How to Be a Good Sinner

Luke 18:9-15     The Pharisee and the Tax Collector        Let me say for the record, “I am a sinner.”  There, it’s out in the open now.  Let’s talk about this.  You may have a number of different reactions: Pastor Todd, what you done now? -or- That’s a relief! Maybe I belong here.   … Continue reading How to Be a Good Sinner

What Stops Our Gratitude?

Luke 17:11-19    -  Parable of the Ten Lepers You already know how this sermon will end.  It must end extolling the virtue of gratitude.  No matter what interesting stories, or social research, or exegesis of the biblical setting or Greek word translations, the point is - gratitude is essential to faith. Gratitude is currently … Continue reading What Stops Our Gratitude?

All the Small Things

Luke 16:1-13 (Watch video here.) This is a core value: “Whoever is faithful in very little is faithful in much, and whoever is dishonest in little is dishonest in much.”  I believe the divine is seen and experienced in the small and ordinary spaces of life. The daily habits, the random acts of kindness, the quality … Continue reading All the Small Things

Taking the Low Seat

Luke 14:1, 7-13                                                                      September 1, 2019 Where you start matters. Starting at the top can be deceiving.  Icebergs are a great example, just ask the captain of the Titanic.  What you see at the surface is just a small portion of the ice mountain.  If you look at the stock market, it is near all-time … Continue reading Taking the Low Seat

Through the Fire

Luke 12:49-56 49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but … Continue reading Through the Fire

After Weeping and Ashes…Easter Joy

John 18:1-20                                                                            April 21, 2019 The earliest Easter artwork, in the 4th century of Christianity, shows two Roman soldiers keeping watch at the tomb, one is asleep and sees nothing, the other is awake and staring at the empty tomb.  I love the mystery in this artistic portrayal.  If you aren’t awake and aware, you … Continue reading After Weeping and Ashes…Easter Joy

Let’s Put Mary Back Into Christmas

Scripture:  Luke 1:39-57 When you think of Mary the Mother of Jesus, what is the first word that comes to your mind.  I’ll bet that many of you the word was “virgin.”  As Protestants we do not speak much of Mary, we feel awkward with all this blessed virgin language and she can seem lost … Continue reading Let’s Put Mary Back Into Christmas

You Are Not Far from the Kingdom of God

Mark 12:28-34                                                                                 November 4, 2018 What will we do with ourselves until election results come in on Tuesday night?  The campaigns are at the fever pitch of a World Wide Wrestling cage match.  The difference is we know pro wrestling is fake, whereas politics effects our real lives and live ammunition is often involved.  We have seen all the … Continue reading You Are Not Far from the Kingdom of God

Created for Community

Genesis 2:18-24                                                         October 7, 2018 Following the news cycle this week felt like being caught in traffic behind an accident.  When it is my turn to pass the carnage, it is hard to resist the urge to slow down and take it all in, no matter how much I want to get through the bottle neck … Continue reading Created for Community

The Last Shall be First (Mark 9:30-37)

The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Service is the path to greatness. Welcome children, and people who are the most vulnerable and powerless.  It all makes you wonder what kind of hippie commune Jesus was raised in.  Do you really believe the last should be first, or do you just hope the … Continue reading The Last Shall be First (Mark 9:30-37)