Sermons on “Mark”

What Jesus Means to Me

The seeds for today’s sermon were sown from a book Ingrid Rasmussen [our second intern] recommended we read together. The book is “This Odd and Wondrous Calling”. It was written by two pastors, an older male pastor and a younger female pastor, and is their reflections on what being a parish pastor is like. It is a very good book and I ask all our interns to read it.

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Faith Beyond Fear

About a year ago, I drove past a church that had one of those signs with letters that you have to change each week. It was the day before Easter, and the sign had what I thought was a pretty witty one-liner. It said, in big block letters: “spoiler alert: Jesus lives.”

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They Were Afraid

Dear friends in Christ, grace and peace. Amen

So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

You have to admit it is not a very inspiring end to the way Mark tells the story of the first Easter.

They fled from the tomb.

Terror and amazement seized them.

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Sacrifice of Praise

I’ve been singing hymns to my girls. Before naps or at bedtime, while we’re driving in the car, whenever one of them gets upset. Sometimes we do “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or a rotating list of Taylor Swift songs or the millionth rendition of “Let It Go”, but lately, there have been more and more hymns.

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Your Love Matters

I read an interesting little article in the March edition of The Atlantic about marriage proposals in China. The competition for a bride is pretty stiff in China. “The country will by 2020 have a least 24 million surplus men ages 20 to 45.”[1] How would like those odds gentlemen? Ladies?

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Giving Ourselves to God

Our text for today would be impolite conversation at most Thanksgiving dinner tables across America, because not only does Jesus talk about religion and money, as he has been doing throughout his ministry in the book of Mark, he also talks about politics. Jesus takes the controversial trifecta of religion, money, and politics and manages to talk about them all at the exact same time.

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Those Who Followed

I love stories that focus on the disciples. I especially love hearing stories where the disciples are dumb, dense, and dramatic. This isn’t because I have some kind of grudge against them and delight in their misery. It’s because those stories are real stories about real humans. This is what people of faith are really like. The disciples are like me.

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A Tough Sell

Dear friends in Christ, grace and peace. Amen

It is wonderful to be home and even better to be here with you this morning. Our trip to Tanzania was very good and time and time again I was told to bring greetings back to you from your sisters and brothers in our companion churches.

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Last of All and Servant of All

Luther Seminary professor Craig Koester tells a story about going on a cross-country ski trip with a group in high school. It was likely a winter with a little more snow than this one, so the trails were groomed and ready for the students to ski. But it was a trail that led to a campsite, probably a long one, and would have been challenging to those who hadn’t done a ton of skiing.

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