3900 Winnetka Avenue N., New Hope, MN 55427

Sermons by Rev. Ashley Updegraff

September 5, 2021 Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost “Just Keep Swimming (With Love!)”

FIRST READING                 Isaiah 35:4-7a These verses are a word of hope to the exiles in Babylon. Isaiah 34 portrays God’s vengeance on Edom, Israel’s age-old enemy, which makes the path from Babylon to Zion safe for the exiles’ return. The desert itself will flow with water to give drink to the returning exiles. 4Say to those who are of a fearful…

August 22, 2021 Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost “To whom—or what—do we go?”

FIRST READING          Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18 In the Near East, covenant means “agreement” or “alliance.” It describes relationships and is the primary word used to characterize the relationship between God and Israel. By delivering Israel, God has already begun the relationship. Joshua calls upon the people to respond. 1Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and…

August 15, 2021 Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost “Cannibals”

FIRST READING              Proverbs 9:1-6 Wisdom is portrayed as a woman who invites people to partake of her banquet. Just as ordinary food is necessary for physical life, Wisdom’s food – insight and understanding – is necessary for fullness of life with God. Partaking of Wisdom’s banquet is the way to life. 1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn…

August 1, 2021 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost “Do the Work”

FIRST READING              Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 A food crisis becomes a faith crisis for the Israelites in the wilderness. The hungry people forget God’s saving work in the exodus, and they wish for the food they had in Egypt. Nevertheless, God miraculously meets their needs, with manna for bread and quail for meat. 2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against…

July 25, 2021 Ninth Sunday after Pentecost “I Will (Never) Be Satisfied”

FIRST READING               2nd Kings 4:42-44 Today’s reading is part of a larger section of 2 Kings that describes the miracles of Elisha, the successor to Elijah. Here the prophet gives food to a hungry crowd. Though there is not enough food to go around, Elisha trusts God, who provides enough and even more to satisfy the need. 42A man came…

July 4, 2021 Sixth Sunday after Pentecost “Seeing Outside the Box”

FIRST READING                   Ezekiel 2:1-5 In 597 BCE, the priest Ezekiel was removed into exile in Babylon. While there, he received a vision of God appearing majestically on a chariot throne. Today’s reading recounts God’s commissioning of Ezekiel during this vision. The prophet is to speak God’s word to a people unwilling to hear. 1He said to me: O…

June 6, 2021 Second Sunday after Pentecost “A coming-of-age story for the ages”

FIRST READING                 Genesis 3:8-15 Immediately after Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, they hide from God. Neither takes responsibility for their sin, instead blaming each other, the snake, and even God. The curse on the snake was understood as a messianic prophecy by the early church, who associated Eve’s “offspring” with Christ. 8 They heard the sound of the Lord God…

May 16, 2021 Seventh Sunday of Easter “Testify!”

FIRST READING            Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 In the days between Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost, Peter oversees the process whereby one of the members of the community of believers is chosen to be the twelfth apostle, in order to fill the vacancy created by Judas’ treachery and death. 15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one…