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).

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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A Night Like No Other

Is this A Night Like No Other for you? Have you been able to retain the sense of childlike wonder that we observed during the children’s message in the smallest of our children this evening? I know some of you weren’t able to see the expressions on the kids’ faces. I wish you all could […]

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Stumbling on Happiness

Some number of years ago I was going through what some people might call a “blue period.” I’m more inclined to call it a “gray period” myself but since they are both on my color wheel it really doesn’t matter. Anyway, I don’t remember what set off this “blue/gray period.” In fact, I don’t have […]

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The Hap-Happiest Season of All

Wednesday night I was so inspired by our Advent midweek supper and worship here at Good Shepherd that I went home and popped the lid off the big Rubbermaid Christmas decorations bins I told you about last week. Having spent time preparing my heart at worship Wednesday night I was ready to spend a little […]

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About Red Cups

We’ve come to the end of another church year. And, we are about to enter into the season of Advent which is my favorite season for many reasons. One of those reasons being the fact that I get to wear my blue stole and blue is definitely on my color wheel. But blue isn’t the […]

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Predictions of the end of the earth

Are we on the brink of the final destruction? Some people think that we are. It’s not hard to find people who are pretty sure that they have cracked the divine code … people who would like to convince you that you had better get your house in order and your ducks in a row […]

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Laughing at the Scary Stuff

In our Harstine Island neighborhood with its mix of retired folks and summer homes trick-or-treaters are rare indeed. In sharp contrast to our earlier years when swarms of trick-or-treaters invaded our neighborhoods where we once lived–a hundred of them or more, much more–last night there were none. Our only experience of trick-or-treaters where we now […]

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Just Say YES!!

Katie Luther paid us a visit on Reformation Sunday. We couldn’t let her leave with out an interview from our very own Barbara “Walters” Robertson. Take a listen…

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