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Weeds into Wheat

Proper 11A-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago COVID-19 is on the rise in Chicago among 18 to 29-year-olds. This week, Mayor Lightfoot threatened to be the mom who would stop the car and make kids walk home if they didn’t take the virus and the public health more seriously. “We are at the precipice,” she said. “We […]

Seed and Soil

Proper 10A-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago We have green beans! These are the first fruits of the season from my backyard. We always had a garden when I was growing up. I remember eating tomatoes and vegetables, like this, straight from the vine. A few years back I bought, cut, and screwed together some 2” X […]

A New Birth of Freedom

Proper 9A-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago 12 score and 2 years ago our ancestors brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. “All men,” of course, referred narrowly only to people of that same gender, who were white, who had lived on […]

Test Your Faith, Stop the Killing

Proper 8A-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Put ourselves in Abraham’s sandals. God said, “Abraham!” And Abraham said, “Here I am.” God said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, the one I promised you, the one you waited nearly your whole life for, the son whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and […]

A Shepherd’s Heart

Proper 6A-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) The Greek word for “compassion,” splagchnizomai, has the connotation of having one’s entrails being stirred up. In other words, Jesus had a visceral response upon seeing the […]

Take Flight

Pentecost Sunday Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Violent wind, tongues of fire, and rivers of living water—these things inspire both fascination and dread. Yet each is a reflection of God’s presence and power in scripture. With the sound of a rushing wind, the wild and mysterious Spirit of God seeks a home in us. Or, put another […]

One Life of All

Easter 7A-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago “For the whole earth is the tomb of famous men [mortals]; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions in their own country, but in foreign lands there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men [all people].” With these […]

Now, We are Family

Sixth Sunday of Easter Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you” (John 14:18). Jesus’ declaration of love and commitment was hardly reassuring to the disciples on the eve of his arrest and crucifixion. He was throwing them a lifeline before they knew they were drowning. In less than […]

Jesus the Gate

Fourth Sunday of Easter Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Jesus said, “I AM the gate for the sheep.” (John 10:7). “I AM the good shepherd” (John 10:11). These are not throwaway lines in the gospel of John. They are like an open door. We are meant to step to the threshold and walk into newness of life […]

The Next Right Thing

Easter 3A-20 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago I have to say the Road to Emmaus is one of my favorite bible stories. It happens on Easter Sunday. Alleluia! Christ is risen. (Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!) The women discovered the stone rolled away and the empty tomb. They ran to tell everything. Angels dressed in dazzling clothes […]