There Is Another World
May 5, 2013
Ann Barnett asked me a few weeks ago if I had something to share with our church about dying. I wasn’t sure then that I did have something to share.
David Hilfiker had just shared his awareness of the life transition towards dying and eventual death he finds himself in now: big for him, big news for us all and to me, dare I say, “glorious” for the sense of awareness and wonder and something even deeper than acceptance – perhaps “welcome” – is the spirit I sense in David at a time when he is beginning to lose his life as he has always known it. Is that right? What manner of loss is this? A big part of David’s loss includes a deeper sense of wellbeing, if I understand him well, than almost ever before in his life. Wow. David shared his truth, and my fear of losing my mind, my fear of loss of control of my life, my fear of dying this way was lifted. A lot. Now I’m kind of curious. What might become possible for me when it’s my turn to lose the things that have defined me to myself and others all of my life? I’ve been giving this question a lot of thought.
I Welcome Everything
April 21, 2013
I am so delighted to be with you this morning, and to share how the Church of the Savior community continues to make new ripples through the Discipleship Year program. I am one of five “new ripples” taking part in the year-long volunteer program, and let me assure you that it has felt more like a tidal wave to this Lutheran from southern Minnesota!
Today I am honored to speak about my experience at Joseph’s House, my placement for the year. Now, I will go ahead and say that I will need a lot of grace from you this morning. I know, how very Lutheran of me to bring up grace within the first minute of a sermon!
The Radical Nonviolence of Jesus
April 7, 2013
About twelve and a half years ago, I was at a friend’s house and she introduced me to a man from her church who was helping her with household repairs. I still remember the kind and gentle spirit of this man, and I don’t know many people who have made a better first impression on me. When I was leaving, I noticed his pick-up truck and it had a bumper sticker that said something about being for gun ownership. Now although I disagreed with this man’s bumper sticker, I didn’t judge him. I remember thinking to myself that I could see how a nice, gentle soul like this would want to have something strong to back him up.
March 31, 2013
I Corinthians 15:19-26, 28,
I want to talk with you this Easter Sunday about three people who are both very important to me and in my experience related agents of God: Gordon Cosby, David Hlfiker and Jesus. For visitors, Gordon was the founder of the Church of the Saviour from which 8th Day Church sprang and until his death 11 days ago a treasured mentor to me and many of you. David isa fellow member of 8thDay and dear friend who shared with us a few weeks ago that he has been diagnosed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. These two men have been special links to Jesus for me, and that is the context in which I want to talk about them and Jesus on this day when we celebrate and contemplate God’s act of vindicating the crucified Jesus and sending him on his next mission Word of God in and to the church by raising him from the dead,
Dying and Rising into the Spirit’s Rhythms
March 24, 2013 (Palm Sunday)
28 After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” just say this: “The Lord needs it.” ’ 32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ 34 They said, ‘The Lord needs it.’ 35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying,
‘Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!’
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ 40 He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’
So here we are at Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. I imagine that for many of us here it seems more like the end of Holy Week, having held vigil these past days as one of our great prophets passed on. You will have to forgive me if I am somewhat out of step with the liturgical season, and all too eager to speak of death and resurrection.