Author Archives: John

About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.

Lent 2 B: God as Companion in Our Dying

Our Readings for this Second Sunday in Lent are: Old Testament      Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16 Psalm                    Psalm 22:23–31 New Testament     Romans 4:13–25 Gospel                   Mark 8:31–38 In Genesis we hear about how God covenants with people and so … Continue reading

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Lent 1 B: The Noah Covenant and the Pandemic

This Sunday’s readings: Old Testament      Genesis 9:8–17 Psalm                    Psalm 25:1–10 New Testament     1 Peter 3:18–22 Gospel                   Mark 1:9–15 Last Sunday was Transfiguration, and we thought of that word of our time: “unprecedented.” The fire, the windstorm, … Continue reading

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Transfiguration B: Listen through Unprecedented

Today on one more day of an unprecedented stretch of super cold temperatures, we look out on unprecedentedly huge drifts of snow, in the midst of a pandemic that has infected and killed unprecedented numbers of people worldwide, and listen … Continue reading

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Enough snow and wind!

Zac and Betty looked like ghosts. Temperature about 5 degrees, going down to 15 below later this week. Wind from 25 to 45 miles an hour. Drifts up to my waist. Lots of profanity as I try to open gates, … Continue reading

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Epiphany 5 B: Wait for the Lord, Not Just for the Vaccination

There’s something ancient and eternal here. We are always tempted to modernize the message of the church—to speak in the most fashionable jargon of the philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, or “with it” youth on the streets. But Isaiah, chapters 40-55, makes … Continue reading

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Epiphany 4 B “Rebuke the Disease, Not the Diseased”

Years ago we fought off a family disease. Substance abuse was our plague, and we were in a group family therapy program where the leader had each set of parents draw a picture of the disease, place it on a … Continue reading

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Epiphany 3 B: Trust Joe Biden; but Verify!

I write and publish this blog on January 19, 2021. Tomorrow, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. Thanks be to God! Now, it is our job to trust but verify. We are moved … Continue reading

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Epiphany 2 B: “I and We” and the Assault on the Capitol

The Second Reading for this Sunday is 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 Those who stormed our nation’s Capitol on Epiphany, January 6, shouted many slogans: “This is our house!” “Stop the steal!” “Hang Mike Pence!” But they all can be boiled down … Continue reading

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Epiphany 1 B: Listen to the Earth

First Sunday after the Epiphany/Baptism of the Lord Psalm 29 is our Psalm for the First Sunday after the Epiphany, which is also the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This particular Psalm may have been chosen by those … Continue reading

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Christmas 2 B: Recipe for a Pandemic New Year’s Eve Party

I write this blog post on New Year’s Eve. Battle scarred by this year past you may be tempted to party like there’s no tomorrow. You may want to rip off your mask, hug a room full of strangers, drink … Continue reading

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