Crazy is Afoot | Sermon

Crazy is Afoot. (2 Cor. 5:13-15)

I preached this sermon at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Chester, CA. and First Lutheran Church in Greenville, CA. on June 14, 2015 (Third Sunday after Pentecost– Three Year Series, B).

Stricken and Smitten

Today’s Good Friday. A quote from Scripture seems fitting. Blessings.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
    he shall be high and lifted up,
    and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you—
    his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle many nations;
    kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
    and that which they have not heard they understand.

Stricken and Smitten by Tyrel Bramwell on 500px

53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

If you’d like to license this photograph for your use visit the image’s licensing page on

How to Remain Steadfast in the Midst of Temptation | Sermon

How to Remain Steadfast in the Midst of Temptation

I preached this sermon at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Chester, CA. and First Lutheran Church in Greenville, CA. on February 22, 2015 (The First Sunday in Lent – Three Year Series, B).

Sermon text: Mark 1:9-15; James 1:12-18; Genesis 22:1-18

Format AudioPosted on Categories Sermon, WritingTags , , Forgiveness, Genesis 22:1-18, James 1:12-18, Lent, Mark 1:9-15, , Temptation, TestingLeave a comment

I Am The Vine

Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” 

Photograph taken in Great Smoky Mountains NP © 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

Format ImagePosted on Categories PhotographyTags , great smoky mountains national park, john 15:5, the great outdoors, vineLeave a comment

The Incorruptible Peacock

This magnificent bird has been an emblem of Christ’s incorruptibility and resurrection for centuries. St. Augustine (AD 354 – 430) speaks of his astonishment, while in Carthage, of discovering that cooked peacock doesn’t rot as other meat does. The peacock is found in early church artwork conveying Christ’s incorruptibility  and, due to the molting and renewal of it’s brilliant tail-feathers, resurrection.

© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell

Format ImagePosted on Categories PhotographyTags , Christian art, faith, peacock, resurrection, st. augustineLeave a comment

Trinity’s Christus Rex

Erected above the altar at Trinity Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, CA.(where I’m vicaring) and definitely the most prominent adornment in the building. It’s a beautiful piece of artwork. I snapped some other angles that I’ll post another time.

© 2013 Tyrel Bramwell

Format ImagePosted on Categories iPhoneography, PhotographyTags Art, california, , , Christus Rex, , faith, palo alto, photography, religious, TrinityLeave a comment

Pierced Hand

The pierced (right) hand of Jesus. The simple lines speak to the simpleness of the Gospel of Jesus crucified for the forgiveness of sins. It’s quick sketched appearance alludes to the urgency of the Gospel. There are thirteen distinguishable circles. Twelve (disciples) in the four fingers (gospels), those members that extend from the palm, and one (Christ) in the center of the hand (Christ’s body). Fingers can be lost and yet the hand remains, lose the palm and the digits go with it – all is gone!

Mobile digital art created on the iPad2 using Sketchbook Pro and Snapseed.

© 2013 Tyrel Bramwell

Format ImagePosted on Categories ArtTags Art, , , faith, Hand of God, Mobile Digital Art, religiousLeave a comment

The Word and Steinbeck

The word is a symbol and a delight which sucks up men and scenes, trees, plants, factories, and Pekinese. Then the Thing becomes the Word and back to Thing again, but warped and woven into a fantastic pattern. The Word sucks up Cannery Row, digests it and spews it out, and the Row has taken the shimmer of the green world and the sky-reflecting seas.

— John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

Is Steiny alluding to Christ in the above quote? Perhaps. If not, this chap doesn’t know what to make of the discrepancy in the capitalization of the word “word.” As John (the disciple of Jesus, not Steinbeck) informs us in his Gospel, Christ is the Word made flesh (Thing?). Studying Scripture does indeed reveal a fantastically woven pattern but I hesitate to go any further beyond this brief point of contact. I’m in no way a Steinbeck scholar and it would be literary malpractice to read my baggage into his words.

Format QuotePosted on Categories QuoteTags cannery row, , , faith, Gospel of John, John Steinbeck, literatureLeave a comment