Monday, July 21, 2014

Sermon 7/20/2014 6th Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

What's the difference between the gospel and the Gospels? Comparing today's Gospel lesson from Matthew with our first reading from Wisdom of Solomon (not even in the Lutheran version of the Bible!) can help. Confusing? Probably. Worthwhile? I hope so.

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sermon Audio 7/13/2014 5th Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo MI

5th Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year A

Jesus tells the parable of the sower, with four kinds of ground into which the seed of God's Word might fall. If we are that ground, then I clearly see myself in one kind more than the others. Hint: it's not the good soil. Luckily for me, that's not the end of the story.

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!’

18 ‘Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sermon Audio 7/6/2014 4th Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

4th Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year A

Jesus' words today bring to mind the old saying, "You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't." Can I say that in a sermon? Based on the reactions I heard to this sermon, apparently I can, so long as that's not the content of my actual message. Law and gospel is the word today.

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

16“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 17‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ 18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

25At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sermon Audio 6/22/2014 2nd Sunday after Pentecost A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

2nd Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Year A

Matthew 10:24-39

We begin the "ordinary" time after Pentecost by diving into the deep end of some of Jesus' most challenging words: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." He also tells his disciples they are unworthy unless they love Jesus more than their own parents and children, and tells them they will probably be killed. The gospel, the good news of God's love for us in Jesus, is not for the faint of heart.

As always, listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Tengwall"

Sermon Audio 6/15/2014 Holy Trinity

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

Holy Trinity Sunday

2nd Corinthians 13:11-13

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity can make for a boring and obtuse sermon, as I have likely demonstrated in the past. Instead, today we focused on how the Trinity reminds us that we, created in God's image, are made for relationship. Thankfulness is a vital part of any relationship, particularly our relationship with God. So, at the recommendation of our esteemed Rev. Sarah Friesen-Carper, on this day we introduced a new way of publicly thanking God and one another at LCS: the Blessings Basket.

As always, listen here or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Tengwall"

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sermon Audio 6/8/2014 Pentecost

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo


Acts 2:1-21

Sometimes I forget how great Pentecost is. Then the Holy Spirit shows up, and I remember. Pentecost was a new beginning for Jesus' followers, not the vacation they deserved but an opportunity to share the story of God's love for the world in Jesus.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sermon Audio 5/25/2014 Easter 6A

Lutheran Church of the Savior, Kalamazoo

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Lectionary Year A

John 14:15-21

On his last night with his disciples, Jesus tells them about the Holy Spirit to help them be ready for what comes next.

I tried to publish this before I left on vacation, on Memorial Day (5/26/14), but ran into trouble with my podcasting website. I think we're back on track now. As a bonus, I did talk with a couple of people who actually listen to these sermons online (yay!), so I feel good about doing the work to record and publish these sermons. It's good to know that my mom is not the only person listening.