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Showing posts from June, 2006

Musings on Death

While I was working on the sermon posted below, (not necessarily in relation to it though) I was thinking about a comparison between the experience of dying to the experience of being born. In the process of dying, people often endure great hardship and pain, perhaps even leading to confusion or uncertainty about what is happening to them or why. If we could see into the mind of an infant going through birth, I'd imagine we'd find their thoughts and experience to be quite similar. Both, are passing through narrow straits (figuratively and in reality). Yet for the Christian, passing through the narrow straits of death is the entrance to the broad and expansive freedom and bliss of heaven, in the presence of our Triune God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. The new joys of heaven will make the confusion of suffering seem like a distant memory, as must also be true of the birth of an infant, who passes from the narrow confines of the womb to a great and open new world. Yet unlik…

Sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost: 2 Cor. 4:5-12

I forgot to post this one last week, I gave a sermon on Father's Day. I love you Dad!
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In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon text is the epistle reading, 2 Cor. 4:5-12,

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death f…

Just to prove I'm still alive!

So it has been a really long time since I've posted anything on my blog, and for the handful of folks who still check it occasionally, I apologize--and I can't promise whether I'm going to continue it much :) ...but I did just post a new sermon I preached yesterday at my home church.

In case anyone is wondering what's been happening lately, the good news is that I've graduated from seminary, and received my call into the ministry as an associate pastor. I'm scheduled for ordination this Sunday, and am expecting to leave early July for my call...which is to Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Kahului, Hawaii! Yes, it's true! I am going to Maui for my first call. I'm actually going to be serving in a unique situation--initially I will be a teacher for the 6th-8th grade science and religion classes, so I'm going to have the greater portion of my duties as a full-time teacher to start out. I will also be helping the pastor on a part-time basis, probably 25% of …

Sermon for Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2:22-36

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen. The text for this Pentecost Sunday is the reading from Acts. Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

Today in the Church Year is Pentecost Sunday, 50 days after Jesus’ Resurrection. Pentecost means “fiftieth,” and was originally an Old Testament festival. It was transformed into a Christian festival when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the 12 disciples, and they spoke the Gospel in so many different languages. For the Old Testament Israelites, Pentecost was called the “Feast of Weeks” and was a harvest festival, where they offered the firstfruits of their grain harvest as offerings to God. Now, the 50th day after Jesus’ Resurrection, and 10 days after His ascension into heaven, the day of Pentecost would take on a whole new meaning. Instead of being a festival of harvest for grain, it would now become a harvest of souls! That day a large number of faithful Jews had gathered f…