Sermon for the Resurrection of Our Lord April 12, 2020

Duane Larson, Senior Pastor 

Based on Matthew 28:1-10
The Grace of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ be with you all! Dear ones in Christ, Christ IS risen! Can you hear me? Christ IS Risen. And guess what! I can hear you respond, “He is Risen Indeed!” No, I do not have super hearing. My wife will vouch for that. But I hear you. My memory rings loud with your faithful voice. We have said and sung faith enough with each other that we can all hear. Listen. Listen to what stirs beneath and behind and within the confines wrought by infection and dispersion. Hear where you have been in this holy space and other holy spaces. See the flowering and berobed beauty. Smell the lilies and the Vigil’s incense, see the victorious cross and torches as they process by. Re-member the many and varied presences of Christ within your walls and on your tongue. Whoever and wherever you are, you have known this. Continue reading

Sermon – Holy Week during Corona Pandemic – Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020

Karin Liebster, Associate Pastor
Exodus 12:1-4, 11-14
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Matthew 26:17-30

Holy Week during Corona Pandemic

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

My dear sisters and brothers in Christ near and far,

we gather together tonight in the solemnity of Holy Week, following the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, not in real time as in the real events that took place, but enough in real time that we throw ourselves over the next three days into the drama of the shared meal, the betrayal and arrest, the anxious praying in Gethsemane, the trial, the crucifixion, the dying, and then the being raised from the dead. Continue reading

Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent March 1, 2020

Based on Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-19; Matthew 4:1-11.

People today have lost the ability to think in broadly metaphorical terms. So, our difficulty interpreting the Bible today is “not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they took them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.” That line from John Dominic Crossan surely applies to how we must understand holy words. It reminds me of another apt phrase: that all the Bible is true and some of it actually happened. Our two stories today about the “Fall” in the Garden of Eden and Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness have that character: they are true and non-factual. We must be smart enough to take them symbolically. Human wholeness depends on it. Continue reading

Sermon for the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany February 16, 2020

Based on Matthew 5:21-37

Well, aren’t we in a pickle! We had quite the positive sermon series begun between Pastor Karin and me, but now this! Two weeks ago I observed how Jesus gathers us together and makes us by his saying so “blessed” when we are mocked and persecuted for bearing his name. Of course, the presumption was and is that we are so distinguished that we are mocked and persecuted. Pastor Liebster spoke similarly, declaring that we all together are created by Messiah Jesus to be salt and light for this community and the world. Continue reading