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).

Embracing Prodigal Siblings

She was in the bus station for the first time in fifteen years … waiting … getting ready to board the bus that would take her home after a decades-long descent into the depths of misery and despair. She hadn’t died but there were times when she came close. A great deal about the bus […]

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The Color of God

 Now … I would ask now that you close your eyes very tight and just listen. Please, keep your eyes closed until I ask you to open them. Listen very, very carefully .…. and imagine The first thing you hear in this intentional darkness is the music – middle eastern music– instruments and voices. Then […]

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Not a Selfie Spirit

While driving back from a meeting this week (in the – big surprise – pouring rain) I happened to be tuned into public radio. I didn’t catch the name or title of the speaker but they sounded like a cross between an economist, a political scientist and a cultural anthropologist … which probably means that […]

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So What’s With the Cats?

So, were you wondering about the kittens dressed in togas on the cover of the Sunday Page this morning? Were you wondering if this is just one more piece of evidence that things are getting just a bit … shall we say unorthodox around here? Well … your right. They are getting a little kinda’ […]

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Come People

Please watch the video link below before listening to Pr. Amy’s sermon. Come People Jesus Calls the First Disciples 5 Once while Jesus[a] was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2 he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the […]

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The Jesus Bridge

They say that politics makes strange bedfellows. I would have to say that the past couple of weeks have proved that adage to be more than true. Now, I’m generally not one to put campaign politics – mine or anyone else’s – into the pulpit. But, on occasion there are times when the voice of […]

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An Active Response to Need

I would venture to say that most of you know that there are many different kinds of literature in the Bible. A few examples include: historical narrative, poetry, apocalyptic etc. Today’s gospel reading is one of my favorites though: Chick Flick….. Seriously, if I had my television remote in my hand I would press the […]

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What do I do with my Baptism?

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve worked on my joke telling skill set. Gery Gerst sent me this one. I think it goes along nicely with the Gospel reading assigned for this Baptism of Our Lord Sunday: A Jewish businessman in Brooklyn decided to send his son to Israel to absorb some of the […]

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Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Back in high school I used to dance in a very small ballet and jazz dance company started by a friend’s stepmother. There were only six of us plus the company teacher and director. Her name was Scarlett Tholen. She was long limbed, elegant, beautiful and far more sophisticated than any of the other parents […]

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Finding Their Way

First of all, let it go on record that Michael D. Larson and I are skeptical about a Sunday After Christmas Sing-A-Long Service. We are both decidedly traditional when it comes to a Lessons and Carols service. Isn’t that right Michael? The service of Lessons and Carols, for those of you who aren’t familiar with […]

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