Sermon on Psalm 8 & 19, for Thanksgiving Eve, about how the heavens declare the glory of God, and pour forth knowledge. What does the creation witness about God's handiwork? How is the universe finely tuned for life to exist? Reasons to be thankful to God for, that we might take completely for granted, or not even know. Happy Thanksgiving!
Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, for the 25th Sunday after Trinity (1 yr lectionary), about death, resurrection, and the second coming of Jesus. How does this passage inform and encourage Christians even in their losses (death of loved ones)? What does it teach, along with other passages, about the return of Christ? How many times does Christ return, according to Scripture? What confusion has been caused by the idea of a secret rapture?
**This funeral message was given after one of our church family took her own life. This is shared in hope that it might help others struggling with suicide or the suicide of a family member. The names have been removed for family privacy, (so there are a few gaps in the audio). We, along with many others urge those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts to reach out to someone and ask for help--a pastor, teacher, mentor, friend, counselor. There IS HOPE, though depression can often cloud us from seeing it. Do not be ashamed to ask for help. The Lord be with you!**
Key passages used in our pastoral counseling were Isaiah 42:3 and Romans 6:11.
Sermon on Isaiah 51:9-16, for the 24th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about waiting on God's action, crying out for His deliverance. How has God come through in the past? How does that inform our faith (trust) facing the future? What is the reward of those who wait on Him? When does it feel as though God is asleep? Is the Lord's arm ever shortened?
Sermon on John 8:31-36, for Reformation Day, about Jesus' teaching of what true freedom is, and how we are often blind to the nature of what freedom or captivity is. What is that freedom, and once we have it in Christ Jesus, how do we keep it, and how do we live in that freedom?
Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-17, for the 21st Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), about the armor of God and our spiritual struggle against the forces of evil. What are the battle lines? Who is our real enemy? Who equips us, and what is the protection given? What kind of attacks face us? Who gets all the credit and glory?
Sermon on Ephesians 4:22-28, for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, (1 Yr lectionary), about the struggle between the old self and the new self, or the spirit and the flesh. How do we fight against the old sinful nature? How do we have confidence of victory? Who is responsible for the change and renewal in us?
Sermon on Deuteronomy 10:12-21, for the 18th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about how this sermon of Moses to the Israelites relates to us today. What does it teach us about God's character and His law, and the reasons why He gave it? How is God's law consistent with His character? How are His people to reflect that, with particular attention to the marginalized and disadvantaged of society? How does our sinful nature respond to God's commands, and how does God create a new spiritual nature that seeks to obey them? How do Old and New Testament parallel the ways they speak of circumcision and renewal?
Sermon on Proverbs 25:6-14 & Luke 14:7-11, for the 17th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about honor and dishonor. What did Jesus teach about actions that are honorable or dishonorable? What is the definition of honor? Is it right to seek after honor, and if so, how do we do it? How should we NOT do it? How did Jesus live His life, with regard to honor? How do we find a life of honor?
Sermon on Luke 7:11-17, for the 16th Sunday after Trinity, about the raising of the son of the widow at Nain, Jesus' miracle. Why do some people try to "get rid of God" because of the suffering they see and experience in this world? Why does that not make anything better? What truth do Christians cling to, about God's presence and relation to our suffering? How does this miracle comfort us, who do not receive a personal miracle like they did in the reading? What was different about the raising of this boy, and Jesus' own resurrection from the dead? How does having "God in the picture" bring real hope in the midst of suffering?
Sermon on Proverbs 4:10-23, for the 14th Sunday after Trinity (1 YR lectionary), about the two paths that are laid before us in the Bible. What is the difference between the two paths? How do we get on the path of uprightness, or the path of life? How do we get off the path of sin and evil? How does Jesus relate to this passage?
*Hello! Apologies to anyone who has had recent difficulties with my website. Apparently a bug was redirecting traffic away from my home page. I think that's fixed now. God bless!*
Sermon on Galatians 3:15-22, for the 13th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), about God's two covenants (to Abraham and Moses/Israel) and how they relate to each other and us today. Which covenant is greater? Why do we need to drive away the "spirit of the Pharisee?" What is the difference between the two covenants, and what was the purpose and fulfillment of each?
Sermon on Isaiah 29:17-24, for the 12th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), about Isaiah's prophecy of great reversals that would happen in God's kingdom, and how this prophecy finds fulfillment in Jesus' ministry. How do we recognize injustice? What does God do about it?
Sermon on Luke 18:9-14, for the 11th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, and the lessons it teaches in self-righteousness vs. humility, and what attains God's verdict of "justified." What is this verdict about? How does God show His mercy? How is our relationship to God and also our fellow man changed by a proper kind of dependence on God? What is the right and wrong kind of confidence with which to approach God?
Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:6-13, for the 9th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), about how we should wrestle with difficult passages of scripture. We affirm the wholeness and integrity of God's Word, and understand that we need to hear even the more difficult passages, as they may expose our personal sins, or challenge us where we need it. What sins were Israel committing in these examples? How did God (and Moses) respond? What do we learn about God's judgment and grace from these, and also about Christ's intercession for our sins? Why is it worth it to wrestle with Scripture? Also recommended for further reading: "The Executioner's Redemeption" by Rev. Timothy Carter, about his own journey of prayer and wrestling with God's Word.