Sermon for October 30, 2022 – Proper 26

Psalm 119:137-144 • Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 • 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4 (11,12) • Luke 19:1-10 This week’s theme is faith. The psalmist places his faith in God’s commands with a vigorous display of emotion. In the Old Testament, in Habakkuk, we are told that the righteous person will live by his faithfulness. In 2 Thessalonians, Paul prays that God’s power would bring about good deeds as a result of our faith. And in Luke’s gospel, Jesus affirms the faith that Zacchaeus places in him. Sought, Seen, and Saved Luke 19:1-10 Cigna, a health insurance company, conducted a survey in 2018 from 20,000 Americans, trying to gauge how they felt about their relationships within their communities. They found that nearly half of those... Read the article

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Sermon for October 23, 2022 – Proper 25

Psalm 65:1-14 • Joel 2:23-32 • 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 • Luke 18:9-14 This week’s theme is abundant grace. The call to worship Psalm praises God’s sustaining and creative power with rich imagery from nature. The Old Testament reading from Joel reflects the bounty of God’s love and provision that culminates in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all people. The epistolary text comes from 2 Timothy, where the apostle Paul issues a somber farewell, while glorifying the Lord as the faithful one of provision, protection, and deliverance. The Gospel reading from Luke juxtaposes a proud prayer of self-adoration with a humble prayer for mercy. A Tale of Two Prayers Luke 18:9-14 (NRSV) Charles Dicken’s classic story, A Tale of... Read the article

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Sermon for October 16, 2022 – Proper 24

Psalm 119:97-104 • Jeremiah 31:27-34 • 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 • Luke 18:1-8 The theme for this week is the loving power of prayer. Our call to worship in Psalm 119 speaks about our role in meditating on God as a form of prayer, lifting our thoughts beyond the mundane and ordinary to consider God’s perspective of our lives and choices. In Jeremiah 31, we’re reminded of God’s covenant, his faithfulness, and his willingness to forgive. Studying Scripture, thinking about church doctrine and traditions, and then integrating them with personal experience in prayerful contemplation is addressed in 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5. Our sermon text is Luke 18:1-8, where Jesus shares the parable of the Unjust Judge (also called the parable of the... Read the article

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Sermon for October 9, 2022 – Proper 23

Psalm 66:1-12 • Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 • 2 Timothy 2:8-15 • Luke 17:11-19 This week’s theme is the faithful response of salvation. The call to worship Psalm offers praise to God for his sustaining power during Israel’s history. The Old Testament reading from Jeremiah records God’s words to the Judean exiles in Babylon on how to survive in a foreign land, while also being a blessing to the cities where they live. The epistolary text from 2 Timothy calls us to anchor our faith in Jesus, holding fast to his word, with the recognition that such faith may be joined with pain and suffering. The Gospel reading from Luke presents a response of faith that embodies praise and gratitude from an unlikely Samaritan. Jesus in the Middle Luke... Read the article

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Sermon for October 2, 2022 – Proper 22

Psalm 137:1-9 • Lamentations 1:1-6 • 2 Timothy 1:1-14 • Luke 17:5-10 The theme for this week is lament in the face of our inadequacy. Apart from God, all human efforts are futile. When we willfully act apart from God, the Christian response is lament and repentance, acknowledging our inadequacy and dependance on him. The call to worship Psalm invokes the cries of an Israelite returning from captivity in Babylon, a place where the speaker felt separated from God. In Lamentations, we read a heartbreaking lament for the exiled inhabitants of Judah, whose condition was brought about by unfaithfulness to God. In the Timothy passage, Paul spoke words of comfort and guidance to his distressed protégé who felt inadequate as a minister.... Read the article

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Sermon for September 25, 2022 – Proper 21

Psalm 91:1-6 (14-16) • Jeremiah 32:1-3a (6-15) • 1 Timothy 6:6-19 • Luke 16:19-31 This week’s theme is God’s caring provision. In our call to worship Psalm, we can proclaim that God is our refuge and our fortress we can run to. In the Old Testament, Jeremiah acts out the word of the Lord, communicating that God has not forgotten his people, but has plans to restore them. In the epistles, Paul encourages us by sharing that God cares enough to provide everything that we truly need in this life. And in Luke, Jesus gives the parable of Lazarus and Dives, showing how Lazarus was comforted and cared for by God in the next age. The Heart That is Moved Luke 16:19-31 Oscar Schindler was a German industrialist during World War 2. He... Read the article

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Sermon for September 18, 2022 – Proper 20

Psalm 79:1-9 • Jeremiah 18:18-9:1 • 1 Timothy 2:1-7 • Luke 16:1-13 The theme of this week’s scriptures is the singular faith God desires. Our passage in Jeremiah laments the fate of his people brought on by their idolatry and the Psalmist prays for their deliverance and atonement that the people might glorify him. In Timothy, Paul encourages believers to pray for the ability to lead lives focused on our faith in the one God and Mediator, Jesus. Finally in our sermon passage for today, Jesus warns that everything we have is given by God and intended to be faithfully administered in service to him. Gifts Not to be Squandered Luke 16:1-13 (ESV) This year has seen the release of the latest Spider-man movie, No Way Home. In a gutsy... Read the article

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Sermon for September 11, 2022 – Proper 19

Psalm 14:1-7 • Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 • 1 Timothy 1:12-17 • Luke 15:1-10 The theme for this week is the restoration of relationship. Our call to worship in Psalm 14 contrasts the response of the foolish with the wise and the inevitable struggling and suffering that goes along with trying to go it alone, not relying on God’s presence. Jeremiah 4 emphasizes the sorrows we bring on ourselves by thinking we can handle this life without seeking a relationship with God. Paul reminds us that Jesus has saved us, and God seeks a relationship with us, regardless of our checkered past. Our sermon text is Luke 15:1-10 where Jesus tells the Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Parable of the Lost Coin, showing us that lostness is our typical... Read the article

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Sermon for September 4, 2022 – Proper 18

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 • Jeremiah 18:1-11 • Philemon 1-25 • Luke 14:25-33 As we enter our 18th week of Ordinary Time, we are brought to consider the implications of following God. Our theme this week is the often painful path to perfection. The Psalmist declares his amazement at the wonders of the life God has created for him to live. In Philemon we have a plea for reconciliation between two people who have had a painful rift in relationship. Jeremiah warns us that the process of being molded by God will at times be disruptive and uncomfortable. In our sermon passage, we are told that Jesus expects us to be willing to give up everything, including family, for his sake. Spiritual Risk Assessments Luke 14:25-33 (ESV) “An untenable... Read the article

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Sermon for August 28, 2022 – Proper 17

Psalm 81:1, 10-16 • Jeremiah 2:4-13 • Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 • Luke 14:1, 7-14 This week’s theme is faithful following. The call to worship Psalm presents the stubborn resistance of Israel. The Old Testament reading from Jeremiah also takes Israel to task for its unfaithfulness. The epistolary text in Hebrews presents various exhortations that give a picture of a faithful disciple. The Gospel reading from Luke challenges fearful hearts reluctant to follow Christ. Our Seating Doesn’t Determine Our Standing Luke 14:1-14 (NRSV) Our text today presents us with yet another story of Jesus around a meal table. Why do so many stories of Jesus involve eating and tables? The stories abound. One of the first attacks on Jesus had to do... Read the article

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