Forgiveness, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele, September 17, 2017

This Sermon was preached the Rev. Nancy Vogele on September 17 2017, Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel reading was Matthew 18:21-35.

When you were a kid and got into trouble for doing something that an adult didn’t think was nice to someone, didn’t you hate it when they said, “Say you’re sorry”?  And didn’t it infuriate you even more when they said, “Say you’re sorry…and, this time, mean it.”  I wasn’t sorry so how could I apologize, let alone mean it! Continue reading Forgiveness, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele, September 17, 2017

“God’s Work. Our Hands.” Reflections on Serving Others, Delivered by Lars Johanson and Rosemary Affeldt, September 10, 2017.

These reflections by members Lars Johanson and Rosemary Affedlt were delivered to the congregation during worship on Sunday, September 10, 2017, as we celebrated a ELCA churchwide “God’s Work. Our Hands.” day of service. 

Lars GWOH When we consider the ELCA motto, God’s Work, Our Hands, it is not always immediately clear what our hands should do. There are so many needs and so many ways to help.

One way to start is to recall the words of Paul in the second chapter of Philippians: “In humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others. “

But how do we match the interest of others to the persons we are? Sometimes we need the right circumstances and moment before we realize that our appropriate activities are a reflection of who we are. Continue reading “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Reflections on Serving Others, Delivered by Lars Johanson and Rosemary Affeldt, September 10, 2017.

Self Care and Loving Genuinely in a Beautiful but Broken World, A Sermon the Rev. Nancy Vogele, September 3, 2017

This Sermon was preached the Rev. Nancy Vogele on September 3 2017, Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost. The readings and Psalm were Jeremiah 15:15-21, Psalm 26:1-8, Romans 12:9-21, and Matthew 16:21-28.

I have a big problem and it has to do with all the negativity found in every single one of our readings this morning!

The reading from Jeremiah (15:15-21) begins with

O Lord, you know;
remember me and visit me,
and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.

“Help me get even, Lord.”

Plus he cries out, “I did not sit in the company of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice.”

I didn’t do this.  I didn’t do that.  I did everything you told me to do.  In fact, you, O God, are the one who has fallen short: “Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail.”

And our psalm (26:1-8) continues this righteous view of self: Continue reading Self Care and Loving Genuinely in a Beautiful but Broken World, A Sermon the Rev. Nancy Vogele, September 3, 2017

Growing in Faith, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

This Sermon was preached the Rev. Nancy Vogele on August 20, 2017, Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.  The Gospel reading was Matthew 15:21-28

 

Can I just say that Jesus wasn’t very nice to that woman.  He was downright rude – ignoring her, then telling her his mission didn’t include her and her kind of people – even indirectly calling her a dog!

What’s going on?  It’s hard to tell with just a written account some 50 or 60 years after the fact.

So a little background or preliminary remarks:

  1. First off, we read that Jesus left the place where he was in Galilee and headed north to the district of Tyre and Sidon. This was a foreign territory just north of Israel – gentile or pagan territory.  Beyond the pale, as some would say.
  2. Moreover, in Matthew’s Gospel, the people of this region were referred to as Canaanites – bitter enemies of Israel since the time of Noah. They were considered cursed.  When the Israelite were about the enter the Promised Land, Hebrew scripture says that God commended them to annihilate the occupants of the land – the Canaanites.
  3. And then there’s the fact that she was a woman. Women were not to be seen, let alone heard.  And they were never to address a man in public.

Continue reading Growing in Faith, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

“Get Out of the Boat”, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele, August 13, 2017

This Sermon was preached the Rev. Nancy Vogele on August 13, 2017, Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.  The Gospel reading was Matthew 14:22-33.

A minister who was at the events in Charlottesville this weekend posted on her facebook page last night the following message – in all CAPS: “I SURE DO PRAY THAT THE SERMON YOU WROTE EARLIER THIS WEEK IS NOT THE SERMON YOU ARE PREACHING TOMORROW.”

This is not the sermon I wrote earlier this week – it was written late last night and early this morning.  So please forgive me if it’s not completely polished.

I originally planned to begin my sermon with a joke which was to be followed by a news story from 1999 that would have made for a perfect news items on the “Bluff the Listener” segment of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!”

But in light of this weekend’s events in Charlottesville, I think I’ll pass.  I don’t feel like joking or laughing right now.

I feel like trying to get really clear about “What Would Jesus Do” by looking at what he did and how we respond to it.  How we view the role of faith in our life – both personally and collectively.Jesus and Peter Walking on Water

And I will give the punch line first:  Jesus calls us to get out of the boat.  And deep down, I want to believe that everyone one of us here today aches to get out of the boat.

But we are afraid we’ll drown. Continue reading “Get Out of the Boat”, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele, August 13, 2017

Blessed and Broken Open, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele

This Sermon was preached the Rev. Nancy Vogele on August 16, 2017, Eighth Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel reading was Matthew 14:13-21 – The Feeding of the 5,000

Have you ever shied away from doing something because you didn’t think you had what it took to do it? I have. Maybe it’s because we don’t think we’re qualified or we don’t think we have enough time or energy. Maybe we say to ourselves, “I don’t have the patience to do that.“  Maybe we don’t think we’re creative enough.

It’s true: none of us is perfect. Some of us lack money. Some of us lack time. Some of us lack expertise…or confidence…or motivation. With all that we’re lacking, we might even asked this morning– since we are in church– how God expects us to live our lives let alone minister in his name. Continue reading Blessed and Broken Open, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele