Sunday, September 27, 2015

Trinity 17

Luke 14:1-11 - Trinity Seventeen - September 27, 2015
God Exalts the Lowly
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If you’re Norwegian, you might know a few Norwegian jokes.  Some of them are kind of funny since they poke fun of Norwegians and Norwegians don’t mind laughing at themselves.  Likewise, if you’re Irish, you might know some Irish jokes.  If you’re Swedish you might know some Swedish jokes.  If you’re German, you might know some Polish jokes.  What’s funny about all these harmless jokes is that they’re all really the same.  They apply to no one and everyone at the same time.  Everyone just recycles them and changes the names.  They’re not as distinct as people pretend. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Trinity 16

Luke 7:11-17 - Trinity Sixteen - September 20, 2015
Death & Resurrection
on the Occasion of the Baptism of Mark Rolf Preus
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Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.  He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also like a shadow, and continueth not.  In the midst of life we are in death.  Of whom may we seek comfort but of Thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law.  But thanks be to Thee, O God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.
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One of my favorite Aesop’s fables is the story of the North Wind and the Sun.  They got into an argument about who was stronger.  To settle their dispute the North Wind pointed to a man walking down the road who was wearing a cloak.  He said, “Whoever is able to get that cloak off that man’s shoulders is the stronger one between us.”  So the Sun agreed and allowed his opponent to go first.  The North Wind blew and blew.  But when he felt the cold wind, the man held on to his collar and wrapped himself all the more snuggly.  So the Wind blew even harder and colder.  But the more he blew, even as the poor man was curled over to stay warm, all the more he would not let go of his cloak for dear life.  He clenched onto it more firmly than his feet stuck to the ground. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Trinity 14

Luke 17:11-19 - Trinity Fourteen - September 6, 2015
The Ten Lepers
Jesus was heading to Jerusalem for the last time.  On his way, ten lepers saw him outside a certain village and cried out to him for mercy.  Jesus had mercy by speaking his almighty word and healing all ten of them.  Only one, however, returned to thank him.  He was a Samaritan.  Jesus told him that his faith had made him well.  But weren’t all ten lepers made well?  So then, was it something other than faith by which the other nine were healed?  If not, what kind of faith did they have?  And what kind of faith did this Samaritan have that Jesus commended?  In order to relate the events of our Gospel lesson to ourselves, and examine the kind of faith that we ought to have, I’d like to consider these questions.