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Showing posts from July, 2018

Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:6-13, for the 9th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr), "Wrestle with God's Word"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. It’s good to be back with you after a restful vacation! A fascinating book I have been reading has a point that connects to our reading from 1 Corinthians 10. The book is “The Executioner’s Redemption” by Rev. Timothy Carter, and it’s the true story of how he went from being a nonpracticing Christian to a self-righteous and judgmental one, to finally a person who died to himself so that Christ could live through him. This happened under extreme circumstances, working in the Texas state prison where all of the worst and most violent criminals were locked up, and many awaiting execution. Many of his years he worked on death row, meeting both the families of the victims and the victimizers. Years later he became a Lutheran pastor. In that environment and by the Word of God working on him, he underwent a remarkable personal transformation, and witnessed God’s grace at work on countless other people. He saw how prayer…

Sermon on 1 Kings 19:11-21, for the 5th Sunday, "What are you doing here?"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Our Old Testament reading from 1 Kings is a couple of verses short, because someone took out the repetition of a question and answer between God and Elijah. The prophet Elijah meets God on Mount Horeb, another name for Mount Sinai. So what is the repeated question and answer? God asks: “What are you doing here Elijah?” The first time God asks this, Elijah has arrived on the mountain and is staying in a cave. The second time is after God has beckoned him outside of the cave, to witness the tearing wind, the earthquake, the fire, and the gentle whisper. Then God repeats the question, in the gentle whisper: “What are you doing here Elijah?” Both times Elijah answers exactly the same: “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to tak…