Sermon on Ephesians 5:1-9, for the 3rd Sunday in Lent (1 Year Lectionary), about how we are imitate God, what characteristic sins of the flesh are not fitting for the saints, and how we are to use our body, heart, and mouths instead. What powerful identity transformation is described in this passage? How do we have the power to become imitators of God, and what reality is that rooted in?
Sermon on Romans 5:1-5, for the 2nd Sunday in Lent 2018 (1 Yr Lectionary), about the way that a Christian endures suffering in life. What is the "chain reaction" described in this reading? Who is a good example of growing through suffering? What three responses to suffering can we have, and which is God's intent? What is the difference between an "earthly hope" and the "biblical hope" described here? How do we know God's plans are always good?
Sermon on Matthew 4:1-11, for the 1st Sunday in Lent (1 Yr lectionary), about the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Who is the devil, and what is his "m.o."? What is Jesus' "m.o."? Why should we be aware of the schemes of the devil?
Sermon on Luke 18:31-43, for Quinquagesima "Fifty" Sunday (1 Yr Lectionary). How do the episodes of the healing of the blind man and Jesus' third and final passion prediction parallel each other? What is spiritual sight, and how do we "see" Christ by this sight?
Sermon on Isaiah 55:10-13 & Luke 8:4-15, for Sexagesima "Sixty" (1 Yr Lectionary), about the power and effectiveness of God's Word to accomplish His intended purpose. What truth from nature does Isaiah use to make his point? How does God's Word work, and why does it never return empty? What kind of growth does God desire and produce in us?
Sermon on 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:5, for Septuagesima ("Seventy"), (1 YR lectionary), about Paul's two images of the Christian life/discipleship. How is the Christian life like a race, and what is required of us to finish the race to obtain the prize? What is self-control, and how do we "exercise" it? How is the journey of Israel through the desert a lesson for our Christian life? How does one finish the race with Christ? What does it mean that Christ is the "spiritual Rock that followed them?"
Sermon on Psalm 84:1-2a, 4, 10-11; 77:18b (the Introit) for the Transfiguration of our Lord (1 Yr lectionary), about the parallel between the joy and delight that filled the Psalmist in God's presence at the Temple, and the amazed delight of Peter to be in Jesus' presence at the Transfiguration. How do we understand the loveliness of being with God? Why is that often missing in us today? How do we gain this delight? How does worship bring us to the eternal?
Sermon on John 2:1-11, for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany (1 YR), with reference to 1 Timothy 5:24-25, and the question of Jesus manifesting His glory, while also allowing the miracle at the Wedding at Cana to remain at least partially "hidden." What did Jesus mean by "His hour"? Why was this significant? How does He model His own teaching in the sermon on the Mount? What does the wine and wedding imagery signify about the Messiah and about His church?
Sermon on Joshua 3:1-17, for the Baptism of our Lord, about how the crossing of the Jordan foreshadows baptism. How does God show He is "with us in the waters?" See Isaiah 43:1-2. What did this miraculous sign reveal? How does it compare/contrast to other miracles with water? What are our assurances for daily life with Christ Jesus?
Sermon on Luke 2:33-40, for the 1st Sunday after Christmas, about the blessings that aged Simeon and Anna gave to Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, at His presentation and naming in the Temple. How are age and youth portrayed positively side by side? What is the meaning of Simeon's last prophecy to Mary? What is the significance of Simeon's prophecy and its fulfillment in the life of Jesus? What particular example does Anna set for us?
Sermon on Matthew 1:18-25, for Christmas Day, about how Matthew's account of Jesus' birth focuses on how God directed Joseph's decisions and actions to "follow God's lead." Who else benefitted from listening to God's direction in the Christmas story, and how where they and also us blessed by it? How does our "reason and senses" often misread or misunderstand a situation, or make us doubt that God is really in control, and knows best? How can we benefit by taking all things to God in prayer, and following God's lead?
Sermon on Luke 2:1-20 and Hebrews 1:1-6, for Christmas Eve, about how angels in the Christmas story and throughout Scripture direct us to Jesus and to worship Him. What glory of Jesus do they reveal to us, and how is His glory and kingship hidden from earthly eyes, but revealed to those who have faith?
Sermon on Psalm 96 for Advent 4 Midweek, preached by Pastor Paul Roschke. A sermon about the unexpected presentation of judgment and joy side by side in this Psalm, about the Advent of our Savior and how He comes and serves us, and about the new song of praise we sing to Jesus.
Sermon on Isaiah 40:1-8, for the 3rd Sunday in Advent, about the Double Comfort spoken by Isaiah the prophet--who receives it, who refuses it, and what the messenger in the wilderness is doing. What are the obstacles to God's entry? Why is God entering, and what is the significance of the doubling of comfort, punishment, or other doublings in various passages?
Sermon on Psalm 24 for Advent 3 Midweek service, about the questions raised in this Psalm. Who can ascend the Lord's hill and stand in His holy place? Who is the King of Glory? Who follows in His train? How do we acquire clean hands and a pure heart, and what other blessings come with it?