The Year of Luke . . .

We do not know who actually wrote this gospel. From the author's own acknowledgement, we know that they were not an eyewitness of Jesus' ministry. Three times the letters attributed to St. Paul mention someone named Luke as one of his traveling companions. So this is the name that stuck since the second century. In any event, the Lukan narrative is in well-written Greek and shares some of the qualities of ancient histories and biographies. It tells the stories of Jesus' words and deeds in both an edifying and entertaining way.

In Luke the chief title for Jesus is "Lord" (Kyrious in Greek), which appears some three dozen times. Mark, by comparison refers to Jesus as "Lord" only about six times.  The main idea of this title was not so much that of a master who rules over others, as that of a benefactor, the one whose purpose is to enhance the welfare of the people of Israel, or the citizens in the empire, or of the members of the family. By pinning the title of "Lord" on Jesus, Luke pictures him as a great benefactor, as one who brings the blessings of wholeness and peace, joy, and salvation into the world. 

During the coming lectionary year, we will read eight parables which will include parables like "The Prodigal Son" and "The Good Samaritan" and others which are only found in the gospel of Luke. 


In spite of opposition and persecution, undercurrents of joy and prayer run through Luke. These reflect the correct response that we as faith-filled people make to our Lord as we continue to enjoy his benefactions and share them with others. It is easy to see Luke's agenda for creating a more just and compassionate world. Luke's gospel challenges us and compels Lus to live out our values in ways that will bring divine benefits to all humankind. 

Sermons in Year C 2021-2022

To read a sermon, just click on the square beside the date and title of the sermon.

  • First Sunday of Advent, 28 November 2021:  Advent Lessons and Carols

    Based on a set of medieval refrains called the O Antiphons, the hymn we know as O come, O come, Emmanuel, provide the structure of this services of readings from the Old and New Testaments.

  • Advent II, 5 December 2021: The way Out of No Way

    Advent always begins in the wilderness with the voice of John the Baptist crying out. But what does the wilderness have to teach us? And why do we have to go through the wilderness in order to get to the manger in Bethlehem?

  • Advent III, 12 December 2021: Repent and Rejoice

    We are still in the wilderness with John who is preaching a firy sermon about repentance . . . and yet the other texts for today tell us to rejoice and shout for joy. Wait, what? What has repentance to do with joy and rejoicing?

  • Advent IV, 19 December 2021: Joy to the Word, Christ Comes to Do God's Will

    Two miraculous pregnancies. Two prophetic songs that put the world on notice.

  • Christmas I, 26 December 2021: Losing Jesus

    What if we need to lose Jesus so that we can find him and see him anew?

  • Christmas II, 2 January 2022: Make Way for the Image of God

    Christmas is not just an event for a day or even 12 days . . . its a way of life.

  • Baptism of Our Lord, 9 January 2022: Being Beloved

    The early church found the story of Jesus' baptism "embarrassing." Why? And, are we any less embarrassed by Jesus, let a lone his baptism.

  • Epiphany II, 16 January 2022: They Have no Wine

    They have no wine. With these words, Mary speaks a truth about our lives.

  • Epiphany III, 23 January 2022: Here I Stand

    Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah and in his first public sermon takes a very public stand about who he is and what his mission is all about. But that's not just about him, it's also about us.

  • Epiphany IV, 30 January 2022:  Love . . . it's not just for weddings

    Though these oft-quoted, much beloved and well-known verses in Paul's letter to the Corinthians are mainly heard these days at weddings, that was not what Paul really had in mind. He was actually trying to reorient a congregation that had lost its core--the love of God in Jesus Christ.

  • Epiphany V, 6 February 2022: One More Time

    Jesus gets into a weary and frustrated fisherman's boat with an empty net and tells him to go into deeper waters and cast his net again. There is more than one surprising result from Simon's tired obidience. 

  • Epiphany VI, 13 February 2022:  Jesus on the Level

    Jesus delivers a sermon "standing in a level place" with a teaching so costly only grace could pay the price of it.

  • Epiphany VII, 20 February 2022: Forgiveness  in an unforgiving world

    If you thought the beginning of Jesus' "Sermon on the Plain" was challenging, wait until you hear what comes next.

  • Transfiguration of Our Lord, 27 February 2022; How About the Reality?

    We follow Jesus up to a mountain top experience (yeah!); only to follow him down the mountain into the valley where reality awaits (yeah??).

  • Ash Wednesday, 2 March 2022: Dirty Faces, Broken Hearts

    Two paintings in my grandparents' dining room represent the Lenten journey--from broken hearts and dust smudged faces to new kennings and Easter Day.

  • Lent I, 6 March 2022:  Promise and Risk

    The future is always coming to us and it comes to us as promise and risk.

  • Lent II, 13 March 2022:  Faith and Feathers

    A rapacious, conniving fox and a mother hen stand off.

  • Lent III, 20 March 2022: Ask a different question

    In reponse to the daily news of tyrants and falling towers, Jesus responds with a parable about a fig tree. Wait, what?

  • Lent Iv, 27 March 2022: A Prodigious Mercy

    In response to the criticism of the company Jesus is keeping, he tells this parable of two sons--one who runs away and one who stays--and their incredibly and prodigiously gracious father.

  • Lent V, 3 April 2022: The Extravagance of Love

    Often extravagantly generous gifts cause suspicion and disapproval--but not by Jesus.

  • Maundy Thursday, 14 April 2022:  The Freakiness of Foot Washing

    On this night Jesus does something that definitely steps out of the "respectable" into something that seems "disreputable." And his disciples--especially Peter--are freaked out.

  • Easter Day, 17 April 2022:  If for this life only . . .

    Faith in Christ's resurrection has not only been the heart of Christianity and the foundation of our hope, it has also been called an idle tale--even by Christ's most ardent followers from the very beginning. We need the empty tomb, and yet we struggle with doubt.

  • Easter II, 24 April 2022: Easter Sets us Free

    One week after the day of Resurrection, the disciples are still behind closed, locked doors. What will it take to get them to open those doors and realize Easter freedom?

  • Easter III, 1 May 2022: Same Old, Same Old or The Newness of Resurrection?

    Peter and and about a half dozen disciples have unlocked their doors and made their way out into the world again, and yet they return to what they knew before Jesus. Now Jesus calls them anew and sends them out to live the good news of Easter.

  • Easter IV, 8 May 2022: Belonging to the Shepherd-Lamb

    "How long are going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly" some people say to Jesus in the Temple one late December day. Jesus responds . . . not very plainly.

  • Easter V, 15 May 2022:  One Commandment

    What would you want to say to those you love before you die?

  • Easter VI, 22 May 2022: Peace the World Cannot Give

    We continue to be gathered with Jesus and the disciples in the upper room on the night of his betrayal. Last week we heard his "final marching order." This week he gives us the gift of peace and the promise of the Spirit.

  • Day of Pentecost, 5 June 2022:  The Power of Language

    The promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit arrived with rushing winds and tongues of fire but, most importantly, the gift of language.

  • The Holy Trinity, 12 June 2022: Three Dimension of God

    It is a seriously humbling thing to contemplate God who is a blessed Trinity.

  • Pentecost IIC, 19 June 2022: You talking to me?

    Using only his words, Jesus conquers Legion.

  • Pentecost IIIC, 26 June 2022:  As Soon As . . .

    Jesus makes some uncompromising and uncomfortable statements about discipleship. How will we respond?

  • Pentecost IV C, 3 July 2022: Peace to this house

    What does peace mean to you?

  • Pentecost V C, 10 July 2022: what would you do for love?

    The Parable of the Good Samaritan is always in danger of becoming a cliché. And, yet, if you pointed to this parable to state the essence of Christianity . . . would we be far wrong? Yet this parable is about much more than saying "be helpful when you come across someone in distress or need  . . ." This is a parable that proclaims the costliness of the gospel in a hostile and dangerous world.

  • Pentecost VI C, 17 July 2022: martha Choices and Mary Choices

    Should we sit and listen or be active and busy? Is it a choice of one or other or both/and?

  • Pentecost VIIC, 24 July 2022: Lord, Teach us to Pray . . .

    This gospel lesson would be a whole lot easier to hear (and to preach) if it weren't for the unanswered prayers in our lives.

  • Pentecost VIIIC, 31 July 2022: The Barn Guy

    Guest preacher, Mark Singleton, a member of St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church in Hoboken.

  • Pentecost IXC, 7 August 2022: Expecting and the Unexpected Hour

    Waiting is a part of life--of every day life. But . . . no one likes to wait.

  • pentecost xC, 14 August 2022: Disturbing the Pface

    Is Jesus a disturber of the peace?

  • pentecost xic, 21 August 2022: Seeing the Broken

    Compassion that sees the broken body, the broken spirit, the broken heart before it sees the broken commandment.

  • Pentecost XIIC, 28 August 2022:  We're going to need a bigger table

    Jesus is a guest at a meal at a leader of the Pharisee's home on a sabbath day. He makes some observations about his fellow guests and his host and offers a parable . . .

  • Pentecost XiIIC, 4 September 2022: Choose Life

    Jesus is offering one of his "hard sayings" about what it means to be his disciple. We have choices. What and how will we choose?

  • Pentecost XIVC, 11 September 2022: Lost and Found

    In response to the grumbling of the Pharisees and scribes (in which they ironically proclaim the gospel!), Jesus tells a series of parables about being lost and found. Who is lost? Who is found? Who is searching?