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Showing posts from March 3, 2019

No Shame

Here are some thoughts for this Sunday's second lesson from Romans that were shared with the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Let me know what other thoughts you may have. 

Second Reading: Romans 10:8b-13
8b“The word is near you,
  on your lips and in your heart”
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 
9because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Can it really be that easy? Don’t we have to do this and this and that and be good enough to be saved, to become God’s children? It’s a matter of the heart and the mouth. We bel…

Go Big or Go Home

This is the homily I shared with the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church for Ash Wednesday. The gospel text was Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
The first time I heard the expression, “Go big or go home,” was my senior year of seminary. A dear friend mentioned how during a children’s sermon at her internship site, when she was talking with the kids about how God wants all of us, this young man explained it as “Go big or go home!” It really struck all of us who heard my classmate relate this story.

Today’s gospel lesson is like two bookends with a bunch of information between them. The first verse is the first bookend. Then Jesus talks specifically about different faith practices and how they should and should not be practiced. Finally, the second bookend surround the words in between with the final verse regarding the treasure of our hearts.
Before Jesus gets into the nuts and bolts of various aspects of piety, in the first verse he spells out the gist of the entire teaching, “Beware of practici…

Formed and Reformed

This is the message I preached on Transfiguration Sunday, March 3 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church.  The text was Luke 9:28-36
Lancaster, PA is home to a theater extravaganza featuring biblical stories presented in a very dramatic fashion. According to people who have gone to see a performance, it is quite an experience. Today we read of God’s own sound and sight production, featuring heroes of the faith from the Old Testament as well as Jesus and a few of his chosen disciples. And oh…what we see and hear. 

God’s show of Jesus’ transfiguration is in three acts—the first revolving around what was seen, the second revolving around what was heard and the third act concerns how this effects us. 
Jesus took Peter, James and John with him up a mountain. Mountains were considered places close to the spiritual realm, a place for sacred encounters. Throughout scripture, God’s self-disclosure happens on mountains. The disciples’ curiosity must certainly have been piqued.
Prayer was an integral part…