St. Mark's Lutheran Church

Mar 8, 2015 - Why keep them?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Third Sunday of Lent   We should put a warning label on the Ten Commandments: don't try to obey these alone; it's impossible, because these Ten Commandments are about relationships with God and with others. (More...)

Mar 1, 2015 - Hope Does Not Disappoint  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Second Sunday of Lent   We can remember what St. Paul has to say in Romans: “...and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (More...)

Feb 22, 2015 - Jesus vs. the Wild Things  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   First Sunday of Lent   Where does chaos threaten each of us today? The variations are endless, but the final cure is the same,... the Lord Jesus, who puts things right. (More...)

Feb 18, 2015 - Psalm 51: The Church's Song in praise of God's Forgiveness  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Ash Wednesday   Each time we encounter the holiness of God, we know that we cannot stand there on our own, but in humility and yet in confidence ask for his healing and life-giving word again this day. (More...)

Feb 15, 2015 - In Wonder  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Transfiguration of our Lord   The story of the Transfiguration reminds us that the purpose of this worship time is first of all about what God wants to say to us, not the other way around. (More...)

Feb 8, 2015 - Sent, Under Orders  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fifth Sunday after Epiphany   There are easy and pleasant things, and then there are the things that we do not because we want to but because we come to believe that they are the things that God truly wants us to do them. (More...)

Feb 2, 2015 - In praise of routine  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Presentation of the Lord   And so we will continue with our regular routine of reading and singing and praying, because great things can and will happen in God's good time. (More...)

Feb 1, 2015 - Tied up in Impossible Knots  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourth Sunday after Epiphany   How often do we regard the problems we face as impossible knots.There is only one solution, in complete surrender to Jesus of Nazareth, who has proclaimed himself our champion, the conquering hero sent form God to overcome the evil in the world. (More...)

Jan 25, 2015 - What kind of God?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Conversion of Paul   When the Lord meets us on the road, shakes us up, and says, Follow me, let's keep listening and then speaking and doing. (More...)

Jan 18, 2015 - What Kind of Stone?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Confession of Peter   Those are serious questions, for Peter long ago, and for us today. What kind of rocks will our youngest members become? What kind of rocks will we  be? (More...)

Jan 13, 2015 - In the Fullness of Time  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Luella Bair Funeral   When our time is full and complete, it is but the beginning of a new chapter in our life in Christ. (More...)

Jan 11, 2015 - A pile of dirt?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Baptism of Jesus   Which picture of creation is our world-view? Are we only a pile of dirt, worthless garbage, as the Babylonians said; or are we part of the creation that is beloved of the Lord, rescued by Jesus' love, promised a good and final future, and thus strengthened to live boldly even now? (More...)

Jan 4, 2015 - By another way…  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   11th Day of Christmas   To be a Christian means to be someone who witnesses that Christ is the Light of the world, the truth that matters and endures, and the culture that will finally be fulfilled when God completes his creating. (More...)

Dec 28, 2014 - Outsiders  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Remembrance Service   That is the Good News of Christmas; we’re not left alone in our sadness of whatever sort. We shall not be outsiders now, or finally. (More...)

Dec 28, 2014 - The Costly Gift  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Holy Innocents, Martyrs   God does not forget even those whom the world labels as insignificant. (More...)

Dec 24, 2014 - In the Flesh in Particular  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Christmas Eve   God came not to deliver us from our flesh and all that flesh demands, but to redeem our flesh, and in his good time to completely re-make our flesh, to prepare it for the eternal banquet. (More...)

Dec 21, 2014 - More “Rejoice” than “Hello”  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourth Sunday of Advent   We need to take seriously the imperatives we have heard during the season, the admonitions to Watch, to Prepare, to Bear Witness, and to Rejoice. But through this season we have discovered that these words are not meant to be a burden, but a gift. (More...)

Dec 14, 2014 - Word in the Darkness  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Third Sunday of Advent   No matter how dark we feel at any given time, there is the objective fact that the light of Christ has shone, is shining, and will yet shine. (More...)

Dec 7, 2014 - Life in a Construction Zone  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Second Sunday of Advent   We are that construction zone; both the wilderness of 21st century life around us, and our inner wildernesses are places where God is at work. We live in the assurance that no matter how difficult our situation, God will somehow make use of it and transform it so that we are the praising and serving persons we are supposed to be. (More...)

Dec 2, 2014 - Accountability  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Tuesday in Advent   Accountability” becomes the question put to us. But it is different from the accountability about which one talks in school or business. It is an accountability at which everyone fails. (More...)

Nov 30, 2014 - Rend the Heavens  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   First Sunday of Advent   If O Savior, rend the heavens and come down is what we should indeed be praying, what should we be doing while we wait for God to complete his answer to the prayer? That is the question for all of us, not just on the First Sunday in Advent, but every day. (More...)

Nov 23, 2014 - The Shepherd-King  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Christ the King   We all look around and see so much that is wrong. How can there be one banquet table for us all? But the Son of Man has eternity to work on it, to make sure that it does happen. And knowing that gives us reason to celebrate. (More...)

Nov 16, 2014 - Everything he had  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost   As a congregation and as individuals within it, we have been entrusted with great treasures. How shall these treasures be managed, for the sake of the kingdom of God? Wrapping them up, laying them away, and not thinking about them is not the best answer. (More...)

Nov 9, 2014 - Preparations  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost   That's an interesting way to think about our gathering in church; a training session, a disaster preparedness drill, as preparation for handling sorrows, and ultimately, for handling joy. (More...)

Nov 2, 2014 - Is Now and Ever Will Be  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   All Saints Sunday   We learn that each of us is called by the Lord Jesus to be a saint not just when we die, but also right now in the midst of life. Each of us is to be a saint, a person who lives in two different worlds at the same time. (More...)

Oct 25, 2014 - Free?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Reformation Sunday   With joy we can proclaim that we are not to bondage to one stupid thing after another that leads only to death. We live now in anticipation of God's actions, confident that he can take our efforts and transform them and use them in his completed kingdom. (More...)

Oct 19, 2014 - It is about faith and love  The Rev. W. Stevens Shipman   Consecration Sunday   Are we impressed by the things that impressed the disciples, or by the things that impressed Jesus? (More...)

Oct 12, 2014 - Trouble at the Banquet  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost   Hell is where we are when we will not accept the fact that Jesus accepts us. (More...)

Oct 5, 2014 - Trouble in the Vineyard  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost   First we need to recognize the true loneliness, emptiness, and brokenness in our lives. Then the new word which breaks the silence can have its full effect. (More...)

Sep 28, 2014 - At the edge  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost   Jesus is always at the edge of things, where things are growing, expanding, taking off in new directions. (More...)

Sep 21, 2014 - At the Right Time  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Festival of St. Matthew   Jesus who is the Lord of all of life, has much more patience than we ever deserve. He will keep coming back to us again and again, offering his blessings and announcing his expectations, looking for us to take adult-sized steps instead of baby-steps in faith and life. (More...)

Sep 14, 2014 - We Proclaim Christ Crucified  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Festival of Holy Cross   The cross and joyful faith – is this possible? Ecstasy within agony? Take it up, and find out, when we pray “Lord, I entrust all this to you.” (More...)

Sep 7, 2014 - Responsibility  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost   The questions for confirmands and all of us today: To what responsibility am I called today by Jesus by way of his gifts, promises, and actions on the cross? In what ways can I practice here to get ready to tackle them? (More...)

Aug 31, 2014 - Extreme Living  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost   We need to be honest with prospective members as well as ourselves; this life as a Christian is not easy, and it is getting harder all the time. No it is not going to be easy, but ultimate victory is promised to us, because Jesus has already been to all of the extremes that Satan and the world could conjure, and he has defeated them all. (More...)

Aug 27, 2014 - One Who Cares  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Lillian Skeebey Funeral   The Lord God decided that Lillian's work was truly completed, and now she has gone ahead of us to join in the celebration already underway in heaven. (More...)

Aug 24, 2014 - A Nobody, but God's Somebody  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Festival of St. Bartholomew   You and I are not “nobodies;” we are persons with different gifts which all come from the one Holy Spirit, for the benefit of congregation and community. (More...)

Aug 17, 2014 - Faithful God  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Tenth Sunday after Pentecost   We make promises on Sunday and before we get out the door, we've started to fold, spindle, and mutilate them...but not God. His word is good, and he will keep it. (More...)

Aug 8, 2014 - With singing  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Eleanor Whiting Funeral   Eleanor is joining with the host of heaven in the song that is to be ours as well. Thanks be to God for all his gifts, including the life of Eleanor, the promise of Jesus that claims her, and her song now passed to us. (More...)

Aug 3, 2014 - Extravagant Gifts of God  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Eighth Sunday after Pentecost   By the sheer number and scope of the stories he told and the actions he did, Jesus seems to be saying that heaven is about God's extravagant love toward us, whether we warrant such attention or not. (More...)

Aug 2, 2014 - Yes and No  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Jeanette Stuempfle Funeral   Jeanette's persistence, trust in God, joy, consistency, and expansive interest, with God's promise in Jesus will win out over death. (More...)

Jul 27, 2014 - God's Love and Care  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Carol Confer Funeral   The Lord says that he will dwell with us; death will be no more, and everything will be made new. The old pains, sorrows, illnesses, separations, heartaches, etc. will not prevail. (More...)

Jul 27, 2014 - A treasure indeed  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Seventh Sunday after Pentecost   We do have to remember that the Great Commission does not say Go make disciples as long as it is easy, doesn't cost much, or require our lives to be changed. It is simply Go, make disciples... (More...)

Jul 20, 2014 - Life in a Messy Garden  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Sixth Sunday after Pentecost   We're here because Jesus planted us here, God's good grain and Satan's weeds mixed together in each of us. (More...)

Jul 13, 2014 - Waste and Grace  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fifth Sunday after Pentecost   Seed may be sown widely, apparently wastefully, but the result is up to God, not to us. (More...)

Jun 8, 2014 - The Conversation  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Pentecost Festival   This Pentecost day is a very big deal. It is the windy and fiery persistence of God, reaching out not only to a few leaders long ago, but also to us here and now. And giving us the model and content of what to say and do. (More...)

Jun 1, 2014 - For the Times In-between  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Seventh Sunday of Easter   In our daily lives there will arise the opportunities to say and do, to be Christ's witnesses; perhaps with many words, perhaps with few words, or with no words at all. (More...)

May 25, 2014 - Joining the Conversation  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Sixth Sunday of Easter   Let's use Paul's model of vigorous engagement, not apologizing for the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as so many are doing these days. (More...)

May 18, 2014 - Living Stones  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fifth Sunday of Easter   For whose sake this week have I been baptized and made into a living stone? (More...)

May 11, 2014 - Become the Gospel!  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourth Sunday of Easter   The consequence for Christians is a whole life given; a whole life transformed. That is what we are experiencing ourselves, and what we offer to others. (More...)

May 6, 2014 - Wilderness Food  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   STS   In this wilderness of sin and death, there is food only here, offered freely through the gift of faith. Our task is clear: it is one beggar telling another where to find food. (More...)

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