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).

Singing Amazing Grace

This past week was a hard news week, don’t you think? There was one particular moment that stands out to me. In that moment I said to Michael Larson, “I hate sitting at my desk and listening to reports of school shooting.” But, it wasn’t just the shooting in Oregon stabbing at my heart. There […]

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Getting Your Attention

Someone is casting out demons in Jesus’ name who isn’t part of Jesus’ own circle, and the disciples want him stopped. They appeal to Jesus, as Joshua did to Moses about the elders who prophesied without official authorization. Like Moses, Jesus refuses to see this as a threat. Jesus welcomes good being done in his […]

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Seeds of Conflict; Seeds of Peace

Bitter envy, selfish ambition, an internally driven hunger to be considered the greatest … and all the ensuing conflicts and disputes that arise from the aforementioned habits of the heart … quite a couple of texts we have before us don’t you think? If I were you I would be sitting back in the pew […]

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Suffering

The topic for today is suffering. Not a lightweight topic, to be sure, but one that begs to be considered in depth this week as the growing magnitude of the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe unfolds before us in the news. Even those who hadn’t been paying much attention to that part […]

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God’s Favorites?

Back in the days when Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth, before the crucifixion and resurrection, it was pretty clear to the Jews who God’s Favorites were. They were God’s Favorites. They got their clarity on their status as God’s Favorites because the Bible (the Hebrew Scriptures – what we call the Old Testament) told […]

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How Close is My Heart?

How close is my heart to the heart of Christ? That is the question that our readings from scripture pose to us today. In the answer to that question lies our salvation. How close is my heart to the heart of Christ? Please, sit with that question for a moment. Just sit with it.

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To Whom Can We Go?

I’ll bet a lot of you parents and grandparents have seen the movie Frozen. I haven’t seen it myself but I know it was a big hit with little girls and boys too. And, I know that the songs were very catchy. I had some parents tell me that their kids wouldn’t stop singing them […]

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The Prodigal Son

The parable of The Prodigal Son … one of the most dearly beloved of all the parables. It’s found only in the Gospel of Luke, you know. That’s significant because most scholars see Luke’s Gospel as a gospel intended to resonate and lift up the economically downtrodden, socially outcast, and religiously rejected … those least able […]

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The Wise and Foolish Builders

I’m always looking for inspiration for Sunday’s sermon out in the world. This week, given that the parable is The Wise and Foolish Builder I figured that I had my ace in the hole. Glenn Matz, my brother-in-law, has a construction company that specializes in building foundations – the very subject of the parable today. […]

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The Lost Sheep

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John … if you grew up Lutheran or any flavor of Christian for that matter … there is a pretty good chance that you don’t think of a barbershop quartet or four fellows that you knew in high school. When you hear those names you think of the Four Gospels. Many […]

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