3900 Winnetka Avenue N., New Hope, MN 55427

Sermons by Rev. Ashley Updegraff

January 16, 2022 Second Sunday after Epiphany “We’re Havin’ A Party”

FIRST READING                    Isaiah 62:1-5 The people’s return to Judah after the exile was marred by economic and political troubles. Nevertheless, the prophet declares, Jerusalem and Judah will be restored. God will rejoice over Jerusalem as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride, and the people are called to the celebration. 1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,…

November 21, 2021 Reign of Christ Sunday “Where is Jesus the King?”

FIRST READING              Daniel 7:9-10,13-14 To the community for whom this passage was written, it seemed as though the oppression they were experiencing would never end. Daniel’s message is: It shall end. The Ancient One, who is judge, will call all nations to account and will give dominion to “one like a human being,” the Messiah. 9 As I watched, thrones…

October 24, 2021 Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost “The Blind Shall See”

FIRST READING         Jeremiah 31:7-9     This passage speaks not only of the southern kingdom, Judah, and its homecoming from exile in Babylon, but also of the northern kingdom (“Israel” or “Ephraim”) and its restoration. The northern tribes of Israel had been lost in exile to Assyria more than a century before Jeremiah prophesied. 7For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness…

September 26, 2021 Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost “Wandering, With A Purpose”

FIRST READING           Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 What constitutes legitimate need and legitimate leadership is the focus of this reading. God provides manna in the wilderness, yet the people crave meat. What is truly needful? God bestows the spirit on seventy elders, yet two men not designated as leaders prophesy in the power of God’s spirit. What constitutes real leadership? 4The rabble…

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…