The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, 2017
Matthew 8:23-27
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

How many of you like to sleep with a certain sound or light?

Some people can’t sleep if there’s any extra sound. And some must sleep in a completely dark room.

Some people prefer a nightlight. Some people need to sleep in a room without windows.

Some people prefer the sound of rain when they sleep. Some people prefer silence.

When it comes to sleep and rest and peace, the Holy Scriptures are far from silent.

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Epiphany 3, Sermon 2017
Matthew 8:1-13
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

You can’t believe every story you hear about Martin Luther, but even if it’s not true, this is a good one:

During one tempestuous time in his life, Martin Luther was lamenting the tests and trials that God was stacking upon him. His lovely wife, Katharina von Bora, at her wit’s end, finally said, “Well Martin…it’s your fault.”

And, like every husband would, Luther took that with perfect, divine grace. He responded, “What did you say?”

And Kitty replied: “You’re the one who prayed: ‘Thy will be done.’”

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Epiphany 2 Sermon, 2017
John 2:1-11
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

Generally speaking, what’s inappropriate at a wedding?

If you’re the guest, and if you’re a woman, you don’t wear a long-flowing white dress to someone else’s wedding.

If you’re the guest, and if you’re a man, you don’t propose to your girlfriend as a big surprise to everyone in attendance.

And, male or female, if you’re the guest to a wedding, you don’t walk around advertising your own business.

These are obvious answers to the question “What’s inappropriate?” But we also know the obvious answer to the question “Why is that inappropriate?”

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The Baptism of Our Lord, 2017
Matthew 3:13-17
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt

There’s an episode of Malcolm in the Middle where Hal, the dad, walks in and turns the light on only to find that the lightbulb’s burnt out.

In his search for a new lightbulb, he realizes the shelf on which the lightbulbs sit has a loose screw.

In his search for the screwdriver, he realizes that the drawer suffers from a squeaky, grinding noise.

So, he finds the can of WD-40, which is empty.

So, needing to get a new can of WD-40, he gets in his car, which, let’s just say, needs a tune up.

Then, Lois, his wife, walks into the garage and says, “Hal, would you replace the lightbulb in the kitchen?”

And from under his car, parts and tools all around him, he says, exasperated, “What does it look like I’m doing?”

Now, I told you that, because to understand Jesus’ baptism correctly, you need to hold on to several threads at the same time, but—I promise—it’s worth it.

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