Tagfreedom

Stewardship of our Civic Freedoms

As Americans celebrate the birthday of our nation, we give thanks for our civic freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, due process, a speedy trial, voting and many more. Our freedom has made us the envy of much of the world. But as with any valuable gift, our civic freedoms can be abused, neglected or underappreciated to…

Jesus … the Movie

Baptism of our Lord Sunday is about identity … Jesus’ identity as Son of God … and our identity as children of God. Baptism is at the heart of both these identities. In Jesus’ day, that identity was shaped through sermons spoken from hillsides and sermons preached from boats. If Jesus’ came to our world…

Snowmen of Grace

I’m a little cranky.  I know, you can’t believe it, can you?  (Evidently, you don’t spend enough time with me away from church.)  On this particular day that I am referencing, I’m cranky because while I love to shovel snow, what I love about it is seeing the results of my labor. On this day…

The Terrible Gift of Free Will

The problem of pain, of war and the horror of war, of poverty and disease is always confronting us.  But a God who allows no pain, no grief, also allows no choice.  There is little unfairness in a colony of ants, but there is also little freedom.  We human beings have been given the terrible…

Four Freedoms

In his January 1941 State of the Union address delivered to Congress, Franklin Delano Roosevelt shared these words, as he spoke about national security and a proposed change from America’s traditional stance of non-intervention. In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human…

A Father’s Love

A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.  (George Webster Douglas)  I write to you both as a son and a father and a grandfather who has been on both the receiving end and the giving…

Life Beyond Confirmation

Lord, it is time: we pray for our children.  Not only for them in their infancy, when disease or accident alone might harm them; not only for them in childhood, when their dreams begin and school is hard and our own discipline’s the hardest thing they must endure; not only for them in adolescence, when…

Luther On…

Traditional Sermon Reformation Sunday It has been 500 years since the beginning of the Reformation. Five hundred years have passed since Martin Luther posted 95 debatable topics–thesis statements–about God’s mercy, our faith, and the work of the church. This past year there have been books published, interviews given, and PBS movies made about the life…

Reformation Sunday Preview

“…since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”  -Romans 3:23-24 On this day we celebrate the heart of our faith: the gospel of Christ—the good news—that makes us free! We pray that the Holy Spirit…