Sermons by “Pastor Torgerson”

Deserve

We hear Pilate’s words, and we know that Jesus “has done nothing to deserve death”, and yet the words that come out of our mouths are “crucify him”.

How did it feel to demand Jesus’ death with your own voice? Did you feel a little removed, because you feel certain that you never would have demanded that? Is it easier for you to remove yourself from this suffering because it wasn’t your fault?

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Good Things

This text does not answer the question of how to get into heaven. You know the answer to that question. I mean, honestly, do you believe that Jesus has saved you?

Seriously, I’m asking you: do you believe that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection have destroyed sin and death for you?

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Compassion and Repentance

Does your Bible use headings before sections of scripture? Many Bibles will have a little subtitle inserted by an editor before each chunk of text to give you an idea of what it’s going to talk about, like a sort of mini-chapter heading. In one of my Bibles, the description that comes before this passage in Luke 13 is: “Repent or perish”.

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God’s Faithfulness

Different parts of the Bible are written in different styles. The Bible contains history, prophecy, letters, and poetry. We should take the style of scripture seriously and read it accordingly. It’s the same reason that we have different subjects in school – you’d never read Shakespeare the same way you read your geography textbook.

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On the Sabbath

I have a problem with rules. Like, just in general. I’m not a troublemaker per se, but rules have always made me want to break them, especially if they’re presented as “this is the way things are”. I hear a rule like the third commandment – remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy – and I’m immediately going to ask: why? How? So what? I realize that many rules give life and promote community, but man, if I can’t see that right off the bat, I don’t love rules.

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Today

My home congregation called me home early in my theological education to preach on a summer Sunday. They didn’t ask me to preach at just any service. They asked me to preach at the county-wide non-denominational Sunday service held at the grandstand during the county fair, the big hometown gathering of the year. Class reunions, family gatherings, and huge events all center around this weekend, and it culminates in worship at the grandstand. What do you suppose the gospel text was for that morning?

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“The Angels Sing” (Part 1 of 3)

In 2017, people of faith around the world will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s writing of the 95 theses. This document is generally considered to be the spark that lit the fire of the protestant reformation, leading to the formation of numerous new theologies and traditions. Our own Lutheran denomination owes both its theology and its name to Luther himself.

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Rejoice in the Lord

Friends in Christ, grace to you, and peace, from God our Creator, and our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

I recently learned that a friend of mine had been going through a very hard time. Job loss, illness, a death in the family, and still more. I was late getting a hold of her to offer my love and support, and wasn’t sure quite what to say. So I took a breath, apologized for taking so long, and told her: it will be okay. It isn’t right now, and some day, it will be. She told me later how much that simple statement meant to her.

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Holiday Memorial Service – Do Not Be Afraid

“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” At this time of year, as the days get short and the memories get strong, I think of these words. I think about them because I feel a lot of anxiety and sadness and fear around this time of year – let’s be honest with each other that we are all here because we all do.

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Into the Den of Lions

One of the great joys of parenthood is sharing Bible stories with my kids. We’ve been really fortunate to have people share some incredible kids Bible story books with us, especially for baptism gifts or as special presents from godparents. Both of my kids are particularly fond of one book right now that includes the story of Daniel, which we just read together this morning.

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