About Sermons

“God’s WORD has the power to convert people unless hindered by those who bring the word… The pulpit is not a place for a man to put his learning on parade, but where God’s WORD should be preached simply, and yet, powerfully.” 1

This comment on the art of preaching, made by Philipp Jakob Spener, first appeared in the 1675 publication of his classic work Pia Desideria. Decades ago when I attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, I copied Spener’s word into a small notebook. That notebook has been on my desk ever since. Spener’s words have served as a constant reminder to me that whenever a preacher steps into the pulpit a great responsibility rests on their shoulders. A good preacher strives to translate the Word of God to God’s people in a way that is easily understood, promotes faith, and inspires action. A good sermon invites people into a fresh experience of God and encourages them to live a vigorous Christian life. Faithful preachers know that whatever else we do, we had better not get in the way of God’s Word Of Life!

There has always been a need for sermons that help worshippers connect their lives with God’s Word. That is why the sermon has long been at the core of Lutheran worship. But in today’s multisensory, multimedia, multicultural, and secularly oriented world that need is even greater. Listening to or reading a sermon gives us an opportunity for respite from a world that moves at what increasingly feels like the speed of light. Sermons allow us to converse with God and to reflect on the wonders of his world on his terms and in his time. I believe that a listener or reader with an open mind and heart will find that a sermon is not just a “religious” experience. They will find that hearing or reading a sermon is also very much a “spiritual” experience.

It is my hope and prayer that as you listen to and/or read the sermons found here, you will hear God’s Holy Word and feel his sacred embrace. It is my hope that these sermons will be, for you, an experience of God in your world.

*Sunday’s sermon should be posted by the following Tuesday at noon.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Amy

1: Philipp Jakob Spener, Pia Desideria, (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press).

Writing the Next Chapter

Christ’s ascension reminds us that his resurrection was not the end of the story. At his ascension, Jesus initiates the next chapter of God’s unfolding revolution of grace in a qualitatively new way, and gives a commission to his followers to spread the good news. The disciples would have work to do. Lots of it! […]

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Bonnets and Blue Laws

Times, they are a change ‘in. I grew up on a small farm in a small town. I remember Sunday mornings growing up. I would put on a pretty dress, girls were not to wear pants back then, occasionally I would sport a bonnet and white gloves and a little purse. We were poor, but […]

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The Busboy

The main character in our story today from the book of Acts is Stephen. Stephen, as many of you know, is known far and wide as the first Christian martyr. I don’t know that anyone in Stephen’s day would have labeled him as such, because Christianity had not yet emerged from the cradle of Judaism. […]

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The Light of Love

I wonder … were any of you feeling slightly uncomfortable as the first lesson was read this morning? In modern times, especially since World War II when over 6 million Jews and others were massacred, this text has given many people cause to reject Christianity. It was … of course … used by many “good” […]

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We Had Hoped

A lot happens in gardens this time of year. Even back in my native Minnesota the persistent snows of winter, which often cover the ground well into April, begin to melt away … and life giving refreshment begins to trickle down into the waiting earth below. Seeds, receiving the long anticipated moisture, swell as if […]

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The Healing Model

Today, before I talk about The Woman at the Well in Samaria I want to talk about The Man in the Maine Woods. Back in the late 1980’s a twenty year old man named walked off the job one day. He left his tools behind, got in his car and started driving. He had always […]

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Again and Again and Again

This morning we welcome guest preacher and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) seminarian Taylor Hagbo. Taylor is a native of Washington state who studied biology and religion at PLU. After working at Holden Village and living on a redwood tree farm in Northern California, Taylor felt called into a life of ministry and is currently […]

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From Baptism to Boot Camp

From the waters of baptism to the dust of the desert, Lent begins. If we are the “beloved” of God, why does life seem so hard? Demons challenge us. Our appetites confront us. We face temptations of materialism, power, and prestige. Our         wilderness journey is instructive. We are learning Jesus. We are learning that we […]

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Peter is Me, and Peter is you.

It is good for us to be here. Community is important. Church family is important. It can be hard being a Jesus follower these days. Life can be hard these days. We need each other. We make each other better. That’s what community is all about. In our gospel lesson Peter says, “Lord, it is […]

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Living in Community

For the next several weeks while Pr. Amy recovers from surgery, Good Shepherd will have as our quest Pastor, Rev. Linda Smith. Today she shared with us this poem by Marilyn Maciel. Published in Patti Digh, “Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, And Live Intentionally (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), pg. […]

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