Posts tagged “Trinity 1

Sermo Dei: Trinity 1, 2017

Posted on June 18th, 2017

God built fatherhood into man’s nature. God made man and blessed him for fatherhood. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1.28). Man was made for fatherhood. The man we call Abraham is—as you can see from today’s Old Testament reading (Gen. 15:1-6)—originally named Abram. Abram means “exalted father.” That refers to God, Our Father. Abram, named for the Father, wants to be a father himself. Abram wants a son. But he is old, and his wife is old. Some of you know how difficult it can be to conceive a child. And as the years go by, you feel worthless, and hopeless. That’s where Abram and his wife Sarai are. They didn’t have the many options that confront…

Sermo Dei: Trinity 1, 2014

Posted on June 22nd, 2014

As the seventieth anniversary of D-Day passed, many of us reflected in awe at the courage and sacrifice of those heroes. The period also brought major changes in people’s beliefs. The retired Anglican bishop N.T. Wright, in his book Surprised by Hope, writes, The First World War produced not only a great deal of sudden death but also much reflection on its meaning. Some historians have suggested that belief in hell, already under attack from theologians in the nineteenth century, was one of the major casualties of the Great War. There had been so much hell on earth that people couldn’t believe that God would create such a place hereafter as well. So much death affected so many at that time, and again less…

Proud in the world, in hell a beggar

Posted on June 5th, 2010

The Lutheran Study Bible has a wonderful quotation from Augustine on the Gospel appointed for tomorrow (Trinity 1), Luke 16.19-31, the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus: Proud in the world, in hell a beggar! For that poor man did attain to his crumbs; but the other attained not to the drop of water.

Trinity 1: Luke 16:19-31

Posted on June 15th, 2009

“Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity; let us give glory to Him, for He has shown mercy to us!” Thus the Divine Service began last week, on Trinity Sunday: praising God for His mercy toward us. Today’s Gospel warns of a radical disconnect—does our life, do our words and actions, reflect the mercy of God? Jesus tells a parable, a story designed to teach us a spiritual reality. God had showered Rich Man with extraordinary wealth. He lived in a mansion, he had all the finest things, but he showed no mercy to Lazarus, a poor sick beggar who had been unceremoniously dumped in the gutter at Rich Man’s gate. Now Rich Man showed no restraint; he treated every day like…

Trinity 1 + Luke 16.19-31

Posted on May 25th, 2008

Did he get depressed, lying in the dirt? As people passed him by on the road, hurrying to meetings, walking or running for exercise, heading for the store to purchase a present, carrying a bag or basket to market to pick up food for the evening meal, did he get depressed? Perhaps a few people tossed a small coin to Lazarus, but doubtless more passed by with nothing. With guilt some would look away from him; but children drew a little closer to their mother’s skirts when they saw his hideous body, covered with sores, and the more callous adults would stare with revulsion and condescension. Did this make Lazarus sad?   Did he snarl with anger at the passers-by, so cold to his…

When he has tried thy soul with sadness

Posted on May 24th, 2008

Several years ago, friend and former parishioner Bob Waters gently cautioned me about something I said about depression in a sermon. I have not stopped thinking about what he said, and the issue in general. I have come to very much agree with him. Telling a person suffering from depression to “cheer up” – or worse, telling him that he is sinning – is like telling a homeless person, “Get a job.” An awful lot of factors have led the person to that point, and hurting people need help, not rebuke. So, what does depression say about one’s faith? The way it is sometimes presented (even, I fear, in some of my former sermons), depression indicates a lack of faith. This makes it difficult…