How do you pray? Is it how you're supposed to pray? Jesus gave some good advice on how to do it. 

his sermon is quite a bit different from how it was written, therefore, please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The sermon notes which are included for convenience.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

July 24, 2016 - 10th Sunday after Pentecost

"Shameless, Persistent Prayer".  Text is from Luke 11:1-13

Click here for sermon audio

 



Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

How do you pray? Our disciples haven't quite gotten the knack of that discovery but they've seen it done. Surely it means something when they see John the Baptist and Jesus having one-on-one conversations with God. They want to have those conversations and want to know how it is that God says things out loud for everyone to hear. 

And so, the disciples find Jesus in prayer, an opportunity they cannot pass up, and he gives them some words to use for themselves. Here in Luke, we have an abbreviated version of a prayer we're all familiar with:

Father, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins,

for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.

And do not bring us to the time of trial

Sodom and Gomorrah.  And prayer.  Yeah, it's happening. 

Figures The Sodomites are smitten with blindness

This is an unrehearsed homily, so there is no accompanying text!  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

July 20, 2016 - 10th Wednesday after Pentecost

"Tenth Wednesday after Pentecost".  Text is from Genesis 18:20-32 

Nothing wrong with making a home inviting and comfortable to live in. But there is a place and a time for everything. And we need to make time for God. 

This sermon is quite a bit different from how it was written, therefore, please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The sermon notes which are included for convenience.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

July 11, 2016- 9th Sunday after Pentecost

"Hospitable Homes".  Text is from Luke 10:38-42

Click here for sermon audio

 



Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Balance in life is something that we can all stand to merit from, but balance is sometimes hard to find, particularly when the world is giving you a series of unplanned events that shift and take you to places you did not expect to go. When then do we find the time to sit and process what is happening to us? When our lives go from one busy moment to another, when do we experience the retreat needed to rest from the busyness, creating moments in the silence to listen for God's wisdom to help us understand the massive barrage of signals from everywhere we constantly receive. 

Jesus is traveling in our passage and arrives at a certain village. If we assume that the sisters Mary and Martha are the same two in John, which there is no reason not to, then we know the village to be Bethany, as they appear a few times in our gospels, but at least in Luke this is obviously their first appearance. And Martha is indeed the one who excels in being a hostess. She welcomes the unexpected Jesus into her home and sets about making all things right, that his stay in their home be one where he feels beloved and welcome, that in his appreciation he sees her appreciation of him vis-a-vis all the busy work she does for him. 

Yes, God wants us to love all people, when God says love your neighbor as yourself. But unless we call out how some people aren't being loved, then saying "All Lives Matter" is just a lie. 

  Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

July 10, 2016- 8th Sunday after Pentecost

"Samaritan Lives".  Text is from Luke 10:25-37

Click here for sermon audio

 



Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

This conversation that Jesus is having this morning and the accompanying parable both feel as if they could not have come at either a more or a less opportune time, depending on how you look at things. What's truly amazing is that it only occurs in Luke, and so we hear about this well-known parable, one that exhibits what may be the very core of Christian doctrine, only once in our three-year cycle.  Just one time to understand to hear Jesus use a parable to explain to this curious lawyer (who may just be a specific kind of Scribe) the nature of what a neighbor truly is. 

God sends us out on mission into the world. And it can sometimes be scary and feel lonely. But we don't do mission alone. And it isn't our mission. 

 Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

July 3, 2016- 7th Sunday after Pentecost

"Our Mission".  Text is from Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Click here for sermon audio

 



Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

I love imagining what it must have been like to hear the words of Jesus as he spoke, sending me out in mission. Now, to be clear, as a member of the seventy-two...and I note, that our translation here in the New Revised Standard Version does not take into account that today's scholars look to older manuscripts and it seems that the number seventy-two is found with more certainty than seventy... as a member of the seventy-two that Jesus sent out, I'm not one of the twelve apostles. These are other followers, comprised of the many men and women that are now following Jesus, and who he's given the authority to heal and cast out demons. 


Jesus time was short on Earth. Even now following him is not always easy nor convenient. But it is nevertheless rewarding. 

Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

June 26, 2016- 6th Sunday after Pentecost

"Journey Without End".  Text is from Luke 9:51-62

Click here for sermon audio

 



Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Let the dead bury their own dead.  No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.  These sayings of Jesus seem particularly hard and unsympathetic responses for people who simply want to enlist in the life that Jesus is offering. Here they have had the call to change their lives and following the Lord, and all they want is closure on their old lives, and this one who they would follow seems to be making it especially hard on them. How would that make you feel? 

The demons' name is Legion. The problems that come together and create tragedy are legion. 

Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

June 19, 2016- 5th Sunday after Pentecost

"Legion".  Text is from Luke 8:26-39

Click here for sermon audio




Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Such a miracle. 

Jesus encounters a man running around without a stitch of clothes on, plagued by a demon and causing havoc, living in the tombs and just being a general nuisance, unable to be contained. Jesus called out the demon and asked his name: Legion the demon says... not a name so much as a descriptor. 

The demons' name is Legion. The problems that come together and create tragedy are legion. 

Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

June 19, 2016- 5th Sunday after Pentecost

"Legion".  Text is from Luke 8:26-39

Click here for sermon audio




Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Such a miracle. 

Jesus encounters a man running around without a stitch of clothes on, plagued by a demon and causing havoc, living in the tombs and just being a general nuisance, unable to be contained. Jesus called out the demon and asked his name: Legion the demon says... not a name so much as a descriptor. 

I'm angry. I'm very angry. So much conspired to make a tragedy take place. 

Pulse black ribbon.jpg

This is an unrehearsed homily, so there is no accompanying text!  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

June 15, 2016 - 5th Wednesday after Pentecost

"Second Wednesday after Pentecost".  Text is from Isaiah 65:1-9 & Galatians 3:23-29

You've got your guest list all planned. Then someone unexpected and undesirable comes and misbehaves and crashes your party. Maybe you need to check your motives. 

Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

June 12, 2016- 4th Sunday after Pentecost

"Dinner Guest".  Text is from Luke 7:36--8:3

Click here for sermon audio





Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.

Just imagine that you have spent all day planning this dinner party to impress this new V.I.P. in town, who has accepted your invitation. You have made sure everything is just right, all the right people are sitting next to all the right other people, and the topic of conversation is going just as you planned. And then suddenly this strange and unexpected person shows up unannounced, certainly not someone you would ever have in your house but someone who takes attention away from all of your hard work making a fuss over your V.I.P. and making a rather embarrassing scene. And to top it all off, your guest humors them, feeding into the fuss and not acting like the person you thought you invited over to begin with! 

I cannot help thinking that this is what must have been going through the head of Simon the Pharisee's head as this woman, a woman of questionable morals and history, showed up, rubbing oil on Jesus' feet and washing them with her tears and her hair. Indeed, Jesus is not the man that Simon expected, the prophet, the holy man that he'd heard so much about. Simon was expecting someone he could have some deep theological conversation with, possibly some debate. But instead, there is this scene happening of a starkly different nature, and Simon is not at all happy with how things turn out. 

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