Monday, September 15, 2014

Sermon Audio 9/14/2014, Holy Cross Sunday

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

The cross is the central symbol of Christianity. Even before Jesus, the cross was a powerful symbol, and its meaning has changed over time. My son recognized the cross before he was 18 months old, but he understood it to mean something very different than I do. What does the cross mean to us today as we try to follow Jesus together?

As always, listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sermon Audio 9/7/2014, 13th Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

Matthew 18:15-20

As we kicked off our program year with Sunday School, "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday and more, today's Gospel lesson challenged us to be honest about the challenges and conflict that come with being an active community with diverse goals. How does Jesus instruct us to manage conflict? How have we managed conflict in our congregation, and how can we do it better? For starters, I am proud to introduce my favorite communication and conflict management model, the Role Renegotiation Model (believe me, it's so much better than the name), and its practical partner, the Pinches and Praises box. Because Jesus is with us, we can be bold to trust one another with our honest concerns.

As always, listen here or listen/subscribe on iTunes by searching "Tengwall." 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sermon Audio 8/31/2014, 12th Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

Romans 12:9-21

Today's lesson from Romans offers my favorite instruction in the Bible: love one another. This simple, profound, difficult instruction is only one of about 29 ways Paul instructs Christians to act toward others, each as obviously good and near-impossible as the next. How can we do the things God wants us to do? 

As always, listen here or listen/subscribe on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sermon Audio 8/24/2014, 11th Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo


"Who do you say that I am?" Who so we say Jesus is? Who do others say we are? Given the recent (and ongoing) unrest in Ferguson, MO, who do we say Michael Brown is? Jesus asks hard questions, and invites us to do the same.


Matthew 16:13-20


13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

As always, listen here or subscribe on iTunes by searching "Tengwall." 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sermon Audio 8/17/2014, Tenth Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo


The history of Lutheran churches in this country is primarily a history of northern European ethnic groups maintaining their cultural identity amidst the American "melting pot" (more of a jambalaya, as the American parts remain distinct in the mix, but that's a story for another day). Seemingly in spite of, but more likely because of, this insider-focused history, as the Lutheran churches have grown up we have become more engaged in our society, more welcoming of outsiders, to the degree that Lutherans are doing vital work with unaccompanied migrant children on the southern border of the US. 

In today's lessons from Isaiah and Matthew's Gospel, we are reminded why we engage in this difficult, compassionate endeavor. We do this work because we know that God's promise is for everyone.


Helpful links for today's sermon:

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Lutheran Social Services of Michigan
One Michigan Lutheran church's local efforts

As always, you can listen here or subscribe by searching "Tengwall" on iTunes.

Sermon Audio 8/10/2014, Ninth Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

Today we talked about faith in its most basic form, as trust in God. Peter trusted God until his Wile E. Coyote moment out on the water. Then what?

As always, you can listen here or subscribe on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sermon Audio 7/27/2014, Seventh Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

On this Sunday we heard Jesus tell parables about the kingdom of heaven (aka kingdom of God / reign of Christ / kin-dom of God / empire of heaven), so in this interactive sermon we tried to imagine what this kingdom is "like."

As always, listen here or on iTunes by searching "Tengwall."