Sermons

  • April 6, 2014 – The Spirit of Life   John 11:1-45; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Romans 8:6-11   Each of our lessons for today deals with the tension between life and death.  However, the death to which these lessons refer is not the death of an individual, but rather the death of an entire nation or of a new community of people who have put their trust in ...
  • March 30, 2014 – Dustin Hamren, Preacher Dustin Hamren, Preacher John 9:1-41   “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  What a loaded question.  It’s the perfect way to start this passage.  The disciples saw a man with an affliction, blindness, and the first assumption made is that this blindness was a direct result of sin, whether it was ...
  • March 23, 2014 – Liberation From Shame   John 4:5-42   As a result of my association and conversations with homeless women over the past 25 years, this story about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well has become one of my favorite stories in all of Scripture.  However, my understanding of this story continues to evolve as I come to appreciate more ...
  • March 9, 2014 – To Be Like God “What is done is done. However, even though you now have a king to rule over you, remember to serve God faithfully with all your heart and do not pursue useless things that ultimately cannot save you.”
  • March 16, 2014 – To Know Who Jesus Is We have very little to risk by being baptized in Jesus’ name and professing him as our Savior. Deciding to follow Jesus is another matter, if we take this call to follow him to heart.
  • March 2, 2014 – Moved by the Holy Spirit   2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9; Exodus 24:12-18   When I was growing up, memorizing Bible verses was the normal thing to do for anyone who was going to parochial school.  One verse that has always stuck with me is from I Peter 1:21.  However, the way that I memorized this verse was a little different than the ...
  • February 23, 2014 – Preacher Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings Matthew 5:38-48   Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings, Lutheran Campus Ministry University of Washington   I was once taught that the reason we stand to hear the Gospel is because people were so excited to hear it that they would stand and lean in to hear the word. As I was reading this text, I could feel the desire to lean back, to ...
  • February 16, 2014 – Choose Life No matter whether we are rich or poor, we all are blessed creatures of God because by the gracious goodness of God we are given life and loved beyond measure. As one expression of this love, we are given what we call a free will to choose life or death. Rather than having ...
  • February 9, 2014 – The Light of The World   Isaiah 58:1-12; Matthew 5:13-20; I Corinthians 2:1-12   Twenty-twenty hindsight is a good way not only to learn from our past, but also to decide how we can live into our future in a way that is more conducive to a full and healthy life, both as individuals and as a community.  The disciples of Isaiah had ...
  • February 2, 2014 – Jesus Walked the Talk   Matthew 5:1-12; Micah 6:1-8; I Corinthians 1:18-31   To anyone who is wise and powerful in this world, Jesus’ death on the cross makes absolutely no sense.  From the perspective of human wisdom and human strength, a person can read about the way that Jesus did not put up a fight to save his own life and ...
  • January 26, 2014 – I’m Not With THOSE Christians To stop clarifying that “I’m not one of those Christians” and to simply and earnestly proclaim “I’m with Christ” would be a beautiful thing.
  • January 19, 2014 – A Testament of Hope   Isaiah 49:1-7; John 1:29-42; I Corinthians 1:1-9   How do you view the United States of America in this day and age?  Can we say about the United States, as Isaiah said about Israel, that we are a light to the nations of this world and that we are bringing salvation to the ends of the earth?  ...
  • January 12, 2014 – What is Pleasing to God   Matthew 3:13-17; Isaiah 42:1-9; Acts10:34-43   Every year, the Society of Christian Ethicists holds a national conference shortly after the New Year.  This weekend, they are meeting in Seattle.  Prior to the national conference, the Lutheran ethicists usually hold a gathering for a couple of days.  This year, their theme was “Climate Change,” and Larry Rasmussen was ...
  • January 5, 2014 – Close to God’s Heart How close are you to God’s heart? How well do you know the will of God? What word of God are you willing to proclaim because you trust that the message that you have heard is certain and true? All three of our lessons for today speak a word of grace and ...
  • Christmas Eve, 2013 – What on Earth? WHAT ON EARTH? Christmas Eve, 2013   Whatever you hear and see tonight, I hope that something about it rings true in your hearts and minds just as the sights and sounds of that first Christmas Eve gave the shepherds a reason to glorify and praise God.  Such is the opportunity for any preacher at this time of ...
  • December 15, 2013 – A Journey Of Hope   Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11:2-11   A few of you commented to me after our worship service at University Temple last month that you really liked hearing a sermon based upon the Old Testament because you rarely hear such a sermon.  I heard these comments as a challenge to offer you more sermons that concentrate on the Hebrew ...
  • December 8, 2013 – Isaiah’s Vision   Isaiah 11:1-10   Isaiah was a prophet who lived in the best of times and in the worst of times.  Not that any of these names would mean anything to you, but Isaiah served as a prophet of God Yahweh primarily during the reigns of 3 kings of Judah—King Jotham, King Ahaz, and King Hezekiah.  According to ...
  • November 24, 2013 – The Signs of Jesus’ Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43; Jeremiah 23:1-6   This past week, I took some time off for my pre-Advent retreat to do some reading and writing.  The only thing that I read besides the daily newspaper was the New Testament, because I was doing some research about a theological idea that I have been sitting on for the ...
  • December 1, 2013 – Be Awake And Ready   Matthew 24:36-44; Romans 13:11-14   As far as any of us knows, sleep is essential for life and is a main contributor to having good health, more energy, and even a sound mind.  Therefore, the suggestion in 2 of our lessons for today that we stay awake through the night or wake from our sleep in order ...
  • November 10, 2013 – Salvation in This House   Stewardship Sermon Isaiah 1:10-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12   Luke 19:1-10       Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So ...
  • October 27, 2013 – Being Humbled By God Reformation Sunday Luke 18:9-14   It seems like Martin Luther had something to say about almost anything.  For example, he actually preached a whole sermon on our gospel lesson for today on July 27, 1516 in the parish church in Wittenberg—15 months prior to nailing his 95 Theses to the door of that chapel.  I won’t bother you ...
  • December 15, 2013 – A Journey of Hope Some of Isaiah’s disciples probably were among those who were deported to Babylon, and as good students of their teacher, they offered a word of hope to those who longed to return home, but who were afraid of what they would have to face in making this journey. “The wilderness and the dry land ...
  • October 6, 2013 – The God Within We would be nowhere in this world without God’d grace – the gift of God’s love which we have done nothing to deserve, but which is always there and here inside of us reminding us of how lovable and acceptable we truly are.
  • September 22, 2013 – A Quiet and Peaceable Life I Timothy 2:1-7; Amos 8:4-7; Luke 16:1-13   How many of you have ever taken a Bible verse out of context and used it for your own purpose?  I know that I have—many times—and I was reminded of this manipulative practice once again as I read through our second lesson for today.  The particular verse about which ...
  • September 15, 2013 – Tax Collectors & Sinners Luke 15:1-10; I Timothy 1:12-17   A little over a week ago, Cindy and were relaxing on our vacation.  However, at one point, I found myself a little stressed out because I couldn’t find a pair of white socks that I was sure that I had packed, and I couldn’t find my reading glasses that I easily ...
  • September 8, 2013 – All Your Possesions Luke 14:25-33; Deuteronomy 30:15-20   Oh, fiddle fat!  Luke is up to his old tricks again.  Do you remember a few weeks ago, when I mentioned in a sermon that thankfully Jesus did not say that we had to sell ALL of our possessions, and we all breathed a sigh of relief?  Well, today Jesus changes his ...
  • August 25, 2013 – The Prophetic Sabbath Luke 13:10-17; Isaiah 58:9b-14   Based upon our 3 lessons for today, one of the obvious topics for our consideration is the whole issue about the Sabbath.  However, during the past several years, it seems like I have dealt enough with the Sabbath day in my sermons that I should just let it go, and focus on ...
  • August 18, 2013 – Interpreting The Times INTERPRETING THE TIMES Luke 12:49-56   How do you interpret the present time?  I imagine that your answer to this question depends upon whether you are looking through a glass half full or through a glass half empty.  For some people who are very idealistic or who live in complete denial, all that they can see is a ...
  • August 11, 2013 – Trust And Hope In God Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40; Genesis 15:1-6   When we start out our discussion about the Apostle’s Creed in confirmation, I usually give the young people a multiple choice exercise in which I ask them to define what faith is.  They may check as many responses as they think best fit the definition of faith.  The options ...
  • August 4, 2013 – All Kinds of Greed ALL KINDS OF GREED Luke 12:13-21; Colossians 3:1-11; Eccleasiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23   I bring you greetings from the Bishop and staff of the Meru Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, from the 2 congregations at which we worshipped in Tanzania, and from the faculty, staff and students of Ailanga Lutheran Junior Seminary.  For 17 days, ...
  • July 28, 2013 – Teach Us To Pray Teach Us To Pray Luke 11:1-13 July 28, 2013 Rev. Maynard Atik, preacher   “Lord, teach us to pray.”  When we pray, Jesus urges us to pray as spontaneously as children, as fervently as saints, as naggingly as a bargaining Abraham.  We’re to ask, seek and knock.  But like the disciples, we stand perplexed.  The worlds in our Gospel are ...
  • July 21, 2013 – Tradition? Tradition? July 21, 2013  Dustin Hamren, preacher               As someone with three brothers, I had to snicker a bit when I read this text.  How typical does it seem for a Martha to be angry with Mary, after all, Martha is doing all the work.  How could Mary be so lazy as to sit around while she took ...
  • July 14, 2013 – Go And Do Likewise Luke 10:25-37; Colossians 1:1-14   How many times in his brief ministry did Jesus go and do likewise—that is, be a neighbor to someone who was considered to be an outcast, a foreigner, an adversary, or even an enemy?  Jesus expects nothing more from others than what he himself is willing to do.  Or put differently—Jesus expects ...
  • July 7, 2013 – A Peaceful Response   Luke 10:1-12; Isaiah 32:1-8, 16-18; James 3:13-18 Jesus had a simple solution for his disciples in terms of how to respond to a town that was inhospitable and would not welcome them.  Go out into the streets of that town and say to the people, “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet ...
  • June 30, 2013 – Live By The Spirit Galatians 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62   When my father dies, and we happen to schedule the memorial service on the same day that an opportunity comes along to address our City Council about the need for more low-income housing in our city, you can bet that I will skip out on that City Council meeting and attend ...
  • June 23, 2013 – Shining Like the Sun Matthew 17:1-8; I Corinthians 15:35-44; Isaiah 30:18-26   How many of you are sun worshippers?  I didn’t expect to see too many hands go up in the air in response to this question, because we often associate the worship of the sun with some form of paganism.  So, let me ask you this question a little bit ...
  • June 16, 2013 – Bread Enough For Everyone June 16, 2013 Luke 9:10-17; II Corinthians 9:6-15; I Kings 17:8-16   These last 2 lines of our gospel reading for today tell the whole story.  “And all ate and were filled.  What was left over was gathered up—12 baskets of broken pieces.”  According to the organization, Bread for the World, there is enough food produced in this ...
  • June 9, 2013 – God’s Compassion June 9, 2013 Luke 7:11-17; I Kings 17:17-24   At one point in the movie, “Pretty Woman,” Julia Roberts mutters to herself after a dismissive remark by Richard Gere, “It’s not the way that you always imagine it to be.”  She is referring to the fairy tale idea about being swept off her feet by Prince Charming only ...
  • June 2, 2013 – The Faith of an Outsider The Faith of an Outsider by Paul Eldred Luke 7:1-10   Grace and peace to you from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ, who comforts us when we cry, heals us when we hurt, and exposes us to faith in new and exciting ways.  May all glory and honor be to them, now and forever.  Amen. Today’s Gospel ...
  • May 26, 2013 – What’s Comfortable? WHAT’S COMFORTABLE? May 26, 2013   One of the first rubrics that we were taught in seminary in Homiletics or Preaching 101 was to avoid working through our personal stuff in a sermon.  Given all that has transpired in the past 3 months, I feel like I have a lot to work through with you, because my personal ...
  • May 19, 2013 – This is Pentecost Sermon by David Chilton John 14:8-27 Grace to you and peace from God our Creator and our Savior Jesus Christ. Pray with me for a moment please. May the Words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, oh my rock and my redeemer. Amen Today we invite the spirit to come into our ...
  • May 12, 2013 – That They All May Be One May 12, 2013 John 17:20-26   By my count, there are at least 6 “so thats” in this brief portion of Jesus’ final prayer on behalf of his disciples and the world.  This frequent use of this connecting phrase, “so that”, demonstrates how purposeful Jesus’ prayer is.  Jesus wants results, and results that are transformative and meaningful.  There ...
  • May 5, 2013 – The Spirit of Peace May 5, 2013 John 14:23-29   Jesus can see the writing on the wall.  He already has warned his disciples that he eventually would be put to death.  He already has sent Judas on his way and has told him to do quickly what he was must do. Jesus has warned Peter that Peter was going to betray ...
  • April 28, 2013 – Them and Us April 28, 2013 Acts 11:1-18; John 13:31-35   Today, we hear how Peter told the circumcised believers at Jerusalem, “The Spirit told me to go with them and not make a distinction between them and us.”  As you listen to this statement by Peter, who comes to your mind when you hear his reference to “them?”  Who are ...
  • April 21, 2013 – Thanks for the Creator On this Earth Sunday, if we are going to recognize and proclaim how majestic the name of God is in all the Earth, then all of our decisions and actions ought to be consistent with our praise. Therefore, today, as we give praise to God for how magnificent this creation is, let us also ...
  • April 14, 2013 – Truth Hidden Simply   John 21:1-19  Sermon by Dustin Hamren As I read this week’s Gospel in order to write this sermon, I found myself trying to look deep within the text to pull out some hidden gem of wisdom.  Any time you open the Bible you hope to be inspired, encouraged, enlightened, or emboldened through the text and message.  These ...
  • April 7, 2013 – Obedience To God Acts 5:27-32; John 20:19-31   How do we explain the 2 very different images of Jesus’ disciples that are presented in our lessons for today?  In the Gospel of John, the disciples are terrified for their lives because they think that the religious leaders are going to come after them in order to arrest them and perhaps ...
  • March 31, 2013 – Easter Sunday – The Resurrection: An Idle Tale? Throughout Scripture, resurrection is all about a new creation, new life, new ways of being in relationship with one another, new opportunities, and fresh starts—all of which are grounded in the gift of God’s forgiveness for what has been wrong in the past and God’s revelation of what is possible in the future by living ...
  • March 24, 2013 – Palm Sunday – Don’t Stop Talking About Jesus We are the stones who have the opportunity to shout out this week about all that Jesus accomplished in his brief ministry as a faithful and obedient servant to a God in whom he put his complete trust. We are the disciples of Jesus who are called and chosen this week to tell others ...
  • March 17, 2013 – Always The Poor John 12:1-8; Philippians 3:4b-14   Do you know the difference between a prescriptive statement and a descriptive statement?  A prescriptive statement tells us the way things are supposed to be for all time, whereas a descriptive statement informs us about the way things are.  For example, is the statement, “In most cultures, women are dominated by men,” ...
  • March 10, 2013 – Often Prodigal, Always Forgiven We are loved by God and nothing we can do can stop that, even though we continue to sin. We usually want to do God’s will, but so often fall short. And yet, every time we come back to God, God always runs toward us; welcoming us back and tells us that we ...
  • March 3, 2013 – The Faithfulness of God March 3, 2013 I Corinthians 10:1-13   Nine times out of ten, whenever anyone makes a reference to our second lesson for today and reminds us that God will not allow us to be tested beyond our strength, the test that most often comes to mind has something to do with some kind of affliction or hardship—like a ...
  • February 24, 2013 – The Tears of Lament February 24, 2013 Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35   What is happening in this world that moves you to tears of anguish and lament?  What do you see going on around you in this world that tears your heart apart?  What do you hear about what is happening in this world that ties your stomach up in knots or ...
  • February 17, 2013 – Faith and Salvation February 17, 2013 Luke 4:1-13; Romans 10:8b-13   Faith—otherwise known as trust in God—is a big deal!  Jesus discovered this reality shortly after he was baptized when he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he chose to fast in preparation for his ministry in Galilee, including his hometown of Nazareth.  I guess somebody could ask, ...
  • Ash Wednesday, 2013 – Remember That You Are Dust   Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013   “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” were the words that were spoken tonight as your forehead was marked with a sign of the cross with ashes supposedly from the palm branches that were used last year by people who replayed the scene of Jesus entering Jerusalem ...
  • February 10, 2013 – Mountain Top Freedom February 10, 2013 Exodus 34:29-35; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36   Martin Luther King, Jr. said it about as clearly as anyone could describe it when he declared, “I’ve been to the mountain top and I’ve seen the promised land.”  What Dr. King saw from the mountain top was nothing short of amazing.  Whether it be the prodigious ...
  • January 27, 2013 – Jesus’ Ingaugral Address   Luke 4:14-21   Last Monday, I went down to Tacoma to visit my Dad who is still in the nursing care facility at the Tacoma Lutheran Home.  When I walked into his room, both he and his roommate, Bob, were watching FOX News on their separate TVs.  While I was having my initial conversation with my Dad, ...
  • January 20, 2013 – Gifts For The Common Good For example, here is a book containing many of the letters, articles, and speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr. From my perspective, every time that he sat down to write or stood up to make speech, Dr. King was engaged in a spiritual exercise just as he was engaged in a spiritual exercise every ...
  • January 13, 2013 – The Affirmation of Baptism Baptism is the time and the means in our lives when this Holy Spirit which has been breathed into us at birth is watered and nourished such that we are given the power, the energy, and a fire to be witnesses to the good news of God’s love and justice and to Jesus’ way of ...
  • January 6, 2013 – Star Trek It’s not what we have that defines us, that is part of the attitude that leads to putting other people and things before God. It’s not what we have, but how we live our lives and use our gifts that shows God and others where our hearts are
  • December 30, 2012 – A Baptismal Covenant We all are in constant need of God’s forgiveness, and if we acknowledge this predicament, then hopefully we can find it more tolerable to forgive someone else when we have a complaint against the other person. I always like to point out the nuance in this instruction because it states that if we have a ...
  • Christmas Eve, 2012 – Christmas Hope Christmas Eve, 2012   How do you preach Christmas?  I guess that all depends upon what you want to hear.  What I want to hear is how we all have been loved by God as was made evident in Jesus of Nazareth who was born to Mary and Joseph in the little town of Bethlehem.  I want ...
  • December 16, 2012 – A Joyful Reformation December 16, 2012 Luke 3:7-18; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Philippians 4:4-7   For those of you who are familiar with the 3-year lectionary cycle, you know that there are 3 different passages from the Bible that have been chosen to be read each Sunday over a 3-year period.  The first year concentrates on the Gospel of Matthew.  The second year ...
  • November 25, 2012 – Christ the King Christ the King Sunday is a hard day to be politically correct. With all of the references to king, kingship, and kingdom, there is no way in the world that we can avoid the language that conveys such a collage of words as sovereignty, dominion, authority, and power – all of which are frequently ...