Recent Sermons

Below are excerpts from some recent sermons.  You can also explore the full list since June 2015.  Some sermons include the podcast at the bottom of the page, with older podcasts from 2013-2015 still available. 

Preaching from St. Stephen’s Pulpit

Your Kingdom Come

November 22, 2015
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37   Christ the King Sunday     November 22, 2015     ISIS terrorists kill more than 40 people in Beirut and maim many others.  God suffers with those who suffer.  In hope, we look for God to end the violence of terrorism.  “Your kingdom come, your will be done,” we pray, “in Beirut as in heaven.” Only one day later, ISIS terrorists kill more than 125 people in Paris, wounding many hundreds more.  God suffers with those who suffer.  In hope, we look for God to end such suffering.  “Your kingdom come,…

Trusting God Radically, Intimately

November 8, 2015
1 Kings 17:8-16   Time After Pentecost   Lectionary 32     November 8, 2015   Who do you trust? We’ve just had another election.  Do you trust the candidates to keep their promises? It’s important to trust your doctor, isn’t it?  That’s especially so when the diagnosis is scary and there are several ways to go, and she is proposing a particular course of treatment. When the stock market is gyrating, and your financial adviser says, “Just hang in there.  It’ll settle back down,” do you trust him? Some of us have had this experience of role reversal: of physical…


November 1, 2015
  John 11:32-44                     All Saints’ Day   When is the last time you cried? What caused you to shed tears? We produce two different kinds of tears for our physical comfort. We also produce emotional tears. Our bodies produce tears of joy, and tears of sadness. Tears can come simply by being overwhelmed.   What brings you to tears--The birth of a baby, the death of someone you love, or perhaps frustration? Emotional tears, unlike tears for physical comfort, contain protein-based hormones, including a natural painkiller that is released when a body is under stress. It’s physically healthy to cry…

Coming to Know God, Coming to Trust God, Coming to Believe the Audacious Good News of Grace and Salvation

October 25, 2015
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 3:19-28 Reformation Sunday October 25, 2015 On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 Theses for debate among his fellow faculty members. He was a professor of Bible at the University of Wittenberg, in what is now Germany. Luther was agitated about what he saw to be the church’s deviation from the gospel of grace, and the church’s over-emphasis on money, and the 95 Theses named his concerns. We know what followed the posting of the theses. Supporters printed and distributed them, adding fuel to a fire that had been smoldering for more than 100 years,…

Water and Word

October 18, 2015
  Mark 10:35-45   Time After Pentecost Lectionary 29   Security is something that most of us desire. It comes in different forms, and applies to various aspects of our lives. Police provide security for our physical safety. Computer malware protects our software from viruses. Passwords and PINs keep our personal and financial information safe. The National Security Agency works to prevent foreign adversaries from gaining access to national security information. We have locks on our homes, our cars and our phones. We also work to keep our place in life secure, and to secure our future. Adequate retirement funds…

Then Who Can Be Saved?

October 11, 2015
Mark 10:17-31    Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 28   What do you think of the man’s question?  He runs up to Jesus and asks, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  It’s a reasonable question, right?  It’s the kind of question we like to ask.  It’s along the same lines as, “Will this be on the test?  What must I do to get an ‘A’?”  Or, “What must I do to get an ‘outstanding’ on my annual performance review?” In response to the man, Jesus names some random Commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit…

In Community With Each Other, Sinners and Saints

October 4, 2015
Mark 10:2-16; Genesis 2:18-24    Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 27     October 4, 2015   Pope Francis has returned home and I’m remembering one of the saddest moments of his visit.  A woman approached him, in tears, feeling rejected by her church.  You see, she was divorced from her first husband.  Then she re-married, and that has excommunicated her from receiving the Eucharist.  She is an adulterer!  Doesn’t it say so, in our gospel passage this morning?  “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits…

Rabble Rousers

September 27, 2015
  Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29   Time After Pentecost-Lectionary 26   September 27, 2015   “The rabble among them had a strong craving…” You might remember the rabble from Cecil B. DeMille’s movie The Ten Commandments. Charleston Heston portrayed Moses. The rabble were represented by Edward G. Robinson. Robinson’s famous line from the movie asked, “Yeah, Moses, where is your God now?” The rabble were the people on the journey but who did not believe in the journey, and in our reading this morning, they are instigators. It only takes a few people to get the whole group grumbling. Before…

Disappointing Jesus

September 20, 2015
Mark 9:30-37 Time After Pentecost-Lectionary 24    September 20, 2015     Nadia Bolz-Weber , pastor of the ELCA congregation named House for All Sinners and Saints, has a “regular spiritual practice of warning people.”[1] At a brunch for newcomers, she told those who had recently joined the congregation that they needed to hear something. Pastor Bolz-Weber then went on to say, “This church will disappoint you. Or I will fail to meet your expectations or I’ll say something stupid and hurt your feelings. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. Welcome to House for All Sinners and…