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

What They Did When They Didn’t Find The Body

April 21, 2019
Luke 24: 1-12     Easter Sunday     April 21, 2019   The women had done all that they were supposed to do, after Jesus was crucified.  They had been faithful: The women who had come with [Jesus] from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid.[1]  They had been obedient to religious custom: Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.[2]  They had been obedient to religious law: On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.[3] Think of how hard that obedience to the sabbath commandment would have been!  Joseph of Arimathea had placed…

Memorial Service Homily for John Ellis Allen

April 20, 2019
Matthew 5:1-12     April 20, 2019   These verses, which John’s family chose for this service, are beloved by many.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  The words in this passage are like a formula.  Jesus speaks the words, “Blessed are” nine times.  They are beautiful words.  However, do you notice this: They are beautiful words that upend every one of our assumptions about the way the world works? When you and I speak of a “blessing,” aren’t we giving thanks for something that we perceive to be good that has happened…

Where Do You Stand When Your Feet Are Sore?

April 19, 2019
  John 13:1-17, 31b-35     Maundy Thursday In Northern Ireland, there were three decades of deathly struggles between Catholics and Protestants.  The Troubles, as the conflict was called, was both religious and political.  Although the Good Friday Agreementin 1998 was to end the conflict, low-levels of violence and open wounds still exist. A community leader, Pádraig Ó Tuama, ministers to heal broken relationships between Irish Catholics and Protestants. Using an Irish idiom to talk about trust, he says, “You are the place where I stand on the day when my feet are sore.” He says, “It’s so physical, that beautiful understanding.  You can…

Warning: Following Jesus Makes You Weird

April 7, 2019
Philippians 3:4b-14     Fifth Sunday in Lent     April 7, 2019   Following Jesus makes you weird. I just felt like I had to warn you that that’s true.  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into Paul’s letter to the Philippians – because that’s what Paul is telling the Philippians: Following Jesus makes you weird. The city of Philippi was a Roman colony located on a major overland road.  There was a great deal of commercial activity and a diversity of people in and out of the city.  There would have been a diversity of…

Proclamations by Lutheran Student Association Members

April 1, 2019
Joshua 5:9-12; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 Fourth Sunday in Lent     March 31, 2019   I. Elizabeth Acors, a junior, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Biochemistry               I’ve always been a very involved person my whole life, and I blame my mom and sister.  They are so involved and its inspiring to see women excelling in their fields.  I know that I want to be a doctor after school and have the chance to inspire others, so I work hard to make that dream come true.  However, sometimes my childhood and young-adulthood feels like everything…

Wait…What Was the Question?

March 24, 2019
Isaiah 55:1-9    1 Corinthians 10:1-13    Luke 13:1-9     3rdSunday in Lent Frank had been accepted into a doctoral program at Harvard. He and his family were active members in the church my family attended. Frank’s dad had formed a large and prominent company, and I imagined that Frank would be quite an asset there after graduation.  He hung around with friends over the summer.  In the fall, two of his friends would begin their graduate classes at Yale. When the news came that Frank and these two friends had all died in a car accident, the community was in disbelief. Frank was intelligent,…

Being Faithful: False Self-Denial

March 17, 2019
Luke 13:31-35     Second Sunday in Lent     March 17, 2019   Jesus is in big trouble. You can understand why he would be.  Since his first public pronouncements, nearly everything he’s said has made someone upset and angry.  Do you want some examples? Listen to the gospel passage we read in Sunday morning worship, seven weeks ago: When [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom.  He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.  He unrolled…

Talking with the Devil

March 10, 2019
Luke 4:1-13 First Sunday in Lent    What tempts you?  Scripture is full of stories of temptation.  Of course, it began with Adam, Eve, a talking serpent, and a fruit tree. Moving on, Cain murdered Abel.  Then there’s King David who gave in to his lust for Bathsheba. Joseph’s brothers sold him to strangers when they could not control their jealousy.  Although we don’t know exactly what was in his heart, Judas betrayed Jesus for silver. What have you been tempted to do?  Did you actually do it?  Remember the last time you drove down the interstate and that guy pulled…

Prayer, and Fasting From Whatever Distracts You From God

March 6, 2019
Isaiah 58:1-12; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21     Ash Wednesday     March 6, 2019   What distracts you from God?  Don’t be hard on yourself because you are!  Ron Rolheiser writes, “To be a human being is to be perpetually distracted.  We aren’t persons who live in habitual spiritual awareness who occasionally get distracted.  We’re persons who live in habitual distraction who occasionally become spiritually aware.”[1] What distracts you from God?  How might you contend against that and resist that, because it leads us away from love of God and neighbor? In a few minutes, Pastor Griffin will read these liturgical words…