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Showing posts from January 8, 2017

Christmas Day

This is the short homily I shared Christmas Day with the people of St Timothy and St. Mark Lutheran Churches. The scripture text was Luke 2:8-20. In this passage from Luke, we see the angels appearing not to the elite and rich. They appeared to shepherds, who were one of the lowest on the societal totem pole. Shepherds were looked down upon even to the point where their testimony was not allowed in a court of law. Once again, God turned the world upside down by appearing to nobodies and giving them news of earth shaking possibilities. Don't we see that happen in today's world--where God moves outside of our perfect little boxes and does something totally unexpected or appears to the most unacceptable?
We can be sure that if we are open to possibilities, God will appear to us in any number of ways. After all, Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us He brings “good news of great joy [to] all the people.”
I'm sure some of our gifts have already been been opened and it is likely there…

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This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 1/8, Baptism of Our Lord at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The scripture text was Acts 10:34-43. 
What in the world does this passage from Acts have to do with the Baptism of Our Lord? Jesus' baptism was the signal that his ministry should begin. It was when the Father gave Jesus the assurance that he was the beloved Son and commissioned Jesus. God's message was incarnate in Christ, God's message was preached by Peter and the other apostles and God's message of God's inclusive love is to be shared by us as well.
The first words of today's reading from Acts are, "Peter began to speak..." (v. 34). We struggle so much with sharing our faith with others. More often than not, we are associating with people who are like us--economically, racially and culturally. We do not encounter nearly as many barriers as Peter did. Yet, if we open our eyes beyond our neighborhoods, we will see many needy people who are far differ…