Pastor Wilbert S. Miller
Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity-Manhattan
August 7, 2016 (Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost)
“Taking the Long View”
Genesis 15: 1-6
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In your heart of hearts, do you really believe Abraham and Sarah had a bouncing baby boy when they were well into their nineties? Be honest: goodness gracious, they were card-carrying AARP members going on forty years and had been collecting Social Security for twenty-five.
When their bouncing baby boy finally arrived, they named him Isaac, as in “son of laughter.” Isaac’s birth was a hoot, a real laugher, and never forget: his arrival had nothing to do with Abraham and Sarah’s ingenuity at child planning. Baby Isaac was all about the sheer grace of God.
Jumping the gun and getting hilarious little Isaac on the scene too quickly, however, can ruin the story. Things need to age a bit. How could Abraham and Sarah possibly have believed they would soon be parents? Time was not on their side. (more…)
The Rev. Wilbert S. Miller
Sermon for July 24, 2016 (Tenth Sunday after Pentecost)
Genesis 18: 20-32; Luke 11: 1-13
Forty years ago, I instantly changed how I pray. A friend of mine told me about one of his seminary classes taught by Robert Jensen, one of our fine Lutheran theologians. At least how I understood it, Dr. Jenson said that when we pray, rather than hemming and hawing, we should ask God for exactly what we want. I have always interpreted Dr. Jenson’s words this way: no prayer to God is too audacious. Telling God exactly what’s on our mind was such a startling notion that I still wonder whether Dr. Jenson really advocated this manner of prayer. (more…)
The Second Sunday in Lent – March 1, 2015
Mass at 11:00 AM. Readings: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38. Pastor George Detweiler will preside and preach.
On the second Sunday of Lent we move from the temptations of Jesus to the first of his predictions of his passion: that he will undergo great suffering, be rejected and killed, and after three days rise again. Peter objects and is called Satan by Jesus.
Jesus then teaches his disciples what all of this means for them and us: that we are to deny ourselves and follow him; that by trying to hang on to – to control – our life, we will lose it. But by letting go of control of it and trusting him we will gain it. (more…)