Sermons from 2020

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 fame…

Who are we?

Who are we? – Matthew 4:1-11 One of the major questions that Jesus asks his disciples is; who do you think that I am? We ask ourselves the same question. Who are we? Who do we want to be? How do we define who we are? This is a quest to discover the core of our humanity. When we can name it, we can access it, and we can embody it. Who you think you are, has consequences in how…

Ash Wednesday

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return!” Rev. Baumann, sermon, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles WA. Check out our video ministry 1517 Grace Guerrilla https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv2aB-i9zHPqgh3NjUJ5-lg

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus? – Matthew 16:13-17:13 Many things have happened between Jesus’ baptism by John, the Baptist and the scene we read about today; Jesus’ transfiguration. Transfiguration means a change in appearance, which is prone to be exalting, glorifying, or spiritual. In the church year, the Feast Day of Jesus’ Transfiguration stands at the end of the Season of Epiphany, Jesus’ baptism at the beginning. Both events feature God’s voice, proclaiming; This is my Son, the Beloved, with him I…

This is the Law! (The Rest is Culture.)

This is the Law! (The Rest is Culture.) – 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 and Matthew 5:21-37 Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in the same God. – In the God of Abraham, hence Judaism, Christianity and Islam are called the Abrahamic faiths. Judaism is not only a religion, but the Jews are also a people. Christianity is closely related to the religious traditions of Judaism, but obviously, Christians are not a people. On the contrary, Christianity speaks to all ethnicities and, at…

Happy are those who follow Jesus!

Happy are those who follow Jesus! – Matthew, chapters 5-7 What we call Sermon on the Mount is a summary or collection of important teachings by Jesus. This preaching/teaching is the first act in Jesus public ministry according to Matthew. That Matthew places Jesus high up on a mountain when Jesus says “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish, but to fulfill’, that is significant. It grounds…

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.…

Turning Around to Follow Jesus

Turning Around to Follow Jesus – Matthew 4:12-23 Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. John proclaimed these exact words when he began his baptismal ministry at the river Jordan (Matthew 3:2). And now, that John has been arrested, Jesus starts proclaiming these same words (4:17). The moment when Jesus’ ministry begins is when John’s ministry ends. Jesus proclaims the kingdom of God as soon as he hears that John cannot preach and prophesy anymore because he has…

Lamb of God

Lamb of God – John 1:29-42 John introduces Jesus to us as the Lamb of God. This image is well known to most of us. We refer to it in many liturgical moments during Sunday service. But what does it actually mean? Join Pastor Olaf in a journey back to the moment when Moses liberates the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt in the Book of Exodus. This is the origin of the symbol of the Lamb of God.…

Images of God

Images of God – Matthew 3:13-17 Today’s gospel reading, the Baptism of our Lord, leaves us with the image of our Trinitarian God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit united as one. The Holy Trinity is also depicted in the icon by Andrei Rublev above. The baptismal scene is an epiphany, a sudden realization, of the Trinity, Three-in-One: Jesus emerging from the waters of baptism, the spirit of God descending like a dove, and God’s voice speaking from heaven. There…

How Thou Thrive in Chaos

How Thou Thrive in Chaos – John 1:1-18 Nobody has ever seen God, says our gospel text today. All we know about God; we know through Jesus Christ. However, what Jesus had to say was not heard by everybody. And not all who heard him believed what he said. And of those who believed what he said, some heard something that was very different from what others thought they heard. Either God likes curveballs or the never-ending struggle for meaning…

Herod, too, is the Reason for the Season*

Herod, too, is the Reason for the Season* – Matt 2:13-23 After Jesus was born, the Holy Family is forced to flee from King Herod’s wrath. They find refuge in Egypt. Herod’s cruel and murderous rule reminds us of our responsibility as citizens to actively participate in the political process. Some of us are called to stand for office. All of us are called to be well informed, to vote, and to communicate with our elected officials. Guided by Jesus’…