“On Palm Sunday and Why Jesus Had to Die”


March 28, 2021 Mark 11:1-11 Philippians 2:5-11 Palm/Passion Sunday   “Why did the dude have to die?”  My colleague at lectionary group shared this question the other day.  I should have listened more carefully because I don’t remember if the child who asked it was a relative of his or not, or how he knew […]

“John 3:16.”


March 14, 2021 John 3:14-21   Here we are this morning with John 3:16, that passage that everybody knows.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”  It seems wrong to read this passage in church […]

“On Being Free, the Ten Commandments, and the Cleansing of the Temple.”


March 7, 2021 Exodus 20:1-17 John 2:13-22   Professor Joy J. Moore, for Luther Seminary’s team of “Sermon Brainwave” podcasters, turned commentary about the 10 Commandments into preaching the other day, and I have to say it was awesome.  I won’t do it justice, but I’ll try.  She reminded us that these set of rules […]



Isaiah 40:21-31 Mark 1:29-39 The healing passages in the gospels are tricky and to be honest with you, sometimes I would rather not even deal with them. It’s not that I don’t believe that Christ is still healing and even doing so dramatically; it’s more that it seems like he’s doing it to a lesser […]

“Come and See.”

January 17, 2021 Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 John 1:43-51   This is a reflection from Wislawa Szymborska, called “A Contribution to Statistics.”  She writes:   Out of a hundred people those who always know better: fifty two doubting every step (?): nearly all the rest, glad to lend a hand if it doesn’t take too long […]

Baptism of the Lord


Angela and I binge watched our way through the Crown.  Never having had much of an interest in British Royalty it surprised me how compelling, if not always enjoyable, I found the show to be.  There was one episode – or actually, a particular segment of an episode – that’s been playing in my mind […]

“Who Are You?”


Dec. 13, 2020 1 These 5:16-24 John 1:6-8, 19-28   As I mentioned last week, Advent always gives us a double shot of John the Baptist before turning to Mary and Joseph and something that sounds a little more Christmassy on the fourth Sunday of the season.  Last week’s “John the Baptist” was Mark’s version […]

What genre is the bible? 


Dec. 6, 2020 Advent 2 Isaiah 40:1-11 Mark 1:1-8   “‘What genre is the bible?’ she asked me, over a table full of half-empty wineglasses and scattered paperbacks.” That’s how Julia Seymour, a Lutheran pastor in Montana, begins her lectionary reflection for the Christian Century Magazine this week. What genre is the bible?  What an […]

“What to do about Our Enemies”


Nov. 8, 2020 Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25   One thing is clear to me: a lot of the little league dads I got to know while Charley spent all those years discerning that in truth he didn’t really like baseball do not share my political views.  They have expressed this mostly on Facebook, which I didn’t […]

“God’s Time and the Best Beatitude.”


Nov. 1, 2020 All Saints 1 John 3:1-3 Matthew 5:1-12   In my attempt to read Christ’s Beatitudes again with fresh eyes I noticed two things I hadn’t noticed before.  The first was that Jesus climbed the mountain alone and sat down, almost like this started out as a solitary moment.  Only after did the […]

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