Entries by Pastor Monte

Of Landlords and Tenants

Proper 22A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Jesus said, ‘Listen to this’ (Matthew 21:33a). An investor bought a three flat in Edgewater. They renovated everything right down the studs. New insulation, windows, plumbing, and electric. They opened the floor plan, refinished the floors, and installed an upscale kitchen and bathrooms. They leased it out and moved to […]

That’s Crazy!

Proper 20A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Jonah. And. The. Whale. God told Jonah to preach the good news to his enemies, to the people who had invaded his country, slaughtered his neighbors, and carried off friends and family into slavery by the thousands. God said to the prophet Jonah, “Get thee to Ninevah.” Jonah says to […]

Grateful for Forgiveness

Proper 19A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Some of you may be reading, Grateful, by Diana Butler Bass. I invite you to read it on your own and/or to discuss it with friends.  (Three small groups this month) Extensive research claims that gratitude is profoundly good for you. Around the world people who practice living gratefully experience […]

Leaving Margaritaville

Proper 18A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago It was a smash hit in 1977. I learned every word sitting in the back seat of my family’s big yellow AMC Matador on a summer road trip from Colorado to Washington D.C., to Chincoteague Island, Williamsburg, and Monticello, Virginia and back again. Wherever we went, Jimmy Buffet was on […]

The House of Living Stones

Proper 16A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago ‘On this rock I will build my church.’ (Matthew 16:18). The church in Rome and the doctrine of the primacy of Peter is built upon a single sentence Jesus uttered in a place called Caesarea Philippi. As Lutherans, we can trace a straight line from the Roman Papacy to the […]

Canaanite Lives Matter

Proper 15A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Jesus ignored her and insulted her, calling her a ‘little dog’. The disciples asked Jesus to send her away. Her constant shouting annoyed them. Matthew goes out of his way to tell us she was a Canaanite. The label is strange, because, in Jesus’ time, there were no “Canaanites.” Canaanites […]

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

Proper 14A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago August 13, 2023 Our story picks up where we left off last Sunday.  5,000 men plus women and children have just finished eating their fill of a meal produced from just two fish and five loaves of bread. They have portioned out the leftovers into twelve full baskets. Jesus has […]

Come, Eat, be Filled, and Live

Proper 13A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Jesus said, “You give them something to eat” (Matthew 14:16). The disciples were willing to disrupt their families and uproot their lives for a front row seat on the moving adventure that was the Jesus-event on its way to becoming the Christ-event—but you can almost see their jaws drop when […]

Lead Me, Guide Me

Proper 9A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago There’s an old preacher’s story about a church youth group working on an elderly woman’s house helping to make necessary repairs.  There was a child on the worksite. The great-grandson of the woman who lived in the house desperately wanted to help.  The very first task was to carry some […]

Discipleship Rewards

Proper 8A-23 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Did somebody say reward?  Did Jesus promise compensation for the disciples? Jesus said, ‘prophets, the righteous—even those who do something as simple as give a cold cup of water to little ones who are thirsty should expect to receive the fruits of their labor’ I enjoy rewards. The Immanuel credit […]