:10-20 I preached on August 26, 2012 I experimented a little in the last days before school started back up and put the sermon to some simple visuals. This is a Prezi based on the PowerPoint I used during the sermon. Nothing fancy. Read the Sermon What do you struggle with today? I struggle with self doubt. Every day I struggle with this little voice that whispers things like: “who do you think you ...
  • Breaking Down Walls – Sermon on Ephesians 2:11-22 Listen to the audio of this sermon… You don’t have to go too far to discover walls of hostility that divide people. Unfortunately, conflict is one of the most ordinary spaces in which we live as human beings. It is true at the global level. Nations are constantly clashing against nation. Israelites and Palestinians, Egypt, Iran. It’s true at the national level. The mudslinging between Republicans and Democrats is just going to get worse the closer ...
  • Stormy Weather | A Sermon on Mark 4:35-41 Listen to the sermon audio What makes you afraid? I think many of us have a certain level of phobia lurking around inside. I know I suffer from Cnidophobia. That’s the fear of stings. Seriously, ever since I was a little kid I’ve been terrified of flying stinging bugs. Even now, when a bee or wasp flies near me I have to close my eyes and breath deeply. And then my wife lets the ...
  • Sermon Manuscript – Meeting God in Ordinary Spaces listen to the sermon online Mark 3:19-35 “Are you crazy?” “What would possess you to do something like that?” Have you ever heard those words before? If you’re a parent you’ve probably said them before. You walk in on your kids and they’ve creatively redecorated their bedroom with the squeeze bottle of honey and the feather pillow. They’ve created a whole new texture to the walls. You know how it goes, you walk in and everything freezes. Your heart ...
  • Sermon on Vital Relationships I received a request to post the slides from last week’s sermon. Here they are. click here for the manuscript. Listen to the audio. The text is John 15:9-17 and 1 John 5:1-6. Sermon slides vital relationships View more presentations from Grace Lutheran – Andover, MN.

2011 Sermons

2010 Sermons

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