Returning to Galilee, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., April 1, 2018

This sermon was delivered by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., Transitional Pastor, at Our Savior Lutheran Church & Campus Ministry on Sunday, April 1, 2018, Easter Sunday.

To state the obvious…this is a very strange morning! We gather to celebrate a mystery: the coming back to life of a dead man! Imperial Rome…that Empire that no one could successfully defeat…in league with corrupt, lying, fearful religious authorities believed that they successfully extinguished an annoying Troublemaker. The death was certain; the internment was completed; the stone sealed both the tomb and the end of the story.

And there is another strange aspect to this story…hinted at in Mark’s telling. Jesus is not present! Jesus does not even make a cameo appearance! He’s not there at the tomb or in the garden…Jesus is in Galilee.

Mulling over this resurrection story I let my imagination run a bit wild with other possibilities for Jesus prior to being in Galilee. If truth be told I think my imagination is my imagining what I would consider if I was Jesus that Sunday morning.

Join me if you wish or dare. Continue reading Returning to Galilee, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., April 1, 2018

Taking the Form of a Servant , a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., March 25, 2018

This sermon was delivered by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., Transitional Pastor, at Our Savior Lutheran Church & Campus Ministry on Sunday, March 25th, Sunday of the Passion / Palm Sunday.

From his jail cell Paul includes this ancient Christian hymn in his letter to the church in Philippi…a congregation in Macedonia…a congregation whom he loved and it loved Paul:

Have this mind among yourselves that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness…

Think about this, “emptied himself…laid aside the prerogatives of being God…set them to the margins…became human (fully human), and took up the role and the position of servant.

Ponder this explosive decision! The action of God to divest God’s self of God’s power is so at odds with the cultures of then and now.

We have to feel that outrageousness and foolishness…”Empty self!?” This is not rational! Continue reading Taking the Form of a Servant , a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., March 25, 2018

From the Heart, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., March 18, 2018

This sermon was delivered by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., Transitional Pastor, at Our Savior Lutheran Church & Campus Ministry on Sunday, March 18th, Fifth Sunday in Lent.

There is a phrase that I do not hear as often as I once heard nor say as I once said: “I know that by heart.” “I know that poem/that Bible verse/that song…by heart.” Of course we are stating that we know those poems, songs and verses from memory. We are asserting that our minds are still good enough to remember something!

Or, are we? Are we making a statement that when we remember that Bible verse or song we have simply accessed the correct file and moved it forward to our temporal lobe? Have we been so influenced by technology that we have come to believe that we are like our lap top and smart phone and only have to touch the right key or app to access the correct memory? Continue reading From the Heart, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., March 18, 2018

Temple Cleansing, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., March 4, 2018

This sermon was delivered by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., Transitional Pastor, at Our Savior Lutheran Church & Campus Ministry on Sunday, January March 4th, Transfiguration Sunday. The readings and Psalm were: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, John 2:13-22.

Temple Cleansing

I imagine that you and I are similar in experiencing that there are moments in life when we pause and inquire of ourselves, “What is worth carrying forward in life and what is necessary to leave behind.”

This part of my journey is playing out now on 2 levels.

Level one occurs on Tuesday mornings…some Tuesday mornings.  Doris and I are engaged in downsizing…starting upstairs and sorting through everything: keep, throw away, ask our children, take to Listen, put ad in It’s Classified.  This is a challenge as you who have sorted well know.

Level two occurs daily and this work is on the inside…in my mind, my emotions, my soul, my spirit.  For example, do I still believe what I have recited my whole life?  Do I continue to consent to what I have been taught?  In matters of faith and the living of it, what is truly important?

A silly and true example of what is not important:  centuries ago it was required of the faithful who were planning on receiving communion in morning worship that the bread would be the first food taken that day. Continue reading Temple Cleansing, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., March 4, 2018

Violence and a Rainbow, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., February 18, 2018

This sermon was delivered by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., Transitional Pastor, at Our Savior Lutheran Church & Campus Ministry on Sunday, January February 18th, Transfiguration Sunday.  The readings and Psalm were:  Genesis 9:8-17, Psalm 25:1-10,
1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:9-15.

Violence and a Rainbow

It was clear to me last week as I pondered the lessons for today that I was drawn to the post flood scene of God speaking to Noah and his family.  After the violence, destruction, terror, and death of almost all of humankind and creature kind, this moment with God is tender and, perhaps flowing with regret.

God was so disappointed about what had happened to God’s creation.  The Garden where God walked in the cool of the afternoon with Eve and Adam is devoid of the couple.

Abel is dead.  As the population increases so does wrong doing.

God is especially outraged with humankind’s corruption and violence.  Those are the words…corruption and violence.

In sadness and rage, God decides to drown what God has made.

The ark is constructed; the people and animals go aboard and the torrential rain devastates the earth.

The rain ceases; the sun emerges; the water recedes; and Noah, family and the animals disembark and God declares a covenant sealed by God’s promise…and the rainbow…the rainbow.  Never again. Continue reading Violence and a Rainbow, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., February 18, 2018

Thin Places, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., February 11, 2018

This sermon was delivered by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., Transitional Pastor, at Our Savior Lutheran Church & Campus Ministry on Sunday, January February 11th, Transfiguration Sunday.  The readings and Psalm were: 2 Kings 2:1-12, Psalm 50:1-6, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9 .

Thin Places

What does a pastor offer on this day named “Transfiguration?” What do I offer you today in this moment in time when we journey from the last and fading joyful voices, festivities and wonder of birth at Christmas, New Year and Epiphany and begin crossing this 72 hour threshold to Shrove or Pancake Tuesday into Ash Wednesday and Lent? What indeed?

I have crafted sermons for this day, here and there, for 40 + years. I knew, each and every time, that I was close (and a time or two or three not even near) to the power, message and meaning of this day.

Then a requested e-mail arrived Thursday evening… Continue reading Thin Places, a Sermon by the Rev. Robert W. Wohlfort, Th.D., February 11, 2018