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(Natalia Terfa) This story in John is my favorite telling of the Easter Story. So many details, almost comedic in places, and filled with reminders of what grief feels like, how good news doesn’t always break through, and how we miss the resurrection in front of us every day. Scripture: John 20:1-18 Song: Andean Valley by Madison York Support our p…
 
(Chad Brekke) Wilderness can be a scary place. Nothing is familiar or predictable. This entire past year has felt like a wilderness to so many around the world. Maybe we can learn something about ourselves in the wilderness. Maybe we will return with blessings that bring peace and healing everywhere we go. Scripture: Mark 9:2-9 Song: Retrouvailles …
 
(Natalia Terfa) Never thought I’d relate so much to the questions posed by “unclean spirits” in this Gospel story but here we are. What have you to do with us? How often have I asked this very question of God in the last year? How often have you? And more importantly, how does Jesus respond? Scripture: Mark 1: 21-28 Song: Amanecer by El Neón Suppor…
 
(Paul Slack) As we lean into a year with further determination to combat racism in all its forms after the death of Mr. George Floyd, we reflect on the teachings of the late Martin Luther King Junior. What kind of worship does God want from you? What kind of service? Do we owe the sovereign of the universe? Scripture: Micah 6:6,8 Song: Too Tired by…
 
(Natalia Terfa) When good ol' Martin Luther was putting together his book of teaching for parents, he made sure to have a section on baptism. Why? Because this sacrament is too important to misunderstand. Today is the baptism of our Lord Sunday, a day where we remember the skies being split open and God calling Jesus beloved. It is also a day for r…
 
(Chad Brekke) Why is it that the most famous spirit that visited Ebenezer Scrooge seems to be the ghost of Christmas past? That’s the one most people think of first. Well, like Scrooge, we may feel like our past haunts our future more than a little bit. As we leave 2020 behind on this first Sunday of the new year, Ephesians has something to say abo…
 
(Natalia Terfa & Chad Brekke) Some of the most beloved Christmas songs are about how people yearn to be home for Christmas but illness or war or weather, make being home for Christmas impossible. This year, a pandemic will keep us all away from celebrating our Lord’s birth together in the church, which is another layer of meaning our "Home For Chri…
 
(Natalia Terfa) One of the things we hear so often in the church is that we should keep watch for God. To see how God shows up in the world and around us. Throughout Matthew’s Gospel this past year, Jesus has been calling for us to be aware of who we leave out and ignore. Today, on the final Sunday of the church calendar, the reign of Christ Sunday…
 
(Natalia Terfa) Jesus tells another parable this morning about what the Kingdom of God is like, and it involves a lot of unknowns. Boy doesn’t that feel familiar right now? There are a lot of things we just don’t know. AND YET, there are some things we CAN know, and the prophet Amos offers some very clear instruction on what God wants us to know, e…
 
(Chad Brekke) Some scripture passages are so achingly beautiful, poetic and profound that it is probably better to simply stand back and behold them in the assembly than to try to explain or reduce them to some moral code or set of action items. Today we will make room to experience the awe and wonder of two breathtakingly powerful visions of God’s…
 
(Chad Brekke) When natural enemies decide to join forces against you, it may be time to panic. When those enemies hold serious power and influence among much of society, it may be time to run. By the end of this incredible encounter with Jesus, someone is running alright. The truth will set you free, Jesus said. Turns out, the truth may also send y…
 
(Natalia Terfa) When we receive an invitation, we often have some initial responses: we might check our calendars, we might ask about dress code, and we might even hold our response until we know who else is going. So what do we do when the invitation is from Jesus? As you might guess, he has a parable for that. Scripture: Matthew 22:1-14 Song: Iki…
 
(Natalia Terfa) Jesus’ authority is (again) questioned by the powers that be, and his response offers more questions than answers, as per usual. We have these same questions today, don’t we? Who is in charge? Who gets to decide things? By whose authority do we do anything? Let’s dig into these questions together. Scripture: Matthew 21:23-32 Song: C…
 
(Chad Brekke) Let’s be honest, sometimes the bible bugs us. Why should a lifetime criminal have a place in heaven right next to the lifetime, active church member, just because of some jailhouse conversion? Today we contend with the annoying reality that God occasionally does things without our permission. Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16 Song: Strending…
 
(Natalia Terfa) Those of you who have seen Hamilton will note the reference to It’s Quiet Uptown in my sermon title, which to me, has been a sobfest-inducing moment of grace played out on screen that I just can’t erase from my head. Jesus today talks about how much we ought to forgive the people around us. He uses a parable to illustrate our forgiv…
 
(Natalia Terfa) Today’s story is hard to hear. Jesus seems very human and not very divine in his interactions with this Canaanite woman. Why would any writer include this strange encounter in a hero story about Jesus? Scripture: Matthew 15:21-28 Song: Come 2gether by Ooyy Support our podcast here Watch the Livestream Follow us on Instagram Visit ou…
 
(Natalia Terfa) So often, when we hear this feeding miracle, we focus on the amounts. The starting point, the ending point, the scarcity, and the abundance. But what if this miracle began long before they were gathering the five loaves and two fish? Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-5, Matthew 14:13-21 Song: Lux by Lofive Support our podcast here Watch the Li…
 
(Natalia Terfa) Both of the texts in front of us today are about waiting, but not just any kind of waiting, but the waiting in the midst of evil, hardship, and struggle. Well. That feels… right. So what are we to do while we wait, and what are we waiting for exactly? Scripture: Romans 8:12-25; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 Song: Distant Echo by Jakob Ahl…
 
(Natalia Terfa) When the world feels chaotic and unsteady, where do we look? In the Bible, prophets were sent into the midst of just these times, and their words were not always hopeful. Even Jesus, who preached words of love and care for others, didn’t always have his words received with welcome. What message might God be sending us through today’…
 
(Chad Brekke) Paul says that in baptism we are united with Christ in a “death like His”. That is a phrase that should stop us in our tracks. What does it mean to be united with Jesus in a death like his? How can that death set us free to live a new life? Scripture: Romans 6:1-11 Song: Worry cover by Paul & Amy Koopman Support our podcast here Watch…
 
(Chad Brekke) In this reading from Acts, Paul takes the church on the road. He decides to take the gospel right into the belly of the beast where he knows there will be resistance, if not outright mocking and rejection. Here we have a master class in sharing your faith in a distracted and skeptical world. Scripture: Acts 17:22-31 Song: Your Peace W…
 
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