21 July 2011

Parables Re-interpreted

In going over the Gospel text for this coming Sunday, I'm struck by a need to contemporize what Jesus is saying for modern ears. 

17 July 2011

Sermon for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, L11A - Weeds and Wheat

A few years ago, my wife Kristin and I took a group of kids to Sault Ste. Marie, MI for a service trip.  My work group was assigned to weed flower beds along one of the main thoroughfares in town.  From 10AM to 3PM.  Under the sun, with no shade.  In a week that set records for high temperatures.  

13 July 2011

Speaker for the Dead

I had one of those odd pastoral experiences yesterday - a funeral for someone I never met.

10 July 2011

Sermon for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost - Isaiah 55

This is not an exact copy of my sermon from this morning.  I preached from a series of notes and included some improvised reflections based on conversations I'd had with people prior to the start of the service.  But as I noted on Facebook, I was mainly preaching to myself today - thankfully, the folks to whom I was preaching seemed to be in a similar state of being.  
As you know, it’s been a bit dry around here lately.  Last night I got our sprinkler out for the first time this summer and gave the backyard of our house in Ames a good thorough soaking.  If it doesn’t rain today the front yard gets one tonight.  When it’s been scarce, rain is a good, good thing.  My dad is a third-generation corn and soybean farmer in Nebraska.  I know what it means to get the rain you need, the rain that can do exactly what the prophet says it will do in our Isaiah text this morning. “…the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater…”
            I wonder how this text is being received in Minot, North Dakota this morning.