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Decisions, Decisions

  This is the sermon I preached today at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The gospel is Matthew 28:16-20.  If you've been with me in a restaurant, you know how hard it is for me to decide what to order. Likely, I will take a survey of what everyone else is ordering to see if their choices appeal to me. Generally, I whittle the possibilities down to at most 2–3 items. By the time it's my turn to order, I may order one of those possibilities or something completely different. This is a very time-consuming process. Just ask Ray.  The dilemma I face when I have to decide what to eat at a restaurant is similar to the one faced by the disciples when they had to decide between worshiping the Lord and doubting his authority. Another way to put this could be, is he or isn’t he?  The reaction of the disciples to seeing Jesus may seem a bit odd. After all, they have spent three years with Jesus—listening to his teaching, watching him work miracles and witnessing his death. After the resurrec
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Hope for a Weary World

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Jesus, the Great Unveiler

This is the sermon I preached Sunday at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The Gospel was John 14:1-14.     In this passage, there are several revelations or unveilings of the character of God. The first is the Comforter, the second is the way, truth, and life, the one who satisfies, and finally, the Enabler to do greater works than Dang, that’s a lot.  Right out of the gate, we see Jesus’ concern for his followers, the unveiling of the comforting aspect of God. This is the night of Jesus’ arrest, to be followed by his crucifixion. He knew the needs of his disciples; that they still did not understand what was going to happen to him. And yet, doesn’t it seem that they should be the ones comforting him? Instead, Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (v. 1). “…it was Jesus, whose stomach surely was in knots over what the next day would bring, who was about to be mocked, tortured, and executed, and even feel abandoned by his own Father, he was the one offering comfort to h


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More and Better Life

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Jesus Expects Even More!

This is the sermon I preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church last Sunday, 2/12/23. The gospel text was Matthew 5:21-37 .  The Ten Commandments tell us what kind of lives God wants us to live. But that’s not enough. In fact, it sounds like Jesus expects even more!  Murder is the first issue Jesus addresses. That doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for us here in this congregation, does it? Phew, we’re safe here. But then, Jesus drills deeper into the real issue—what causes someone to commit murder. “…anyone who is…angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder” (v. 22). Jesus certainly doesn’t let us off the hook here! Sometimes we are angry with those we love the most—spouses, children and other relatives, friends.  Jesus continues, “If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right… only then, come back and work things out wit