Sermons

A Full House

There is some weird stuff in the bible; things that are difficult to understand and today’s parable about the wedding banquet certainly qualifies. I hope you’re not disappointed but I need to confess that part of me is as confused as you about this reading.

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Deserving

I’m not the only one who has favorite words and least favorite words, right? It’s not just the English major in me who geeks out about etymology and word choice and actual word definitions, and gets a little upset about some of them? And I’m not just talking about dangling your participles or using “literally” to literally mean the exact opposite of what it means, although those things are true for me. There are some words that mean something or imply something that I just can’t get behind. One of those words is “deserve”.

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A Different Kind of Authority

The home town boy wore out his welcome and the good folks in Nazareth were more than happy to see Jesus move on. If they couldn’t have Jesus for themselves and on their own terms, they didn’t want him at all.

Jesus is on the move. It is a 22 and half mile walk from Nazareth to Capernaum and when we read in Luke 4 that Jesus went down to Capernaum, he literally went down from a higher elevation to a lower elevation as Capernaum was a village on the shoreline of the sea of Galilee.

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Use Me Lord

The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. 8Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 11Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

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Hometown Hero?

I love the Twin Cities. It’s a place a pride for natives, and a flocking ground for young go getters. It is hard not to take pride in being from the Twin Cities. We can list with ease all the great things that come from these two towns. They were or are the homes of Billy Graham, Bod Dylan, the Coen Brothers, Garrison Keillor, F Scott Fitzgerald, and the purple one himself Price. The Cities house the headquarters of Target, 3M, Xcel, General Mills, and the oh so delicious Dairy Queen. We love the hometown heroes. We get to lay some exclusive claim on their success because they grew up in our great metro. Just by residing here they raise the property value of the surrounding area. These people and companies bring in recognition, tourism, employment, and overall wealth to the area we live. We have every right to be excited about those who become or were successful around us. The surplus of their success goes into our wallets and boosts our pride.

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Down from the Mountain

When I was 18, I got on a plane for the first time in my life. Even though I’d never left North America, that plane took me to Israel. I actually won the trip in a speaking contest, and so I found myself with five other teenaged Minnesotans who I’d never met on our way to the Holy Land. People had told me numerous times how incredible the experience would surely be, and how my life would change, and the way my faith would be made real, I could not have prepared for what I saw, smelled, heard, tasted, and did. Candle-lit grottos dazzled me, incense-soaked shrines humbled me, holy places built upon holy places amazed me. I came home wide-eyed and bursting, stunned by my mountain-top experience where I encountered God in a big, weird, holy way.

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Youth Reflection – Jacob Hopp

Hi everyone, my name is Jacob Hopp and I’m a senior at Park High School in Cottage Grove. At school I’m involved in the International Baccalaureate program or IB for short, the Speech team, Tennis, and a few other small clubs that are available. As for colleges, I have yet to decide where I’ll be going, but as far as I know, none of them are in Minnesota. As much as I love our winters, I’m going to have to take a pass on that. I also, as I’m sure you guessed, am a member of Augustana. I’ve been a member of Augustana for as long as I can remember, literally, I was baptized by Pastor Aune and my parents were also married by him.

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Youth Reflection – Olivia Rud

My name is Olivia Rud and I am a senior this year at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights. Next year, I plan to attend the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Throughout my childhood, I’ve learned that there are many choices to be made and many obstacles to overcome. High school has presented me with various challenges, both big and small; all of which have helped me to become a better person.

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