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.

Advent 1B Becoming the Answer

Douglas Adams wrote hysterical science fiction, the humor of which sometimes hid gems of insights into the human condition. In his “Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe” series he told the story of how a society built a computer with a … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Church and Social Movements, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christ the King A: Surprises for Evangelicals and for All of Us

Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31–46 The climax of the church’s year is Christ the King Sunday. Believers remind themselves of ultimate things. To understand our Gospel Lesson we must realize the more things change, the more they stay the same. A … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Church and Social Movements, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Bible Study

John hosts a weekly online Bible study. We call it NIOBS, for Northern Illinois Online Bible Study, though it doesn’t matter where you are in the world–you can join us by writing John at heatherhopefarm@gmail.com and asking for an invitation … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentecost 24A: Care for Yourself by Caring for Others

Many are the times I said to myself, “Go ahead, keep on eating. You deserve it.” Especially when I’m eating all by myself, and that big jar of peanut butter, or that big carton of ice cream is sitting right … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Church and Social Movements, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings, Social Political Issues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentecost 23A: Post Election Letdown and the Stamina of Righteousness

This Election Day has been a bursting of the balloon of enthusiasm for many. There was optimism in the air. As often has happened in the past, there was talk of a “new majority” a-brewing. Never before have people been … Continue reading

Posted in Church and Social Movements, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Saints Sunday: Heaven Is Never Full

The second reading for All Saints Sunday, Year A, is Revelation 7:9–17.   The Book of Revelation gets a bad, and undeserved rap.  It’s Greek name is Apocalypse, and that has come to mean something catastrophic. But the word really … Continue reading

Posted in Church and Social Movements, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentecost 21 A: Be Holy, Not Holier Than Thou

The alternative Old Testament reading for the 21st Sunday after Pentecost is Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18   The Lord directs Moses to lay down this foundation for all of Israel’s behavior: “You shall be holy, for I, the LORD your God … Continue reading

Posted in Church and Social Movements, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentecost 20A: Used by Trump or by God?

The alternative Old Testament Reading for this Sunday is Isaiah 45:1-7, where the Lord calls up Cyrus to be used as an instrument to subdue nations, strip kings of their robes, and open doors for the returning exiles.   And … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Church and Social Movements, Faith, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentecost 19A: God’s Terrible, Terrific Expectations

This Sunday’s Gospel reading is Matthew 22:1-14, the Parable of the Wedding Banquet.   As we listen to Jesus as church members, we are generally okay with the first part. The king is God, the son is Jesus, the banquet … Continue reading

Posted in Church, Church and Social Movements, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentecost 18a: Are You Talking About Us Jesus?

The Gospel reading for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost is Matthew 21:33-26.   Jesus has entered Jerusalem as the humble, Suffering Servant Messiah that he is. Some, who Jesus likens to infants and nursing babies, hail him rightly as the … Continue reading

Posted in Church and Social Movements, Featured, John's Posts, Pandemic Blog, Reflections on Sunday Readings, Social Political Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment