Holy Trinity Ankeny

Holy Trinity Ankeny

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Episodes

August 15, 2022 17 min

Jesus says that he came not to bring peace but division. Jesus said that judgment is unavoidable. How is that good news? In a world where we fear change and are convinced that we are basically “good people” with no room for improvement, let alone, confession, maybe judgment and transformation are never good news. Yet, what if there is a way to live in the image of God, to be what God has called us to be? What if there is one who ca...

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Is faith “believing the unbelievable?” Is it choosing to believe in religion or science? Is it accepting a certain set of teachings? Is it even possible in a world where many can’t believe in God when there is still suffering in the world? The writer of Hebrews says, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things unseen.” The faith that sustains stands in the face of suffering, disappointment, grief, and pain...

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August 1, 2022 21 min

We live in a world driven by money and possessions. Our financial desires and accumulations can do harm to our relationships with God, loved ones, neighbors, and creation. Jesus tells three stories about this phenomenon in Luke’s gospel. Each tells us that money and possessions cannot raise us from the dead. Each call us to cling to that which is eternal. His name is Jesus.

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July 25, 2022 16 min

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is well known but little understood. Where Abraham grants lavish welcome to strangers and so, loves the neighbor, the messengers are threatened by the people of the city. The violence and cruelty to others is the evil (not homosexuality). We can ask, “How could God destroy whole cities?” God tells Abraham that if there are but ten righteous people in the cities they will be spared. Well, there are no...

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July 17, 2022 16 min

Doing things is how many of us define ourselves. What we do determines who we are. The trouble is that when the doing gets interrupted or doesn’t go as planned, we become angry or hurt. The truth is that who we are determines what we do. Martha was “busy with many things,” like all of us. Being busy defined her and she thought it should define her sister Mary. Jesus, however, commended Mary not for what she did but for the identity...

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July 11, 2022 10 min

The parable Jesus tells about loving our neighbor is often called, “The Good Samaritan.” Yet, the main character seems to really be the man broken, beaten, and left for dead in the ditch. Two people pass him by offering no help. Maybe too busy. Then a despised person comes and helps. For the man in the ditch, the character of the three who came along the road mattered not. His neighbor, the one who loved, was the one who helped. We...

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July 5, 2022 19 min

The good news is that we are born of the Spirit and children of God. By God’s grace alone we are beloved and nothing can change that. The bad news is that we are born of the Spirit and children of God and so sent into the world as lambs among wolves to share God’s love with the world. That can be frightening. Yet, God never intended us to passively wait for Jesus to return to bring love, peace, justice, and joy. We are to be partic...

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June 27, 2022 18 min

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to do the wrong thing, the bad thing, the hurtful thing? It is easy to get angry, ignore someone in need, or yell at your child or spouse. Paul would say it is easy because we are enslaved by our desires and the expectations of the world. We have been set free in Christ from these slave masters. Through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection and through the Spirit’s call, we are free to be the p...

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June 20, 2022 18 min

So many times we overlook others due to the labels placed on them. Too many times we notice others but do not see them. In laying down the labels and seeing others, we change not only them, but ourselves and this world.  This is our calling.

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June 13, 2022 16 min

Theologians from Augustine to Bonhoeffer have said that a god who can be explained is not a god at all. The Trinity is ultimately a mystery that keeps us from ever being able to define or confine God. God must be so transcendent that the bounds of space and time can contain God. Yet, God must also be present in our time and place. God must be wholly other than us and yet somehow be in us. The Holy Trinity is the announcement of God...

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June 6, 2022 10 min

On the Day of Pentecost, we remember the mighty rush of wind and the tongues “as of flame” that signified the coming of the Holy Spirit to the first followers of Jesus. We gather not really expecting the same kind of show. So, is the Holy Spirit a reality in our lives? According to Paul, whenever we cry out, “Abba, Father!” it is a sign of the Spirit. When we see the violence and suffering all around us, we cannot help but cry out ...

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May 31, 2022 17 min

Paul and Silas are in prison after a life-threatening beating. By all normal standards, they are not free. Yet, as the story in Acts unfolds, we find that the prisoners in jail are freer than the folks who put them there. The people of Philippi have become outraged that Paul healed a demon possessed young girl who was making money for her captors. Enslaved by greed they cannot see the cruelty and evil of enslaving a child for gain....

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May 23, 2022 19 min

The Book of Revelation is full of frightening images and suffering which seem to fascinate many. Dragons and six-headed beasts rising from the sea certainly terrify. And yet, according to the news, the world we live in is just as terrifying. Shootings, war, pandemic. The goodness of God’s creation seems to be worked away by the evil around us. Into that, The Book of Revelation speaks of a New Jerusalem that promises hope, peace, an...

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May 16, 2022 14 min

Jesus commands us to love others “just a I loved you.” (John 13:34) We usually love with limits. There are certain people who are beyond love’s reach: the unrepentant, those who do not believe as we believe, and those who commit grievous sins that are beyond forgiveness. And yet, that is not how Jesus loves. His love is limitless. He loves even you.

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May 9, 2022 23 min

The Book of Revelation is a terribly misunderstood book. The images of death, destruction, and chaos are frightening – especially when used by preachers to frighten the faithful into more church attendance, giving, or volunteering. The question the terrifying images raises is not, “How can I avoid the struggle and suffering of the world?” Rather it is, “Who is worthy to lead us through the trials and usher in a new creation where o...

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Saul (Paul) was a terrorist. Ananais was a coward. Simon Peter denied Jesus three times. Yet, all three are subjected to the power of the resurrection and are changed. What does the resurrection do, not just to Jesus a long time ago, but to us in this place and time? That is the question…

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April 25, 2022 17 min

In the opening passages of the Book of Revelation, God is proclaimed as “the one who is, who was, and the one coming.” It is a play on the divine name, given to Moses – I AM. It seems like we are pretty good about thinking of the God who was – safely tucked away in history. We also like to think of God as a future in some far-off heaven. The struggle is to see and hear God right in front of our faces; to apprehend that God is, righ...

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April 17, 2022 14 min

Suffering is part of the human condition. It is unavoidable. That knowledge does not help us face it. Most of us search for answers – especially from God – for the reason we suffer. Most answers are unsatisfactory – just ask Job. The cross is God’s answer to suffering. No words or theological formulations. On the cross, Christ utters, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” In that moment we see a God who answers the suffering ...

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April 17, 2022 17 min

Tonight Jesus gathers with his disciples for a meal. Jesus knows his time has come to leave this world and return to the Father, so on this night Jesus gives his love to his friends. I invite you to settle in, feel the emotion of the evening, put yourself at the table with Jesus, and use all your senses this evening as Jesus comes to you tonight.

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April 11, 2022 17 min

Readings for the Passion of Our Lord.

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