sermons, songs, etceteras
This sermon was originally preached on August 21, 2022 on my final Sunday as pastoral intern at Oak Grove Lutheran Church in Richfield, MN.
The service may be viewed here.
Lectionary Texts: Jeremiah 1:4-10 | Hebrews 12:18-29
Gospel Text (included below sermon): Luke 13:10-17
Beloved of God whom I’ve had the honor of calling family…
I am not sure where to begin on this, my last day with you, in my last sermon to you. Except, perhaps, to take you back to my first sermon which was also outside, on this very patio, last September. In that sermon, I talked about how we’re living in apocalyptic times -- that is, revelatory times -- that show us who we are at our core, and teach us how to be rooted in love in a way that yields to the needs of others when they arise, especially among the most vulnerable, regardless of how inconvenient it may be. I shared what I found to be the center of James’s point in the 3rd and 4th chapters of his letter, which is that wisdom and understanding come not from winning debates or proving ourselves better or smarter than others, but from a willingness to yield to their need to be known, to feel seen, heard, like they’re someone. He says a harvest of peace and justice awaits those who know in their deepest self that being in right relationship is always better than being right.
I think Maya Angelou encapsulated this thought well when she wrote, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
So now we’re in Luke’s gospel, and I’m asking myself how Jesus is making these people feel. Now, it might be easy to chastise the leader of the synagogue where Jesus was teaching. To view him only from the vantage point of history, knowing who Jesus was and what he accomplished and how this healing fit into the larger story of his life and the 2000+ years since.
During my pastoral internship at Oak Grove Lutheran Church, I wrote a series of four songs reflecting on four liturgical holy days (lyrics below). At the end of my year there, on August 19, 2022, my spouse and I performed those four songs plus a few others of our favorites, both originals and cover songs, in a concert given at Oak Grove. The concert may be viewed above or on facebook. Individual songs are below for your viewing!
All songs (c) 2021-2022 Amy Courts Koopman