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All About Relationship

This is the reflection that was sent electronically to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Any thoughts?

Gospel: John 16:12-15 [Jesus said,] 12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason, I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
Sunday, we celebrate the Holy Trinity. Scripture only hints at the nature of God being one in three and three in one. Each of the readings for Sunday portrays these various aspects of God.
In our gospel reading, we have Jesus, the second person of the trinity speaking of the Spirit, the third person of the trinity and of God, the Father, the first person of the trinity. The Holy Spirit pla…
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Powerful Promises

This is the sermon I preached on Pentecost, 6/9/19 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The text was Acts 2:1-21.
In high school, I had a dear Jewish friend. Desiring her salvation, I happily told her that we Christians also celebrate the Jewish feast of Pentecost. She had never heard of it! It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that what we call Pentecost, which is from the Greek, is the Jewish feast called Shavuot. Had I referred to it in that way, by its Hebrew name, then I suspect she would have had a better understanding.
Shavuot began as an agricultural feast, originally celebrated seven weeks after the beginning of the grain harvest (Deut.16:9). Later on, it celebrated the giving of the Law, being celebrated fifty days after Passover. Still, my friend and I would have had very different understandings of what we call Pentecost. For us, it’s about the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit and how that power launched God’s work through the church. In Acts we see the beginning of t…

God's Faithful Power

These are some of my thoughts on Sunday's epistle sent to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church.

First Reading: Acts 2:1-21 1When the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus…

You're It!

This is the sermon I preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church on Sunday, 6/2. The text was Luke 24:44-53. 
Marty and Sandy were with me at Synod Assembly and together we heard Bishop Jim Hazelwood preach on Friday evening. I will need their help for parts of today's message.
Tag--you're it!  Luke's closing section of the gospel is like a holy game of tag in which Jesus tags followers, saying, "You're it. Now you're me in the world."  These are words we gather in worship to wait for, and we don't have long to wait. We're a part of Christ's family. When we meet at the table, we taste promises. We become Christ's body.  
Today we are celebrating Jesus' Ascension. Jesus leaves his disciples with instruction, a commission, and a promise of the Holy Spirit. 
Jesus' time of instruction with his disciples serves to bring closure by recapping major themes of the gospel and to set the stage for the coming of the Sprit and the work of the dis…


This is the reflection I sent to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. 
Gospel: Luke 24:44-53
44[Jesus said to the eleven and those with them,] “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
  50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned t…

All in All

This is the message I preached on Sunday, 5/26/19 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The text was Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5.

When I lived in Rochester, I had a part-time job at Harris Interactive, which had a call center. It was from there that we conducted the Harris Poll and other surveys. I liked the people I worked with and enjoyed working there far more than at my full-time job.

One of my co-workers, Jerry, always had a joke or something funny to say. One of his sayings reflected the way we often feel, “Change is bad!” Change is not easy, even when the change is one which we have been looking forward to.

The liturgical season of Easter begins and ends with the change of absence: in the beginning, there is the absence of Jesus’ body from the tomb. At the end, we mark the absence of Jesus’ body from the earth after his ascension. These are two bookends to the Easter season. It is not a matter of a missing object, but rather the kind of absence, that missing element that causes us to r…

God, Our All in All

Here are some thoughts about this Sunday's second lesson that I shared with the St. Timothy Lutheran Church family.
Second Reading: Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5 10And in the spirit [one of the angels] carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.
22I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
22:1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from…