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Sermons

Copyright 2015 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved

The Sunday of The Passion

You may know today as “the first day of spring” or liturgically as “Palm Sunday.” This day also comes with the title “Passion Sunday,” which is attributed to the fact that we read the Passion narrative today. One of the things I appreciate most about Passion Sunday is that we get a different “flavor” of the passion story each year. The taste we get of today is different from what we’ll hear on Good Friday and will be different for the next two Palm/Passion Sundays. Each biblical author takes a different approach. On Good Friday we always read the passion according to John. Power dynamics and the identity of Jesus are main things that John emphasizes in his telling. In Matthew and Mark they both draw us into the suffering, agony, and turmoil of Jesus. Luke, however, Luke is different. Luke has some distinctive scenes and phrases that can easily be missed if we’re not careful. These differences, I believe, suggest that one question Luke explores is: “how do we die well?”…

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Copyright 2015 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved

Fifth Sunday in Lent

It’s a cold November night in 1959 and Roger is just one of hundreds of people exiting the Music Box movie theatre on N. Southport Ave. He had gone to the movies by himself this time, he couldn’t quite convince his friends to go see all three and a half hours of Ben-Hur again, for the fifth time. Roger enjoyed the fact that his ticket purchases had contributed to Ben-Hur being the fastest grossing movie of all time, heck it even made him in a crazy way, and he knew it was crazy, feel proud, as if he was a part of something bigger than himself. Ben-Hur was like no other movie he had ever seen. Its 15 million dollar budget far surpassed any other movies. I mean the chariot race alone cost 1 million dollars to make and the life size 18 acre track, which was historically accurate to the 1st century, was the largest film set ever built. Roger couldn’t fathom a movie experience to top this one. Well until he saw it…

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Copyright 2015 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Fourth Sunday in Lent

“Humans are a risk-taking species,” says psychologist Dr. Marvin Zuckerman. “The hunting of large and dangerous game by men required a type of thrill- and adventure-seeking that also contributes to the success of the human race. Over the millennia, men also found in combat and war and outlet for their need for adventure…This does not mean that individuals don’t differ in the degree in which they have that trait.” Too little risk-taking brings about stagnation, and too much risk-taking, after all, leads to an early death. We might call that consistent, routine-based person on one end of the scale boring, while we could call the daredevil, jobless person on the other end of the scale reckless…

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