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Of Water and Rainbows

Lent 1B-21 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Tens of thousands were left in the dark and cold across Texas this week. Pipes burst and drinking water became scarce in places after winter cold swept across much of the state. One Texas mayor told residents of his small town in a since-deleted Facebook post, “Only the strong will […]

Silent Treasure

Ash Wednesday Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago People muted their cell phones and pocketed their earbuds in the fall 2005 to sit in a packed theater in monkish silence for the premier of Philip Gröning’s three-hour documentary, Into Great Silence. The movie has almost no dialogue. Into Great Silence follows the life of monks in the Grande Chartreuse monastery hidden […]

Seeing with Your Ears

Transfiguration B-21 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago On the mountain of his transfiguration, Peter, James, and John learn something you and I already know. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of Man, the Son of God. The Greek word used is metamorphothe and is translated as transfigured, yet it comes closer to expressing something English […]

Casting Out Demons

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago We’re twenty verses into the first chapter of Mark. Jesus is already collecting disciples and casting out demons. Neither are from places you’d expect. He finds disciples from the hard-scrabble, unrefined, unlearned shores of the Sea of Galilee. He cast out demons from inside the synagogue. In the […]

Tell Them About the Dream

Epiphany 2B-21 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago It was a 17-minute speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King Jr. had been so preoccupied with the logistics of the historic March on Washington he hadn’t given much thought to what he’d say. He began to write less […]

What We Saw on Epiphany

Baptism of our Lord B-21 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago For now, we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. —1 Corinthians 13:12 We navigate by the uncertain light of epiphany. Without all the details, we make decisions. […]

Home is Where We Start From

Christmas 2B-21 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Every sermon I’ve written since 2005 is on the computer through which I’m speaking to you now. Yet there was no sermon for the second Sunday of Christmas—until now. Last year, on New Year’s Eve, I was embarrassing my kids on the dance floor at the YMCA of the Rockies. […]

Assembly Required

Christmas Day B-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Have you opened gifts yet? I got off easy this Christmas. I installed a closet clothing rod in Joe’s room before he came home. Other years, I’ve assembled a bicycle, a free-standing basketball hoop, and an outdoor playhouse. And, of course, many things from Ikea. There’s a storage unit […]

Cast Off Your Pandemic Doldrums

4th Sunday of Advent Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago As I sit here the little light next to the built-in camera on my laptop is shining green. I can see many of you, although not all of you, on a large external monitor. I have on my clergy shirt. I’m wearing my blue stole for the Advent […]

The Healer Comes

Advent 2B-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Comfort O Comfort my people, says the Lord. Speak tenderly to them (Isaiah 40:1&2). Comfort is hard to come by this holiday season. It’s time to celebrate small victories. Did I tell you? We sat on the back porch for Thanksgiving this year. Kari’s parents came down from Milwaukee. We […]