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Showing posts from January 14, 2018

Cycle of Discipleship

This is the sermon I preached at St. Timothy and St. Mark Lutheran churches on Sunday, Jan. 14. The text is John 1:43-51.

There is a cycle of discipleship that causes the church to grow: First is Jesus’ invitation to follow him, followed by the invitation to come and see. Then we are told what we will see, which is akin to receiving teaching and growing in faith. When this cycle is perpetuated and reproduced over and over in the lives of Christ’s followers, the church grows. This may sound a little crass, but it’s like the message on a bottle of shampoo: lather, rinse, repeat. In today’s gospel reading we see the lather, rinse, repeat of discipleship.
First, we have Jesus’ invitation to follow him. Jesus found Philip. Philip didn’t search high and low for Jesus. We cannot find Jesus. He isn’t lost, for one thing. Jesus finds us.
After finding Philip, Jesus says, “Follow me.” That’s good enough for Philip. “What is not obvious is the mysterious, inward, hidden work of God in creating ea…

One of These Things...

This is the sermon I preached at St. Timothy and St. Mark Lutheran churches on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. The text was Genesis 1:1-5.

I’m sure most of us, at one time or another, have watched Sesame Street—either as children, or with our own children or grandchildren. One of my favorite things on the program is when they show a number of images and ask, “Which one of these is not like the other ones?” Well, I must say that those words came to me as I looked over the scripture lessons for today
I understand how the gospel story of Jesus’ baptism and the story from Acts regarding baptism fit together, but Genesis? That seemed to be the one thing that was not like the other things. Let’s see if we can get a handle on the creation and how it relates to the Baptism of Our Lord.
Have you ever seen an image from the Hubble telescope? I recently saw one that contains around 10,000 galaxies, including some that were not visible in previous imaging. It was so beautiful and was such an illustration of t…