Sunday, December 8, 2019

Blessed Advent, You Brood of Vipers!

Advent 2 sermon can be heard HERE.   The text of the day, Matthew 3:1-12.   You may want to read it before listening.   Also, I make a few references to images.   They are shown below.




Sunday, December 1, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Click HERE to hear my sermon for Advent 1. Happy New Year (in churchspeak). Advent is the first church season with a trifold focus of Christ's second coming, his impending birth at Christmas, and the way he comes to us so many ways.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Christ the King Sunday and we are back and preaching!

Took me a while to isolate the problem.   Just needed a new recorder!

New sermon can be heard by clicking HERE

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Where's the sermons?

For those of you who are kind enough to listen to my sermons online, I'm sorry. Two weeks ago, I was on vacation. Last week was a pulpit exchange and this week, the recording did not record to my device. Which is odd, because I used it last night at a wedding and today in the pulpit for reformation. Yet it shows that 9/22 is my last sermon recorded. I'm very angry and will look for a fix this week. Thank you for listening.

Friday, October 4, 2019

More Sermons Up

I had some software issues that kept me from getting some sermons up.    You can listen to the sermon from 9/22 HERE.   While you are there, check out the sermon from 9/15 as well.   9/29's sermon did not get recorded, which is too bad.   That was the feast of St Michael and All Angels.   More of a topical sermon, on Angels, of course.   But was well received.   Lots of points made, but I'll reiterate one here.    If you know someone who has lost someone, particularly a child, do NOT say, "Heaven needed another angel"!    First, Heaven doesn't NEED anything.   Second, people do not become angels upon death.   That is NOWHERE in the Bible. SO DON'T SAY THAT.   Contact me if you have questions. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Remembering 9/11

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 was a Sunday in 2011.   I wrote this article for the September 2011 Newsletter.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PASTOR

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ten years ago, Robin was early in her pregnancy with Henry.   I was working in offices at the Port of Elizabeth in New Jersey commuting an hour each way from our home in central New Jersey.   My sister lives in Westfield, New Jersey and commuted to Manhattan daily.   My good friend Michael live and worked in Brooklyn, and his girlfriend Jayne worked sometimes "in the city", that is Manhattan.  Ten years ago, the day started off normally.   After 9/11, it was very different.   I could talk for hours about that day.   I could tell you about the phone call from Robin that told me about what was happening.   I could tell you about running around the warehouse and looking east where I could look over the Hudson River and see the twin towers belching smoke like two factory smokestacks.   I looked again after the first one collapsed, and a heavy could of dust and smoke completely obscured the other.   The skies completely void of any commercial airline traffic were disturbingly eerie.

We finally heard from my sister whose commute had a subway stop underneath the World Trade Center.   When her train had come up on the Manhattan side, the conductor tol them that this train was going no further into the city and was returning to NJ.   She went with it.   At my office, we watched a Spanish-speaking network.   It broadcast from he Empire State Building while the major English-speaking networks could not broadcast sin their towers were at the top of the WTC.   At mid-day, I went home down the Garden State Parkway.   Curiously, there was little traffic heading south.   And except for the occasional fire truck or EMS vehicle, noting at all was heading north to the city.   Everyone living in and around New York City on September 11, 2001 has a story to tell about that day and the way life became afterward. 

There had been a well-publicized story of people trapped on an elevator; they had gotten the door open, but had to dig through ten layers of drywall to break out of the elevator shaft.   For months (years? still?) my sister carried a bottle of water and a Leatherman knife/tool in her bag when she went into the city.   I had business travel to Paris during the whole era of "freedom fries" and the "axis of weasels" as the US began to move the war from Afghanistan to Iraq.  I go off the plan with both fists cocked.   But the Parisians I met were gracious, kind, and proud of their home--one of the most beautiful cities in the world.   Years later in a chaplains' group discussion, a discussion facilitator asked us to raise our hand if we were part of a minority.   My friend of mid-eastern descent raised his hand.  The facilitator asked if that really counted.   My friend replied, "you better believe it did on September 12th."   Ultimately, Robin and I knew no one that died that day, but we knew people who knew someone who died.   And everyone knew someone that knew someone that had been lost. 

An internet bulletin board for ELCA clergy has been batting around "what to do" regarding the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  Some pastors want to talk about our violent world.   Some want to make prayer remembrance liturgies for church that Sunday.   Some want to be critical of American responses.   Some want to talk about forgiveness.   But I think I know what I will do that day.    I will come to church that morning.    That evening I will watch a bunch of programs about 9/11.   And sometime that day, I am going to call my sister.

In Christ's Holy name,
Pastor Lance


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Who dare say they know the will of God?

It's a legit question.   Click HERE to listen.