How do we get ready for Christmas? By living each day in Christ. How do we get ready for the second coming? By living each day in Christ, striving to be His disciples, learning to love as we have been loved and walking in His light.
A good time to come - by Deacon John(Saturday 4:30 PM)
It is not our time, it is His time and when he comes we will be awake, we will be watchful, we will be empowered, we will overcome sin, and the best part, we will overcome death; and then in the end we will be resurrected with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Jesus - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
We receive wholeness of who we are when we give thanks with an attitude of gratitude. Giving thanks and praise as we do each week before this altar, as we do each time we hear the absolution, as we do each time we get to worship and praise him here, we say thank you God and it brings us wholeness and life.
What kind of action is Jesus looking for from you? - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
Is there a potent lesson for us on this Thanksgiving week? You cannot wait until the problems are over to start walking in faith. You cannot put conditions on holy God. You cannot say "Lord, as soon as there's enough money, I follow your instructions." You cannot pray, "Lord, if you'll just solve this issue in my family, I'll start to go to church. " You cannot put conditions on God! Instead, God places a demand for faith on us, before anything at all has changed.
God's gift of talents - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
God does not want his gift of talents to be idle. God freely gives us so much. Although we all have different gifts and different talents, God gives us all of these talents so each of us has a purpose; each is a part of His mission. He invites us to be the good and faithful servants who share.
Wake up; Be ready - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
We never know when God's going to present us with an opportunity to be his child, his representative to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ; to share the love, to be a child of God to somebody who really needs it. Be ready, for the Lord is coming and the day will surely come and we do not have to fear that for we are blessed in Him.
Keep your lamp with plenty of oil - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
The important point to realize is that Christ comes to us, moves among us, blesses us, yes, parties with us as often as we would have it so. Christ, the Bridegroom, comes. The party is about to begin. Let us be very much prepared. Let us be more than ready. Let us expect Christ to be present among us.
All the Saints - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
We celebrate all of those saints who came before us and the work of God in their midst and we think about the days of promise when all will be together in the kingdom of God and in the here and now we walk in Christ as today's saints, letting his light shine through us as we make known our identity as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Unbound, to do, to be God's children. And in the very next sentence Luther says in his treatises on Freedom of a Christian, "we are perfectly bound then to worship and praise God and to care for our neighbor." We are set free to be what God intends us to be and that is our great celebration.
Freedom and the next chapter - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
It's a power of love and grace that will hold us for all of our life. It's a power that will guide and strengthen us in our faith, no matter where our lives take us. It's a power which will inspire and nurture us as a congregation as we move ahead into the next chapter of ministry together.
Even though we get into all kinds of campaigns and issues in our worldly lives and make it ultimate, the wonderful thing is it's really penultimate, because the bottom line is God in His grace and love is the one who is behind it all and in whose hands the kingdom will finally come. The good news is that when we can place our devotion and love in the right place the answers become more clear, the direction more certain; and for us we can walk in truth and grace and love.
Give to God the things that are Gods - by Deacon John (Saturday 4:30 PM)
Let us with the gift of God's Holy Spirit win the struggle of giving to God the things that are God's and to giving to the government our earthly allegiances that belong to them for after all it's all God's.
Take off the Old Coat; Put on the New - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
The challenge of this week's parable is to take the grace of God and put it on. Paul would say, "putting on Christ." Jesus told this parable to remind us of the gracious invitation, the wonderful love of God; but also that there is a response that is called for. And the response is to take off the old coat and put on the new.
The kingdom of God is a feast - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
And we should act like it. God means to be enjoyed. He is the God of laughter, full bellies, and second helpings. In his presence, says David in Psalm 16, there is a fullness of joy. Do you believe that? Then come. There's a seat with your name on it.
Stewardship of God's gifts - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
We need to keep in mind whose church this is. We need to keep in mind who it is that has blessed us, and loved us, even while we were yet sinners, and who has given his only son to die for us that we may have life. After all folks, it's his vineyard. We can assume ownership, but the truth is it is Christ's church.
The opportunity to do God's will - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
God equips us by the power of His spirit given to us in our baptism, given to us every day, to turn again and again to Him to live a new life and to know the joy of being part of the father's house. Jesus invites us to a new life, to repentance, to faith, to change our attitudes and our perspectives, to readjust ourselves; and he gives us the spirit to help do it so that it is no longer duty to do God's will, but it is an opportunity.
Who is king of the jungle? - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
Here's the thing about Authority. We have to remember, it's not our church, it's not our agenda, and it's not our will. It's God's authority, it's God's will, on earth as it is in Heaven. If we are going to live together as God's community, then we need to learn how to let go of our sense of entitlement and reach out to people and ideas that might be a little outside the box.
Martin Luther was once asked whether he felt that his sins were forgiven, the great man of God replied, No I don't feel that they are forgiven, I KNOW they are because God say so in His Word". Your Redeemer does not say, "God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, the whosoever feeleth that he is saved "should not perish, but have everlasting life." But he does declare, "By grace you are saved". THE FINAL KER-CHING
Take up your cross and follow me - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
He claims us as his own and we become partners with Him in the ministry that he does. Our lives will take a different meaning that clearly links us to the source of life itself and gives us fulfillment in ways that this world cannot.
So, if we're disciples like Peter, we often don't get it right. At best we're apprentices. But if we're in that line, we can keep our eyes on Jesus. And if we follow, Jesus will lead us from a cross to glory. I personally like to think that when I come to communion, I'm getting back in line. Walking forward to receive communion is a powerful metaphor, because it isn't for me to decide who is in the line. I can't bring anything more than empty hands. Isn't this what Jesus said would mark as disciples?
Rocks upon which the church is built - by Deacon Diane (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
Whenever human being strive to live in the image of God, there are strong rocks
on which Jesus can build the church. To build his church-the assembly of faithful disciples-Jesus did not need dead building stones, but living rocks. He does not need our rituals and bureaucracies, but our hearts and spirit
He is the Living God - by Deacon John (Saturday 4:30 PM)
He loved us and through his death he also saved us. He is the living God. He is the one that came. He is the one that sacrificed his life for us. He is the one who forgives our sins. And he will be there when we die and go to heaven to be with him.
They just kept doing it - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
There was no reason except tradition and Jesus was criticized for not carrying out the letter of the law. He was not concerned with the rituals, but rather what was going on in the heart. Our hearts need to be filled with the love of Christ
God is global - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
Another way to visualize our global God is to think of God as the one who has created, or planted, everything. Biblical writers give us the
image of a tree. God is like the root system. God's love is the support
system for all that there is. Life springs from God, like the trunk and
branches of a tree. The trunk of the tree springs from God's action. It is
the forgiveness and new life we receive by the grace of God, especially
in Jesus Christ. Then, the branches and leaves are all who grow from
this grace of God, all who respond in faith and are nourished by the
love and grace of God.
What is really of value and what is not - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
They were so involved treasuring their great building that they forgot to share the treasure of the message to the community around them and so in the end their great monuments end up in a fire pit to cook hamburgers. I am afraid too many churches don't know what to do with the treasure and fail to share it and what becomes treasured is the wrong thing. We have an opportunity in this place to share a wonderful treasure that daily transforms and lifts us up, gives us hope when things are awfully rough and when the pain is too great and when the suffering is too much, it gives us a sense of certainty that we are loved and can make it through It is a treasure that reminds us that no matter how many mistakes we have made and fall down, the Lord picks us up again.
Look He's coming back - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
You can't wipe Him out. He's coming back. This man, Jesus, overcame empires, and death and sin. And He rose again, ascending to the Father for us. Every complication of this world is under Him and he will come again!.
Jesus is the sower - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
spread His redeemed seed, true believers, in the field of world. Through His grace,
these Christians bear the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self -control. Their presence on
earth is the reason the Kingdom of heaven is like the field of the world.
His ascension really is a big deal - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
The true master of this and every other universe is our friend. He has ascended on high and is still with us. He touches us in our humanity and touches God in his divinity and so bridges the gap between us and God. He has all things under control for our good. He is interceding for us before the throne of God. He is also with us in our worship and comes to us in his body and blood in, with and under the bread and wine.
In Christ we are always children of God - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
Our way of feeling that in Christ we are always children of God and our way of living that is to love one another and to love the world that God loved so much that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him could have eternal life. Jesus reminds us today that we can never be orphans for we are linked through him and we have the spirit and the spirit lives within us.
Jesus said "I will never leave you orphaned" - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 PM)
Regardless of the circumstances of our lives, storms and death, separation, we have never been and never will be orphaned by God. How strange that must have sounded to the disciples. Leaving and coming. Presence and absence. That is what Jesus has set before us in today's gospel. So our question is whether Jesus for us is a past memory or a present reality, a sentimental story that makes us feel good or a living experience that challenges, guides and nurtures our life.
Who do we trust to lead us to a secure life? - by Deacon John (Saturday 4:30 PM)
Every time we worship together, every time we receive Jesus' body and blood in Holy Communion, every time we read and study the Bible, every time we spend time with Jesus in prayer, and every time we serve others in the name of Jesus Christ; Jesus is leading us.
Voice Recognition - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
When we speak words of kindness and concern for one another we are following his way and his truth and his joy. We hear his voice in his scripture and it causes us to look at our lives to reevaluate how we live. We follow the one who leads, the one whose voice makes a difference.
Followers of a shepherd - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 pm)
Jesus never made light of the cost involved in following him. IN FACT He made it painfully clear that it was a rugged life of rigid self-denial. It was not the natural way a person would ordinarily live and this is what made the price so prohibitive to many people.
Where did you meet Christ this week? - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
Luther says it is not through the empty tomb that we know Christ but through his presence in the world. Ask yourselves where did you meet Christ this week - through people, through situations? We need to keep walking and talking to each other exposing ourselves to the testimony of the community of faith and we will discover that He is alive!
The road to Amaeus - by Deacon John (Saturday 4:30 PM)
With Jesus Christ there are no hopeless situations. The disciples were feeling hopeless but Jesus showed up and they came to know there are no hopeless situations. Through God's love we know this ourselves.
Locked out or locked in? - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
Jesus' love comes to us through all of our secured locked doors and offers God's grace and forgiveness and he encourages us as God's church to go and do likewise. Spread the good news that we have a risen Lord who wants us to come home to Him and be in fellowship with us, no matter the strength of the barrier we put up. God loves us that much.
They were scared. Scared because they had been recognized as followers of that man, Jesus. Suddenly Jesus is standing in the room with them. No rushing wind. No clap of thunder. He was just there and speaks, "Peace be with you." We have heard but have not seen. But we have faith. And many of us have seen what it means to be a believer. It brings hope, it brings solace and it brings peace. And it brings action. We still have the commission and the breath of the Holy Spirit with baptism.
He is risen indeed - by Pastor Dave (Easter Sunday 10 am)
This is a new reality for us also. We know that death can't hold us down. We have reassurance that our lives are not merely a number of days, pr a number of years, but rather our lives are connected to God as his sons and daughters and that we have the promise of new life, through Christ, the one who rose again and was victorious over death.
Our Story: Crucify Him! - by Pastor Dave (Good Friday 7 pm)
It wasn't just a story back then, it is our story. The remarkable thing we have seen through the crucifixion is that God has worked out his plan of salvation in spite of us. Through Christ he worked out his saving grace for all of us. Christ on the cross faces all of the brokenness and remains obedient to God's will to fulfill God's holy purpose.
The symbol of serving - by Pastor Dave (Maundy Thursday 7 PM)
The towel Christ used becomes an important symbol to us, the symbol of serving. Jesus and his disciples gathered in the upper room and there were no servants so Christ became the servant. Jesus calls them and us to be those who serve and strive for justice and goodness.
The way of the cross - by Pastor Dave (Sunday 8 & 10 am)
We in humility serve and care and act and are His body in the world and through it God completes his will, shows his love even in midst of the brokenness. We see that we are called to be servants of the Lord. As broken as we may be; saint and sinner at the same time, Luther says; we serve God because we know God's great love, the love that persevered through all the brokenness of this week, and we are called to learn to walk in his way, truth and life.
The humility of Jesus - by Deacon John (Saturday 4:30 PM)
We see his humility as he died on the cross. Died for us. As we watch what God did during holy week we see how much he loves us. And we see that Jesus made himself nothing. He emptied himself of all the glory and of all the greatest things in heaven and came to be one of us. All to save us.
The word of hope is what God can do. God can breathe and bring forth new life and for any congregation. God breathes his new life. The word was spoken and new life happened/ God breathes and the dry bones are filled with moisture. The word is that these bones can live.