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.

Cooper’s Hawk Spices Our Day

While our children and grandchildren live in warmer climates, and live lives that are filled with many adventures, life here on Heatherhope Farm, in the frigid winter months, can get quite boring–even more so now that, for the first time … Continue reading

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Epiphany 4 A: God Chose What Is Not to Destroy What Is

The readings for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany are… Old Testament      Micah 6:1–8 Psalm                    Psalm 15 New Testament     1 Corinthians 1:18–31 Gospel                   Matthew 5:1–12 This is my last pandemic blog post. Why my last? Because … Continue reading

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Epiphany 3 A: The Light of Jesus for Today’s Darkness

The lessons for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany are Old Testament      Isaiah 9:1–4 Psalm                    Psalm 27:1, 4–9 New Testament     1 Corinthians 1:10–18 Gospel                   Matthew 4:12–23 The first few chapters of Matthew have been overture. Now … Continue reading

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Epiphany 2 A: Marching to a Different Drummer

The readings for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany are…  Old Testament     Isaiah 49:1–7 Psalm                    Psalm 40:1–11 New Testament     1 Corinthians 1:1–9 Gospel                   John 1:29–42 Isaiah 49 sets the tone for this Sunday’s readings, describing Servant … Continue reading

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Baptism of the Lord A: God Shows No Partiality

The readings for the Baptism of the Lord are Old Testament      Isaiah 42:1–9 Psalm                    Psalm 29 New Testament     Acts 10:34–43 Gospel                   Matthew 3:13–17 When the author of Luke and Acts thought of the most important implication … Continue reading

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New Year’s Day ABC: Our Eternal Now

The Readings for New Year’s Day are Old Testament      Ecclesiastes 3:1–13 Psalm                     Psalm 8 New Testament     Revelation 21:1–6a Gospel                   Matthew 25:31–46 There are so many things that the church could mark on this Sunday:  New Year, … Continue reading

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Christmas Day A: New Lenses for the Eyes of Our Spirits

The readings for Christmas Day are Old Testament      Isaiah 52:7–10 Psalm                    Psalm 98 New Testament     Hebrews 1:1–4 (5–12) Gospel                   John 1:1–14 This past year I have been living inside a parable of the Incarnation. Here now … Continue reading

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Advent 4 A: Being A Righteous Man

The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent are: Old Testament      Isaiah 7:10–16 Psalm                    Psalm 80:1–7, 17–19 New Testament     Romans 1:1–7 Gospel                   Matthew 1:18–25 Our Gospel lesson today is about that other parent of Jesus. We … Continue reading

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Advent 3A:  Holy Way—Holy Home

The readings for the Third Sunday of Advent are Old Testament      Isaiah 35:1–10 Psalm                    Psalm 146:5–10 or Luke 1:46b–55 New Testament     James 5:7–10 Gospel                   Matthew 11:2–11 Churches used to have big signs that said, “Jesus is … Continue reading

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Advent 2 A: Christ is Here! Christ Shall Come Again!

The lessons for the Second Sunday of Advent are: Old Testament      Isaiah 11:1–10 Psalm                    Psalm 72:1–7, 18–19 New Testament     Romans 15:4–13 Gospel                   Matthew 3:1–12 I’m willing to bet that when the prophet Isaiah pronounced this famous … Continue reading

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