Pastor Lippard's Sermons

 

July 16, 2017 - Growing at Lutherock

         Scripture Focus: Jesus tells a parable about seeds planted in rocky, weedy, and good soil.

         "What grows here is not produce. What grows at Lutherock, for the most part, grows in a natural, unspoiled environment. And what also grows here, more importantly, are people, especially young people. In the parable Jesus told, the seed that fell in the good soil had a great yield. That is what has been happening at Lutherock and will continue to happen for years to come."

July 2, 2017 - How Do We Welcome?

         Scripture Focus: Jesus teaches about welcoming people.

         "There’s the rub, to learn to do hospitality: to learn to welcome everyone as Jesus welcomes us. "

June 18, 2017 - Everything We Have is a Gift

         Scripture Focus: God reminds the people of Israel that the whole earth is God's; Paul teaches about the gift of right relationship with God

         "Everything, absolutely everything we have is gift and is connected in a great cycle of generation and regeneration...God wants us to be channels through which grace flows."

June 3, 2017 -How Do We Run the Race?

         Scripture Focus: the Holy Spirit descends on the disciples in tongues of flame; Jesus says the gift of the Spirit gives his followers the power to declare forgiveness.

         "The gospel message is that whatever we have done or have failed to do, Christ has washed our sins away. That’s what makes our baptism so precious and why we remember it today. We are free to make courageous choices, even when we make the wrong ones."

April 23, 2017 - Doubting Saints

         Scripture Focus: Thomas doubts the other disciples' story that Jesus had been raised from the dead and visited them; then Jesus visits Thomas, too.

         "Our own faith as individuals sometimes may be characterized by troubling doubts and periods of being lukewarm, cold, or seemingly dead. But it’s not up to us to create faith for ourselves. As Luther points out in the Small Catechism, we can’t do it anyway, because faith itself is a gift of God.[1] The message of Easter is that Christ meets us where we are, just as he met Thomas."

April 16, 2017 - Easter Sunday

         Scripture Focus: Mary Magdalene and two other disciples run to Jesus's empty tomb; Jesus appears to Mary in the garden.

         "How will you share the good news that life, even though it includes suffering, death, and separation, also includes resurrection and reunion?"

March 19, 2017 - Faith and Security

         Scripture Focus: The Israelites complain to Moses as they wander in the desert, wondering if God is still with them; Jesus meets a woman at the well and offers her living water.

         "For sure, there are times when we will relapse. Sometimes fears assail us. But even when they do, Christ continues to bring forth living water from the dry and dusty places in our lives. As we drink from his fountain of eternal life, our faith and our trust in God’s steadfast love and care is renewed again and again – all the days of our lives."

March 5, 2017 - Temptations and Tests

         Scripture Focus: Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent; Jesus is tempted by the devil in the wilderness.

         "The tests and temptations we experience in life can bring us to a transformed innocence enlightened by the forgiveness and grace we receive in Christ. Even when we mess up and step off the way of following of Jesus, we can return to the right road. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit continues to call and lead us to Jesus as beloved and forgiven children of God!"

February 19, 2017 - Completely Human

        Scripture Focus: The Leviticus reading sets down laws about justice and caring for the poor, the immigrant, and other neighbors; Jesus says, "Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect."

        "Through Jesus, God invites us to accept our humanity and each other’s humanity. We are called not only to look for God in one another, but also to find God in one another."

February 5, 2017 - Light of the World and Salt of the Earth

        Scripture Focus: Paul points out that his message is down-to-earth; Jesus says to the disciples, "You are the light of the world...you are the salt of the earth..."

         "It’s a challenge and a privilege to be God’s special seasoning and God’s light to the world. We are as ordinary as the water of baptism and a communion wafer. Yet by virtue of Christ’s ongoing presence with us, we also,  like water and bread, are vehicles for the expression of God’s grace, mercy, and love."

January 29, 2017 - Revolutionary

        Scripture Focus: the prophet Micah tells Israel to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God"; Paul preaches the scandal of the cross; Jesus blesses the poor, the meek, the mourning, the persecuted.

         "...the heart and soul of the gospel is subversive – justice, kindness, and the meek ruling the earth were and still are major threats to the powers that be."

January 8, 2017 - Baptism and the Threat of Being Ordinary

         Scripture Focus: Jesus is baptized

         "As our focus on Christ and on the gifts God gives us through baptism increases, our self-striving can become less driven, less obsessive-compulsive. We do not need to defend ourselves against the threat of being ordinary. By means of our baptism, God gives us everything we need to accept ourselves as we are."

December 25, 2016 - Homily on Christmas Morning (St. John Chrysostom, Antioch, 386)

         Scripture Focus: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..."

         "For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit that He may save me."