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The Death of Hostilities: A White Preacher on Racism

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Release Date: 07/20/2015

AWAKE TO HOPE show art AWAKE TO HOPE

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Holiday preparations are afoot, and they bring us some cheer. Advent, however, is about more than cheer, it is about hope. We hope for a world at peace. We hope that the violence and shootings will end. We hope the hungry will be fed. All these things can seem like wishful thinking, naïve longing for something that shall never be. So, how do we find hope in this season of hope?

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IF... show art IF...

Holy Trinity Ankeny

This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday. Today’s Gospel text from Luke sure doesn’t seem like it should be read on Christ the King Sunday. There is one word that can trip us up. “If” is a word that can cause us a lot of problems in our lives. Cause us to doubt ourselves. And it can cause us to doubt God’s goodness. On this day and every day, Christ is King and there are no if’s about that.

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ALL THINGS MADE NEW show art ALL THINGS MADE NEW

Holy Trinity Ankeny

When Jesus and the disciples leave the Temple today, they comment on how grand it is. And Jesus, never one to forego an opportunity to teach, tells them that this temple will one day no longer be standing. I am sure that they heard this news as bad news. After all, the temple was the center of Jewish religious life. But this isn’t bad news. It is actually good news, especially to those on the margins of life.

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WE ARE BOUND AND WE ARE BOUND show art WE ARE BOUND AND WE ARE BOUND

Holy Trinity Ankeny

The Festival of All Saints is a day to remember the beloved dead who have gone before us. More than that, it is a day to ponder how the faithful people of God face the evil, suffering, and darkness of the world as the “communion of saints.” As people connected to Christ across time and space, we are bound together in love and bound for the promise of the kingdom of God. We are bound by love and bound for hope.

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THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE show art THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Most of us would proclaim that we are free. Free to do what we want, when we want; free to make choices and plan our life. Jesus questions our freedom. So does Paul. So did Martin Luther. Here is the question: If you have been made in the image of God to love as Jesus does, why don’t you do that? Maybe because you’re not as free as you thought you were.

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WE ARE BEGGARS show art WE ARE BEGGARS

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Jesus tells a story of a religious leader who didn’t need God because he thought he was a big deal. The result was a joyless, judgmental, life with no room to trust anything but self. Jesus also tells us about a sinner who cries out to God, not with excuses but for mercy. Jesus teaches that the sinner went away with God’s blessing. The truth is that we are nothing and have nothing without God’s mercy and grace. As Luther noted at his death, “We are beggars.”

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WE ARE BEGGARS show art WE ARE BEGGARS

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Jesus tells a story of a religious leader who didn’t need God because he thought he was a big deal. The result was a joyless, judgmental, life with no room to trust anything but self. Jesus also tells us about a sinner who cries out to God, not with excuses but for mercy. Jesus teaches that the sinner went away with God’s blessing. The truth is that we are nothing and have nothing without God’s mercy and grace. As Luther noted at his death, “We are beggars.”

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TELLING THE STORY show art TELLING THE STORY

Holy Trinity Ankeny

In our age, anything called a “story” is suspected to be untrue. What is strange about that is that stories are the oldest human means of knowing the truth. Stories are how we get to know each other. Stories – narratives – are what we use to make sense of the world. Today we celebrate the Festival of St. Luke, one of the most gifted storytellers in scripture. Luke’s story of Jesus shapes the way we live, the way we see, and the way we make sense of the world. Luke’s story of Jesus is our story.

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GRATITUDE show art GRATITUDE

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Ten people afflicted with leprosy cry out to Jesus for healing. Their affliction is much more than a medical condition. It makes them outcast, separates them from family, robs them of a livelihood. Jesus tells them to go to the priest to be declared clean. On the way, they are healed. The skin disease is gone, and they will be restored to life. Of the ten, only one returns to give thanks, to express gratitude. Only one is restored fully because gratitude is an essential part of being fully human. Does it seem strange only one returns? Not really. It seems about right. We are not good at...

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Surprising God show art Surprising God

Holy Trinity Ankeny

There are so many challenges in this world and needs that are beyond us. Even those times of reconciliation might be asking more than we can give. The good news from Jesus is that the change the world and we need depends less on us and more on the words and deeds of a surprising God. You of "little faith" take heart as even your small word or action, might unfold into something wonderful for this world.

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Racism is the wound that seems never to heal in our nation. While we can look back and see what appears to be progress, the news reminds us that people of different colors struggle to understand each other and live in peace.  What does God have to say about this?  Quite a bit actually.