Holy Trinity Ankeny

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church


September 25, 2023 18 mins

We all have a keen sense of fairness. It is ingrained in us. We don’t like when people get more than us, especially if we do the same amount of work. Jonah and Jesus show us today the generosity of God, and if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t always like the generosity of God.
Jonah 3:10--4:11, Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16

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Peter asks if forgiving someone seven times is sufficient. Since many of us find forgiving someone once a stretch, Peter was generous. Jesus, however, called for more. He says, “Seventy-seven times” or “Seven times seventy.” Given the symbolic nature of the number seven, the point is to forgive endlessly. Perhaps forgiveness is more than a duty or obligation. Just maybe forgiveness is the power of the resurrection raising dead rela...

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September 10, 2023 15 mins

There I am minding my own business, just trying to get through this thing called life, and I didn’t realize I was supposed to be offended – at least until someone told me that I should be offended.  Amidst all the offense, we realize that words matter and words have power. Today, Jesus tells us Read more

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September 5, 2023 20 mins

These are instructions from Jesus for all who wish to follow him. What does that look like? Putting to death all that keeps us from living as Christ in this world is also trusting in the new life Christ offers. Every day is full of countless crosses we must take up to become what God calls us to be.

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August 28, 2023 15 mins

Today Jesus asks his disciples a pointed question – "Who do you say that I am?" They have witnessed all the miracles and still wonder who this man they are following is. Jesus also asks us the same question. If we get the answer right, then we rightly know ourselves.

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August 21, 2023 19 mins

When Jesus encounters a Canaanite woman begging him to heal her daughter his response is, at best, curious. It seems offensive. He calls her a dog who is unworthy to eat at the table. To say this is out of character for Jesus seems obvious. But what if Jesus is not grumpy, but (as he is all the time in Matthew) in teaching mode? What if this story has a deep message that spoke to the disciples then and speaks to us today?

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August 14, 2023 22 mins

“Being saved” in our age seems restricted to concern over where we go when we die. It is more than that, according to scripture. We’re so concerned about heaven because we are so afraid of death. Faith saves us from our fear and sets us free today, while we live, not just when we die. Elijah is saved from his fear, Peter walks on the water because fear is overcome. They are saved because God is as close as their lips and heart.

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August 7, 2023 19 mins

Jesus retreats to the wilderness to be alone as he processes the death of John the Baptist. It was at a table that John’s execution was decided. A table full of death and chaos. It is a stark contrast to the feeding of the thousands that happen in today’s gospel reading. Here in the wilderness, Jesus feeds the people with five loaves and two fish. And they eat until they are full. A life-giving meal in a world that is so full of an...

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July 31, 2023 20 mins

It seems we spend a lot of time assuming that the universe is set against us. Fear is the default posture of all of us who are always on defense against the next threat. What if, however, God is for us? That is Paul’s question. If God is for us, who (or what) can be against us? This leads to a life that overcomes fear and allows for joy. That is something more valuable than anything else, isn’t it?

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July 24, 2023 15 mins

Jesus uses a parable about weeds and wheat to address the presence of good and evil in the world. What do we do about evil empires, bad church members, and sinful people (weeds)? Jesus says let them be because it is beyond our wisdom to know the difference between good and evil even in our own lives. So what is a person to do?

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July 17, 2023 15 mins

It is easy to focus on the soil in today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower and then explains it. He talks about four different kinds of soil. Human nature is to focus on the different soil types and how they would describe ourselves or others. The good news here is that the parable is not about the soil, but about the sower.

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July 9, 2023 15 mins

There are a lot of voices in our world that continually weigh us down. There are happenings in the world that can weigh heavily upon us. There are times when the burdens of this life get to be more than we can handle. Jesus has some good advice for those of us that have heavy burdens.

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July 3, 2023 16 mins

The Church is called to proclaim the Gospel – which means Good News. The paradox is that sometimes the good news can sound like bad news and vice versa. The prophet Jeremiah spent a lifetime declaring the good news, and it always sounded like bad news to the people who listened. He didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear. He declared that judgme...

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June 26, 2023 16 mins

The Israelites were set free from slavery in Egypt by God’s grace. That was not the end of the story. In the wilderness they were formed by faith to be the people God called them to be. As Christians, we are set free from our slavery to the sin, evil, and darkness of this world. Paul says we die to those things in baptism. That is not the end of t...

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June 19, 2023 17 mins

In today’s Gospel, Jesus has some challenging words for his followers. It can make us nervous when we read the list of things on our to-do list. Go and cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Go and touch. Go and heal. Go and resurrect. Go and make peace. Go and render believable the compassion of God.
But we are not sent alone. Jesus promises us that we are not alone and the Spirit of God will be wi...

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June 12, 2023 16 mins

The Pharisees in today’s Gospel lesson ask Jesus’ disciples why he tolerates the presence of tax collectors and sinners at his table. In response, Jesus tells the Pharisees to learn what it this means, “‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.” And then Jesus proceeds to show them what mercy looks like.

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June 5, 2023 21 mins

The world is a chaotic place. The God of love, the Holy Trinity, brought creation out of chaos and sustains that movement to this day. The God of love, the Holy Trinity, brought peace and joy out of the conflict and chaos of the congregation at Corinth. That same God is at work in the midst of the chaotic world we inhabit today.

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May 30, 2023 18 mins

On this Day of Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit upon God’s people through the power of the resurrected Jesus. The Spirit comes in a mighty wind and flame of fire. It also comes as a word of peace and a breath. The Holy Spirit is the source of our life in Christ and it is persistent, powerful, and even pesky. Come Holy Spirit!

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May 22, 2023 20 mins

The struggle to make sense of suffering – and to escape it – is woven into the fabric of human existence. We ask, “Where was God when I suffered?” or “I pray to God, and I still suffer. Why?” The truth is that suffering is unavoidable. Some suffering is of our own making. Some is part of our being. Some happens when we encounter the reality of chaos and death. In this last case, the cross and resurrection of Christ provides answers...

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May 15, 2023 17 mins

We go through life trying to find meaning and purpose, and we often try to find that in the things that ultimately will not give us meaning and purpose. We might ask the question "Is there more to life than this?" We might wonder if we are loved. 

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