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).

The Fine Art of Forgiving

I think that I might have been in 4th grade when I found something interesting in my Grandmother Alcott’s stash of inexpensive jewelry. It was a little bubble of glass in which a tiny mustard seed had been imbedded. The seed rested on a light blue background. Because of the curvature of the glass the […]

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Here and Now Grace

      We aren’t the πτωχός (pto-khos’ Strong’s #4434) ) ones – as it says in the Greek. We aren’t the ones reduced to beggary, lacking in respect, crouching in a doorway or holding a cardboard sign at a freeway exit ramp. We aren’t the ones humbled and humiliated by our economic circumstances. We […]

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God’s Turn to Talk

As I read the Gospel you may want to take out your worship notes and follow along. Be sure to pay special attention to the places where what I say varies from the NRSV translation that is printed on the page. Words matter, translation matters. I think the small but important changes in translation help […]

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The Family of God in Christ

In the house where I grew up, in my family of origin, shut-up was a swear word. If we used it there would be a bar of soap to bite into as a reminder that our dirty mouths needed a cleaning. There were other words that were highly frowned upon as well like poopy and […]

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Reaching Down

You may find this hard to believe, but I never saw a single episode of the wildly popular British drama series Downton Abbey. Even though the show premiered on September 26, 2010, I was largely unaware that it existed. And, I certainly wasn’t familiar with any of the characters names. That changed when I arrived […]

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There is no audio of today’s sermon. Please download the available PDF. Audio will return August 28.          I’ve been reading a little book by the revered Old Testament scholar, Walter Brueggemann. Brueggemann is what you might call a scholars’ scholar and a story tellers’ storyteller. He taught for years and years at Eden Theological […]

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Fire Meets Water

There is no audio of today’s sermon. Please download the available PDF. Audio will return August 28. This week’s Vacation Bible School Theme brought back a lot of memories for me. Although I never did any surfing myself during the close to five years I lived in Hawaii, the surf culture was definitely part of […]

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Outstretched Arms

Yes, a lot has changed since the mid to late century Olympics. But one thing hasn’t changed and that is the ability of the Olympics to hold before us the forces that bring us together and the forces that drive us apart … as people … as parties …and as nations. In the midst of […]

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Now, I know that there are very few of us riding tractors and combines these days. But, I wonder how many of us are aware that we have our own “silos” and “grain bins.” I remember being at Holden Village one January and there was a group of students from St. Olaf there for J-term. […]

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