Sermons on Grace

God is Not Scary! – Mark 13.1-8

God is Not Scary! – Mark 13.1-8 The text we read today is scary. The temple will be destroyed, nation will rise against nation, earthquake and famines will occur, and that is just the beginning. The birth pangs. It is clear from this text that something big and monumental will come to an end and something new will begin. And I am sure this will give rise to all kinds of visions that the world will end next Tuesday at five, or the week afterRead More »

Nicodemus

Nicodemus – John 3:1-21 I have often discovered in myself and others the tendency to view fallible biblical figures like Nicodemus, or Peter or Judas, as foils against which we contrast ourselves to our advantage! “Nicodemus walked away from Jesus, I would have asked to be baptized then and there! Peter denied Jesus, I would have courageously stood up for my Lord! Judas betrayed Jesus, never ever would I be tempted by my own disappointed hopes, or money, or fameRead More »

Wolf Larson’s Floating Hell

Wolf Larson’s Floating Hell – Matthew 5:1-12 The beatitudes we read in the gospel today are probably the most memorable words in the New Testament. They are powerful because they defy reality. They bestow God’s blessings on individuals who are by common human perception definitively not among those who are blessed. But God and humans see things differently and that is why God could never create a hell that is so devastating than the hell that humans create for themselves.Read More »

Fear of Death

Fear of Death – Matthew 24:36-44 The fear of death is the most primordial fear of the human race. Death is a mystery. We know the consequences that death will have for our bodies when our biological clock stops ticking. We can be as intellectual as we want, we can be highly spiritual people, but what defines us most are our bodies. We don’t have bodies, we are our bodies. We exist in the rhythm of our physiology. And whenRead More »

How to Move Mountains

How to Move Mountains – Luke 6:20-31 What is strong and what is weak? The early church faced a dilemma. In the time of Jesus, the common expectation was that the messiah would be a hero. He would be a victorious fighter who defeats the Romans and restores Israel as a free and independent country. Jesus did not really do that. He died painfully on the cross and the Romans were as powerful as they were before. But when weRead More »

God Rules the World; We Do Not.

God Rules the World; We Do Not. – Psalm 33 The evil in human history is regarded as the consequence of man’s wrong use of his unique capacities. The wrong use is always due to some failure to recognize the limits of his capacities of power, wisdom, and virtue. (Reinhold Niebuhr about the biblical view of human history.) God is all-powerful, but God does not use God’s power to destroy, but to create. God’s power is based on love andRead More »

Strong as a Lamb

Strong as a Lamb – Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 The readings chosen for today are just a small excerpt of the vast body of Scripture which tells us that God’s power is not the power of war and domination, but of peace and universal well-being. The Hebrew Bible, in Christian tradition called Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, is full of the gospel truth of God’s love, grace and peace! When Jesus trains his disciples and sends them outRead More »

Sola Fide and the Welcoming Church

Sola Fide and the Welcoming Church Sermon Series on “All Are Welcome.” Lutherans are saved by Grace through Faith. Faith is not an activity. You cannot get good at having faith by believing something. Faith is the work of God. It comes from the outside when you hear the word of God. When the human heart slowly starts to trust that Grace is really a free gift that comes without condition, that state of being is what Lutherans call faith.Read More »

Inclusive Grace – Luke 4:21-40

Inclusive Grace – Luke 4:21-40 Prophets often get into trouble when they preach God’s grace to those who are closest to them. Not so much when they preach that God’s grace is on them, but when they suggest that God’s grace includes people that are not part of the family, tribe or nation. That is what Jesus does in his home synagogue. He talks about the prophets Elijah and Elisha through whom God’s grace is bestowed on a Sidonian widowRead More »

God’s Disconcerting Love for All – John 11:32-44

God’s Disconcerting Love for All – John 11:32-44 The concept of a loving God gives rise to more questions than answers. Even the strongest faith is accompanied by doubt, because bad stuff happens to good people. Nevertheless, since 2000 years Christians do their best to trust God’s love. We embrace our finitude and the pitfalls of life in the hope of resurrection and new life. Where Jesus went, we will follow. We will end our journey on this planet andRead More »

The Kingdom Belongs to the Children

The Kingdom Belongs to the Children Today, we are talking about Jesus and the Storm. Usually, when we think of Gods and thunderstorms, we associate a God who uses God’s power for destruction. Just think of Zeus, who is usually depicted with a lightning bolt in his hand, because Zeus might at any moment decide to lash out against humanity and punish us earthlings with a strike of lightning and thunder. All the more notable is it that Jesus usesRead More »

Doubt is the eternal twin of faith.

Doubt is the eternal twin of faith. Many People want to have prove for the existence of God, like in a science lab where peer reviewed numbers can quantify what we know about the physical universe. This is not gonna happen. Every theologian and philosopher who set out to prove the existence of God, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the exercise is futile. Faith cannot be proven, faith can only be experienced. Faith is about living it,Read More »
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