December 08, 2013
So last week we talked about waiting and how hard a time we Americans have with that whole concept, given our ability to conjure up fast food, quick links, and virtual connections at nearly the speed of light.
December 01, 2013
Here we are, again, back at the beginning.
November 03, 2013
Who is this Jesus who speaks to his followers in today's Gospel?
October 27, 2013
Gabrielle Grace Gause, newly baptized child of God, if you continue in Jesus' word, you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
October 20, 2013
Popular radio man Paul Harvey once made quite a career of artfully telling "the rest of the story".
October 13, 2013
One of the reasons today's gospel is such good news, at least here at Resurrection, is that it is a story about how priests are not really that important.
October 06, 2013
There's a lot of talk about faith
in today's readings, so presumably it's a hot item right now, so the apostles decide it's time to upgrade.
September 29, 2013
In the introduction to his spiritual classic The Screwtape Letters
, C.S. Lewis asserts, There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devil.
September 22, 2013
Recently in Oklahoma, a seven-year-old straight-A student Tiana Parker was sent home from school in tears for violating the dress code.
September 08, 2013
Two weeks ago, crowds gathered in our nation's capital to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, during which Martin Luther King, Jr. rhapsodized a dream that still remains beyond our collective reach.
September 01, 2013
When you move, do not sell your house to someone with a job or a home loan or a solid credit score, in case, God forbid, you receive full price for it, and you would be repaid.
August 25, 2013
Please forgive me if I stand here facing the chairs next to the organ and showing you only my better side, because today I am charged with preaching to the choir.
August 18, 2013
Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth?
August 11, 2013
Abram looking into the night sky might be a lot like us looking at him.
August 04, 2013
If Oliver was to be baptized at another congregation, there's a fair chance his family might be expected or even required to pay a fee.
July 28, 2013
It sounds too simple.
July 21, 2013
Martha was right.
December 30, 2012
It is late Saturday night, and she must rise before the sun the next morning, but Mary cannot sleep.
December 24, 2012
As a child I used to hide in my room when the adults in the house watched a horror movie--I think I've only ever seen a few minutes of Jaws
peeking from around a corner--and now, I am ready to adopt the same practice with the evening news.
December 23, 2012
Mary never received an invitation; she just showed up.
December 09, 2012
At one turning point in the move, one man turns the other's man metaphor.
December 02, 2012
As we enter into the Season of Advent, we enter into a period of waiting and watching.
November 25, 2012
To talk about Christ the King
is to be reptitively redundant.
November 18, 2012
Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?
November 11, 2012
A memorial stands at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska honoring those who died in militar service to their country.
November 04, 2012
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a tear might be worth a million.
October 28, 2012
Ten years and twenty-four hours ago, we re-dedicated this worship space, then newly renovated, along with the pipe organ that still fills this space with beauty and gospel.
October 24, 2012
Jan, Richard, Julie, Bjorn, Britt, people of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod and Resurrection Lutheran Church, family and friends, companions and admirers from near and far, welcome guests of God: grace and peace be with you all from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
October 21, 2012
Being human means, in part, being both powerful and limited, and being aware of it.
October 14, 2012
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to
two churches in Chicago, Concordia Lutheran Church and Shekinah Chapel.
October 07, 2012
There's an awful lot there before the therefore
September 30, 2012
This autumn we at Resurrection will be encouraging ourselves to "stretch and grow" in our stewardship practices, specifically in offering to God the time and talents, dollars and worship which we are blessed to be able to give.
September 16, 2012
I trust that there is prayer enough in the words and music of our liturgy to carry us through a Sunday morning, prayer far more eloquent and wise than mine, so I don't usually start my sermons with a prayer.
September 09, 2012
What does Jesus want opened first?
September 02, 2012
The first century Mediterranean cultures would consider, "the way things are" to be quite different from the dominant United States culture
, writes David Rhoads, reminding us that the world of the Bible is not the same as the world in which we traffic.
August 26, 2012
I am always grateful for the opportunity to attend an ordination, not only for the joy and hope and promise it carries for God's church, but also because I need the reminder.
August 19, 2012
Who is this woman?
August 12, 2012
We interrupt this Olympic broadcast to bring you a troubling update on the prophet Elijah.
August 05, 2012
For years now I have been describing Wrigleyville SummerFest to others as "our mustard seed miracle," but maybe I have been using the wrong biblical image.
July 29, 2012
One Sunday last year, we welcomed University of Arizona Lutheran campus pastor Pastor Ron Rude, who led a conversation with us after worship service. "(Re)considering Christianity," which will be the title of his second book.
July 22, 2012
Family and friends of Luke Raymond Husemoller, please be prepared to forgive us.
July 21, 2012
Jensens and Metzlers, family and friends from near and far, people of Resurrection Lutheran Church, welcome guests of God: grace and peace be with you all.
July 15, 2012
The news is nothing new.
July 08, 2012
I opened a window, and let it let in fresh air.
July 02, 2012
Mel, Karen and Jim, Linda and Chet, beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren, people of Resurrection Lutheran Church, family and friends from near and far, welcome guests of God: grace and peace be with you all.
July 01, 2012
There were two very different women, seeking a blessing from the same Lord.
June 24, 2012
The church should feel right at home in the Pride Parade, regardless of what individual members think about the event or biblical interpretation, because the church itself is really a parade.
June 17, 2012
The someone who scattered the seed on the ground ws obviously scatter-brained.
June 10, 2012
After a long interlude for Lent, Easter and the festivals of Pentecost and Holy Trinity, we return at last to the gospel of Mark, and we drop into the story like someone on the move at a party, having to find our place and catch up after arriving in the middle of an ongoing conversation.
June 03, 2012
Recent years have seen a new demographic emerge, a segment of the population that identifies as "spiritual but not religious."
May 27, 2012
The disciples had no idea what was coming.
May 20, 2012
At last week's gathering for "Beers with Bishops," someone asked Bishop Hanson, What is your biggest prayer?
May 13, 2012
We often miss the point.
May 06, 2012
John interrupts the panic with perspective.
April 29, 2012
Sometimes the good shepherd leads the sheep into trouble.
April 22, 2012
One week after Easter, he appeared again.
April 15, 2012
This year, like every year, I invited people new to our community to join Resurrection as official members at the Easter Vigil.
April 08, 2012
There is a rumor going round this morning that there is someone here who has not been with us in worship every Sunday morning since late November.
April 05, 2012
Tomorrow night, Jews around the world will begin the celebration of Passover, during which they will once again tell the ancient story of the great escape from Egypt...in the first person.
March 18, 2012
One memorable piece of unsolicited dating advice once given to me is to take a road trip with one's sweetheart as a test of personality and compatibility.
March 11, 2012
We at Resurrection won't install our new council in worship until next Sunday, but please start praying for them now.
March 04, 2012
We at Resurrection have her to thank for our Lenten journey this year.
February 26, 2012
It's Lent. It's that time in the Church's year to think about sin, temptation, penitence and death.
February 22, 2012
Ash Wednesday, like any other religious observance or practice, can backfire.
February 19, 2012
Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
February 12, 2012
There is much more to this story.
January 29, 2012
January 22, 2012
John has been arrested, and he will not make it out of prison in one piece.
January 15, 2012
Our church office is graced during the workday week by the presence of Liesl the dachshund, who recently celebrated a birthday.
January 08, 2012
Maybe the greatest greeting card I ever received came from my best friend to my brand new address in Chicago.
January 01, 2012
December 24, 2011
The Elvis Presley Christmas album, now available on cassette as well as 8-track, does not include what is arguably his finest Christmas carol...the 1969 Mac Davis tune "In the Ghetto."
December 18, 2011
Today we will bestow a sendoff blessing on Nora Shuman-Moore, who is soon on her way to Thailand with the Peace Corps.
December 11, 2011
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.
December 04, 2011
The beginning of the good news
... often doesn't feel like it.
November 27, 2011
Greetings from Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Chicago, where students sport t-shirts that say "where fun comes to die" and "if I wanted an 'A' I would have gone to Harvard" and where this beloved bumper sticker hangs in my office: Jesus is coming, look busy!
November 20, 2011
Please indulge me to begin this sermon the same way we often begin worship: with confession.
November 13, 2011
There was spirited debate this week at the Lakeview clergy text study about how to interpret the parable that Jesus tells today.
November 06, 2011
Jessica Meier, who receives her first Communion today, pointed out in class that it is hard to believe in what you cannot see.
October 30, 2011
This year, the First Communion class asked about the symbols in the stained glass windows, and Vasu specifically asked about the two tall, thin windows in the back stairwells.
October 23, 2011
Among the criticisms leveled against the Occupy Wall Street movement is that it's weird.
October 16, 2011
Dear Sisters and Brothers, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus, who is the Christ, Amen.
September 25, 2011
Even though this coming weekend is the Blessing of the Animals, you might not want to mention Saint Francis of Assisi to our bishop, Wayne Miller.
September 18, 2011
Gary Archer Jenkins is being set up for disappointment.
September 11, 2011
Today is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01; I wonder if the media will mention it.
September 04, 2011
There are so many different sermons in this one little gospel text that different ones of us need to hear.
August 21, 2011
Gathering on the horizon of this holy community are clouds of sadness and fear.
August 14, 2011
Why are we out here?
August 07, 2011
The disciples were not afraid until they saw Jesus.
July 31, 2011
One of our many astute members sent me a painfully accurate cartoon this week.
July 24, 2011
Once upon a time, a biblical storyteller talking about the kingdom of heaven would certainly have been talking about the nation of Israel.
July 17, 2011
It's lonely at the top.
July 10, 2011
I wonder whether we have caught the sadness that hangs over this story
, says Helmut Thielicke to begin his haunting and beautiful sermon on this gospel text. (Thielicke, The Waiting Father. tr. John Doberstein. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1959.)
July 03, 2011
Newly baptized Arianna is free to reject God.
June 26, 2011
Marching in the Pride Parade is a good spiritual discipline for us as Church.
June 12, 2011
So I have this fear of turning into my father.
June 05, 2011
Where we are now in the church's annual calendar aligns with where we are now in the church's long history.
May 29, 2011
The author of First Peter obviously doesn't realize that his words will be read by Lutherans.
May 22, 2011
I must admit that I'm caught by surprise.
May 15, 2011
Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
May 08, 2011
Native American groups were understandably upset this week when they learned that the United States had given Osama bin Laden the code name "Geronimo."
May 01, 2011
Jesus says it in Greek, but he means it in Hebrew.
April 24, 2011
The shy little girl shivers with anticipation as the princess approaches her and looks into her eyes with a smile.
April 21, 2011
In 1968, the closest thing our country has ever seen to Jesus of Nazareth--Elvis of Memphis--made a promise.
April 03, 2011
As Jesus walked along, he saw a man.
March 27, 2011
When I meet with parents and godparents before a baptism, I begin with a disclaimer.
March 13, 2011
Sometimes God says no.
March 09, 2011
Remember last Friday?
March 06, 2011
A friend of mine has been to the mountaintop.
February 27, 2011
God's people are in exile.
February 20, 2011
Mel Clawson informs me that I have failed as your pastor.
February 13, 2011
Christopher Scott Campbell, infant in Christ
, I speak to you with solid food
for which you are not ready, with difficult, meat-and-potatoes words from Jesus that are hard even for us adults to swallow.
February 06, 2011
You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. You.
January 30, 2011
Blessed are you, Resurrection Lutheran Church, for you are about to receive a wise new member.
January 23, 2011
Toward the north end of the lake sits a small town.
January 16, 2011
For more than a year our Resurrection Lutheran Church vision team worked, diligently collecting and compiling data from cottage meetings, community interviews and congregational events they planned, promoted and pulled off.
January 09, 2011
It's only fair that I begin with a disclaimer.
December 26, 2010
Reading the early parts of his gospel and this passage in particular make me visualize
Saint Matthew sitting at a kitchen table like someone trying to do a jigsaw puzzle.
December 24, 2010
For Iraq's battered Christian community, threats of attacks from al-Qaeda and mourning for the victims of an October massacre at a Baghdad church have turned a normally festive season into one of fear and sadness.
December 19, 2010
This coming Friday we will once again celebrate Christmas Eve with an early service featuring the Sunday School Christmas pageant, that is, if we can find someone to play Joseph.
December 12, 2010
John is not sure.
December 05, 2010
Repent, for the kingdom of our current culture needs to think about repentance in a completely different way.
November 21, 2010
After so many solemn, pensive Passion Sunday and Good Friday services, it can be easy for us to forget just how obnoxiously loud and raucous the scene was at the foot of Jesus' cross.
November 14, 2010
I'm coordinating a weekly bible school for the kids at the seminary.
November 07, 2010
Woe to you who are alive now, for you will be dead.
October 31, 2010
This sanctuary where Resurrection has gathered for worship now for forty years keeps alive a Christian architectural practice that goes back much further than one generation, much further than the two generations this new part of the building has been standing.
October 10, 2010
When Jesus tells the man that his faith has made him well, he says it in Greek, in which made well
really means saved
October 03, 2010
Mom and Dad are so serious about today's baptism that they even have a theme.
September 26, 2010
Flynn Walker has a big brother named Easton, but he's about to get a whole lot more of them.
September 19, 2010
Last summer, our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to respect the decisions of its congregations about whether or not to call rostered leaders in committed homosexual partnerships, opening the door in some places for GLBT clergy to serve.
September 12, 2010
We are given more than we are promised.
September 05, 2010
There's nothing quite like Labor Day weekend, summer's last three-day hurrah, for gazing out into the open sanctuary and reflecting upon the large crowds traveling with [Jesus]
August 29, 2010
I went to see the Movie Dinner for Schmucks
, assuming that it was about Holy Communion.
August 22, 2010
What happens when we encounter God?
August 15, 2010
Mary would not have made it in the National Football League.
August 08, 2010
There are some real life questions that I suspect some of us have experienced.
August 01, 2010
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God,
writes the author of Colossians.
July 25, 2010
Today's gospel reading has the weighty significance of being the only episode from Jesus' life told by all four gospel writers and the license plate of Karen Stetins' car.
July 11, 2010
What is your agenda?
July 04, 2010
Our American Declaration of Independence boldly claims our right to the pursuit of happiness, which is probably why we chose the name Chase
for one of our biggest banks.
June 27, 2010
With a baptism and other new members being received today, we have again abbreviated our entrance rite, so there was no order of confession with assurance of forgiveness.
June 23, 2010
I bring you warm greetings from The Rev. Wayne Miller, Bishop of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who regrets that his schedule prevents him from accepting the invitation to preach and celebrate with us tonight.
June 20, 2010
Today's gospel is one of those Bible stories that is hard to believe, not because demon possession is so hard for us to understand, but so easy.
June 13, 2010
You've probably been to a party in the neighborhood...held in the early summer.
June 06, 2010
In a few moments we will sing and smile and rejoice together as we celebrate a funeral procession.
May 30, 2010
When I walked to Wrigley Field yesterday afternoon, it was for more than a Cubs game.
May 23, 2010
Today, we will enjoy a rare privilege.
May 16, 2010
The old man hurried to the ringing telephone.
May 09, 2010
I remember discovering an ornament on the Christmas tree one year that I was home from school.
May 02, 2010
This weekend, North Side baseball fans are being greeted by demonstrators at Wrigley Field protesting something they consider somehow even more egregious than the Cubs' bullpen and baserunning.
April 25, 2010
The church where I was baptized had, like so many others, a stained glass window of Jesus the Good Shepherd, carrying a lamb tenderly in the crook of his arm, leading other attentive sheep through a peaceful pasture.
April 18, 2010
Last week we heard the last story, the final narrative about Jesus and his disciples along with John's tidy conclusion, the end of his gospel.
April 11, 2010
He is nearing the end.
April 04, 2010
It's frustrating enough when you can't find your keys. When you return after the sabbath to the tomb of the one you love, and you can't find the body, real panic sets in.
March 21, 2010
When someone raises your brother from the dead, what do you do?
March 14, 2010
The story ends exactly where it begins.
March 07, 2010
There is a great and growing worry among the watchers of Lake Michigan that our Great Lake is in danger of being overrun by Asian carp.
February 28, 2010
The Pharisees have long been the whipping boys of Christian preachers, excoriated from pulpits far and wide as upright moralists, hypocrites, dullards and enemies of Jesus by us pastors who, for the most part, are upright moralists, hypocrites, dullards or enemies of Jesus ourselves.
February 21, 2010
A word of warning to the parents and godparents of the three children who will be baptized today: the devil doesn't show up in Jesus' life until after he is baptized.
February 17, 2010
There is a danger for us in reading this gospel lesson where Jesus encourages us to pray in private and practice our religion in secret, where only God can see.
February 14, 2010
His mother is a mystic; his father is a geologist.
February 07, 2010
The herring were running in icy Maine off Prout's Neck.
January 31, 2010
When little Ryan Pacholek-Mayer is baptized today, listen for the echoes.
January 24, 2010
The first person to be served at today's potluck following the annual meeting isn't here.
January 17, 2010
When I met with Jonah's parents and godparents yesterday to prepare for his baptism, I told them to watch the movie The Lion King
January 10, 2010
Mom, Dad, big sister, big brother, godparents, grandparents, friends, family, the faithful gathered around: so many people are excited about today's baptism. Luke is not one of them.
January 03, 2010
Hip-hop mogul, artist and celebrity Sean "Diddy" Combs has the same problem I do, namely that he didn't get to pick his parents.
December 27, 2009
According to our trustworthy ushers, there were 260 people in worship with us on Christmas Eve.
December 24, 2009
We don't need angels anymore, because now we have CNN to bring us whatever news we might need.
December 20, 2009
Yesterday, Gladys Johnson turned ninety years old. The day before, Lily Weaver turned eight.
December 13, 2009
Are we there yet?
December 06, 2009
Ten years ago, the people of this congregation were preparing the way of the Lord. Our magnificent little old building was being renovated, and the faithful here made a couple of significant decisions.
November 29, 2009
Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life,
November 22, 2009
Before the church ever realized it should worship him as Christ the King, the disciples asked Jesus the rabbi to teach them to pray.
November 15, 2009
Play with children and with building blocks sometime.
November 08, 2009
Our wider church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is facing tough times.
November 01, 2009
On this day of the Christian year that we remember and give thanks for those who have died, it seems appropriate that we should hear God's word from the final pages of Scripture, and so our second reading comes from nearly the very end of Revelation, setting the Bible's final scene.
October 25, 2009
For several weeks now we have been working our way through the central, pivotal section of Mark's gospel introduced in chapter 8 by the awkward healing of a blind man, who comes to sight only gradually, with much effort from Jesus.
October 11, 2009
There is so much not to like about this fellow.
October 04, 2009
I do not remember her name, but I cannot forget her story. She was a waitress in California.
September 27, 2009
Our father, who art in trailer, was thrilled to have all three of us boys together for Thanksgiving a number of years ago at his place, which some of you may remember is a two and a half acre parcel of California paradise decorated with the metallic and sentimental residue of many decades and known to us affectionately as The Ranch.
September 13, 2009
Let's begin with full disclosure, Sunday School will not help your children get ahead.
September 06, 2009
Presumably the man who was healed by Jesus was standing there as part of the crowd when Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone.
August 30, 2009
I confessed at a breakfast meeting this week, as I worked my way through an absurdly enormous omelet, that I suffer from clean plate morality.
August 23, 2009
First, I would like to take a quick moment of privilege to publicly express my gratitude to all the members of Resurrection for your ongoing support of my journey toward ordained ministry
August 16, 2009
For several weeks now, I have been encouraging you in voice and in print to keep our wider Communion, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in prayer as voting members from around the country prepare for the churchwide assembly in Minneapolis.
August 09, 2009
My brother and his girlfriend came to Chicago to visit me last weekend, and she and I bonded in the morning, united in the gauntlet that is getting him out of bed.
August 02, 2009
Even though she has been in the back, watching it happen to others with wide eyes for several weeks in a row now, Sophia Margaret Admire has no idea what is about to happen to her.
July 26, 2009
She is not much, despite her plump cheeks, Delilah Chloe Durek is still just a tiny thing, only a few months old.
July 19, 2009
How many of you skipped breakfast this morning?
July 12, 2009
When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
John's disciples knew the story, but maybe you don't, so I'll fill you in.
July 05, 2009
In early March I went to a conference in Madison entitled "New Visions for the Long Pastorate," a workshop designed to encourage and to help pastors stay in the same congregation for an extended number of years.
June 28, 2009
1997. That's how long 12 years ago was. Take a trip back - what were you doing in 1997?
June 21, 2009
Don't blame the disciples; this wasn't their idea.
June 14, 2009
Jesus picks up right where Pastor Jen left off.
June 07, 2009
One in six American adults suffers from chronic insomnia.
May 31, 2009
My standard nightmare has been replaced.
May 24, 2009
Last week was our first round of town hall budget information meetings here at Resurrection, dealing with the complex workings of our finances and the unpleasant news about our current cash flow shortfall.
May 17, 2009
Have you been converted?
May 03, 2009
"We need a vision."
April 19, 2009
Ava Diane Meder has no idea what she is getting into.
April 12, 2009
You know the young man dressed in the white robe is from God not because of what he is wearing...notice who wears the white robes in this place...but because of what he says.
April 09, 2009
I'm going to ask you to do something dirty tonight.
March 29, 2009
Because they are so deeply and desperately in love with each other, this week I warned a couple preparing for marriage that they might be in for some disillusionment in the days after their wedding.
March 22, 2009
In the weekly magazine Time Out Chicago
there is a section in each issue entitled "heard on the street."
March 15, 2009
Last Thursday night Resurrection hosted a chili dinner meeting for residents of the Diplomat Hotel around the corner from us on Sheffield Avenue.
March 08, 2009
Over the years, a handful of people have been observant and curious or offended enough to ask me why, during the reading of holy Scripture in solemn Sunday worship, I, the pastor, was giggling like a tipsy schoolgirl.
March 01, 2009
40 days. In Jewish numerology, 40 means "a lot."
February 22, 2009
After several weeks in Mark chapter one, today we are fast forwarding to chapter nine. We are missing a lot, which is ironically appropriate, because Jesus' disciples are too.
February 15, 2009
His uniform is always immaculate, sharp, crisp, clean, perfectly pressed.
February 08, 2009
Healing. Cures. Casting out demons.
February 01, 2009
From the Associated Press, January 31, 2009: GOP criticizes new [Governor] Quinn on his first day
January 25, 2009
I thank and appreciate all of you who were either startled or snickering or worried when I introduced the gospel from the seventeenth chapter of Mark.
January 18, 2009
Two score and six years ago, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream.
January 11, 2009
January 04, 2009
The turn of the calendar year and its annual flurry of year-in-review articles and video montages renewed my interest in the year that was...1968.