Sermon for Easter – April 4, 2021   

Sermon for B Easter 1    Sunday of the Resurrection –  April 4, 2021
Based on Mark 16:1-8
Duane H. Larson, Senior Pastor

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!  Greetings to you in the name of the Raised Crucified Lord!

Here we are. It is wonderful that many of us can gather safely together. We do not like that it is another Easter under COVID conditions. But thanks to the promise of faithful lives and good science, we can see the light from here. We must not spike the ball before we cross the goal line (parson the mixed metaphor). We sense a coming freedom that we have not felt in some 14 months. We can see the light from here. And there is a greater light yet. Indeed, we see the light of Easter from here. Continue reading

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent – March 21, 2021

Sergio Rodriguez, Vicar

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who draws all people through his death. Amen.

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”

Jeremiah uttered these words of the new covenant as a word of promise to a people uprooted from their land and their mundane life with God. “I will be their God and they shall be my people,” bespeaks to the people that after this exile, God will once again commit himself to them. Even in Babylon, this word of promise guided the exiles through their own Lenten-style journey towards a return to some semblance of a life with God. “I will their God and they shall be my people,” stresses a type of renewal based off a reciprocal relationship with God in love. Continue reading

Sermon for Lent 4 – March 14, 2021

Duane Larson, Senior Pastor 

Based on Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-21
Good morning! May the blessing of an extra cup of coffee awaken you!  Yes, we may be a bit sleepy. With Daylight Savings Time having begun at 2am this morning, we lost an hour of our lives. Every time I think about that, I remember going through two (!) daylight savings times in one eight-day week. There was a year when in London DST happened one early Sunday morning. I came home a couple of days later and then went through our DST the next Sunday. I lost two hours that spring. I got one back when the USA returned to standard time in the fall. But I had not returned to England the week before to get back that other hour. I still wonder. Can I get that hour back? If so, how? I know. I’m confusing quantity with quality. More to the point, I don’t always put the quality of which I am capable into the quantity that is given me. Continue reading

Sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent, March 7, 2021

Vicar Sergio Rodriguez

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
“God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, you shall have no other gods besides me (Exod 20:1-3).”

As I consider the awesome sight of God’s descent upon Mount Sinai to speak these words of the covenant, I wonder if the people felt a sense of joy at hearing these words of life. Fire and smoke, thunder, lighting and sounds of trumpets signaled to the people encamped around the Mount that God has come to bring order into the desert chaos. God has come to set forth the perimeters of our life with each other, with each other’s treasured belongings and loved ones and with him. Continue reading

Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent, February 21, 2021

Sergio Rodriguez, Vicar

“Jesus, our technicolor Grace Coat: Lent as our restoration, not privation”

Text: I have set my bow in the clouds…and when the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant…and the waters again shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Gen 9:13-15)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ who was in the wilderness with wild beasts and angels ministering to him. Amen.

Amid the rattling of frozen water pipes, the hiss of natural gas, and the sirens of emergency response vehicles, I wondered as I sat my frigid recliner if this artic storm encapsulated the Lenten season; if perhaps the penitential like Pandemic season really needed another penitential like storm. The Spirit traded the harsh heat of the wilderness with the bitter cold and the bitter loneliness of this pandemic time. Instead of being surrounded by wild beasts or angels in ministering, many of us had the company of hungry cats, pampered pooches, and loved ones opening their doors and cupboards. After this forty-day-like week, I could not help but turn to the wise and heartwarming sentiment of Pastor Larson concerning the central feature of our ancient discipline of Lent: “I’ve decided that I’ve given up Lent for Lent because it has been Lent since Last March and not even Jesus wants a redundant Lent…because Lent is dependence on only one thing: grace y’all.” In other words, our forty-day journey that is Lent is a journey in, through and towards grace. For Lent is our restoration and not deprivation. Lent is God’s grace y’all and a grace that intends to endow the world with a type of grace that restores our relationship with God, with each other, every living creature and the earth we stand upon. Continue reading