Weird Animals of the Bible: A Fish with a Coin in its Mouth — May 6, 2018

May 7, 2018


Psalm 148
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise God in the heights!
Praise God, all you angels; praise the Lord, all you hosts!
Praise God, sun and moon; praise the Lord, all you shining stars!
Praise God, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for God commanded and they were created.
The Lord established them forever and ever;
God fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike, old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the Lord, 
for God's name alone is exalted;
the glory of the Lord is above earth and heaven.
God has sounded a ram's horn for the people,
full of praise for all the faithful.
Praise the Lord!
Matthew 17:24-27
When Jesus and the disciples reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes, he does.” And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?” When Peter said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free. However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.”



Weird Animals of the Bible: God as Shepherd, Us as Sheep — April 29, 2018

May 1, 2018
Hebrew Scripture: Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.
Good News: John 10:1-10
Jesus said to the crowds around him, both disciples and Pharisees:
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”



Loving someone sick — March 11, 2018 — Mark 2:13-3:6

March 13, 2018

We begin with an exerpt from Kate Bowler's new book, Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved. Why do we say things -- "It's always darkest before the dawn," "God needed another angel," "Everything happens for a reason" -- when they aren't always helpful? What are we afraid of? And what, informed by Jesus' bravery, can we choose to do instead?



“As ourselves”: a story of raw courage — March 4, 2018 — Mark 5:21-43

March 9, 2018

When Jesus asks us to love our neighbor as ourselves... does that mean we have to love ourselves?!



Neighborly Distractions — February 25, 2018 — Luke 10:25-37

March 9, 2018

What determines whether or not we will care for our neighbor in need?



Loving God in the Face of Human Evil — February 18, 2018 — Mark 12:28-34

February 20, 2018

What does it mean to "love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength" in the face of human evil?



Star Words - Sermon on the Epiphany - January 7, 2018

January 8, 2018

Sermon sketch:


Star words box:



How the Grinch Learned the Magnificat — December 10, 2017

December 16, 2017


Full text here: Congregations and other religious organizations are free to use this parody, with attribution to Rev. Kegler.

Music is from the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 

Give to our Christmas Match drive at




One Little Light — The Books of Ezra and 1 Maccabees — November 26, 2017

December 16, 2017

Hebrew Scripture: Ezra 1:1-4, 1 Maccabees 1:1-10, 29-35; 2:19-22, 4:30-33, 52-58; 8:1, 11-16

In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the Lord by the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia. He sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared:

“Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of those among you who are of his people—may their God be with them!—are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel.” And so the people returned to Jerusalem, and began to rebuild.

Two hundred years later, Alexander the Great defeated King Darius of the Persians, and he succeeded him as king. Alexander fought many battles, conquered strongholds, and put to death the kings of the earth. When he grew old, he summoned his most honored officers, and divided his kingdom among them. His officers took up crowns after his death, and so did their descendants after them; and they caused many evils on the earth.

From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus. This king sent a tribute collector to the cities in the country of Judah, and he himself came to Jerusalem with a large army. He fell upon the city, and destroyed many people of Israel. He plundered the city, burned it with fire, and tore down its houses and its surrounding walls. On every side of the sanctuary they shed innocent blood; they even defiled the sanctuary.

Antiochus Epiphanes demanded that all inhabitants of the land give up their own customs and offer sacrifice to idols. When this decree was given by the king’s officers, Mattathias, a priest, answered: “Even if all the nations under the rule of the king obey him, I and my sons and my brothers will continue to live by the covenant of our ancestors. We will not obey the king’s words.”

Mattathias’ sons rebelled against the Greeks, led by their brother Judas Maccabeus. When Judas saw that their army was strong, he prayed to God, saying, “Blessed are you, O Savior of Israel, who crushed the attack of the mighty warrior by the hand of your servant David, and gave the camp of the Philistines into the hands of Jonathan son of Saul. Now hem in this army by the hand of your people Israel. Let them be ashamed of their troops and their cavalry. Fill them with cowardice; melt the boldness of their strength; let them tremble in their destruction. Strike them down with the sword, and let all who know your name praise you with hymns.” And they defeated the Greek army, all five thousand.

When they had defeated the army, the priests of Israel rose and offered sacrifice in the temple on a new altar they had built. The temple was rededicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven. They celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and joyfully made sacrifices of well-being and a thanksgiving offering. There was very great joy among the people, and the disgrace brought by the Gentiles was removed.

Now Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were very strong and pledged friendship to those who came to them. They have subdued kings far and near, and as many as have heard of their fame have feared them. Yet for all this not one of them has put on a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride, but they have built for themselves a senate chamber, and every day three hundred twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well. They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land; they all heed the one man, and there is no envy or jealousy among them.