Sermons by “Pastor Torgerson”

God Shows No Partiality

            I present to you an exhaustive list of the personal, cultural, and societal characteristics that exclude someone from the love of God and prevent full inclusion in Christian community.            In case you couldn’t hear me, what I said was nothing.  Nothing excludes someone from God’s love or from membership or even leadership within the body of Christ.  Nothing.  God shows no partiality.

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In the Lord’s Vineyard

We’ve been reading a lot of Jesus’ parables as we’ve been reading in the gospel of Matthew.  Sometimes the stories make clear sense; sometimes it’s harder to figure out.  The parable he uses today isn’t even his own.  He’s taking a known story and putting a twist on it.  This is a reading from the prophet Isaiah.

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The Gift That Is In You

Last week, we heard the story from Matthew’s gospel about how Jesus fed over 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish.  Because it was Youth Sunday, we had the powerful honor of hearing Molly and Aiden reflect on their experiences with youth ministry here in this congregation.  They talked about faith and trust and just pure fun, all pointing to the myriad ways Jesus has provided for them and for this congregation.  Their words, combined with the worship leadership of many other young people, made my Sunday worship all the more holy.

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Blessed Are You

I have a little plaque hanging in the entry from our garage into our house.  This piece of hallway is the staging area for essentially all our departures and arrivals. It’s where we dump coats and shoes, where we rally up to make sure everyone has put socks on, and where I frequently mitigate transition meltdowns from kids, dogs, and sometimes even myself.

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The Beloved

You know how it works when someone asks you if something is a threat or a promise, right?  Like if you get really mad at someone and you snap at them, “If you don’t knock it off, I will leave right now” and they snark right back, “Is that a threat or a promise?”  Oh, the days are surely coming when my children will use such a line against me, just as I used it against my mother before me.

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A Righteous Man

           There’s hardly a part of the Christmas story that I don’t like.  Angels and shepherds, magi and stables, words of wisdom and stories of wonder – it all plays out in this powerful cosmic story that we get to hear again and again every year.

Even the stories that lead up to the Christmas story fill me with joy and amazement.  I’m always especially drawn to the story from Luke 1 about how Mary finds out she’s pregnant with Jesus. 

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Such A Time As This

This story takes place in a particularly dark time for God’s people.  About a hundred years before, the Israelites were conquered and taken from Judah into exile.  The temple in Jerusalem was demolished.  While the Persian king had recently started allowing Jews to return to their homeland, there was very little to return home to.  Many Jews remained in Persia as strangers in a strange land, trying to obey God and live their lives in exile.

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Dwell With You

I’ve heard more and more from people about a series of articles the Star Tribune has been running since this summer called “Test of Faith: The Unchurching of America”[1].  It focuses on the stories behind the trends that church professionals and religious writers have been raising alarm bells about for probably thirty years: the church is shrinking

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