Sermon - Pentecost 13 - Luke 14:25-35 - What Will it Cost?

We “know the cost” of discipleship, not so that we may win the prize, but because we already have it! We ‘hate’ what we should ‘hate’ that we may ‘love’ God with all our heart and mind and soul and our neighbor as ourselves, not as the ‘price’ that we must pay, but as the offering of thanks and praise to our Lord who knew the cost and now calls us, “My disciples.”

Sermon - Pentecost 10 - Hebrews 11:17 - No Pain, No Gain

We have something that the faithful from Hebrews 11 did not have: the fulfillment of God’s promises in Jesus.  They knew the Messiah was coming.  We can look back with confident faith to his cross.  We can look back to the cross of Christ to see our pain dealt with once and for all.  Our pains are nothing compared to the pain he bore on our behalf.  As we continue our race, there will be pain.  How can we endure it?  By looking to the cross, to Jesus, who now is seated in heaven at the finish line.  When we focus on him, our pain doesn’t go away, but we can bear it because we see what Jesus did for us, and we see what’s coming as well.

Sermon - Pentecost 9 - Luke 12:22-34 - Ravens and Lillies

It has been said that worry is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Let’s get out of the chair and do something.  Our trust makes worry impossible.  We humans has a hard time putting our trust in another, whether God or human.  May God grant us hearts to trust Him…since our current abundance came from Him.

Sermon - Pentecost 7 - Luke 11:1-13 - Teach Us to Pray

The more regularly we sit at His feet and listen to Him speak to us through His Word, the more we grow in faith and the more like little children we become.  And the more like little children we become, the more easily and readily we are to come to God as dear children come to their dear father.  It’s just the natural thing for the baptized children of God to do.

Easter 6 - Processional Crucifix Cross - 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2:2 - Christ Crucified...FOR ME!

This processional crucifix cross was blessed for use in our worship. It was purchased with the memorial funds from and in memory of Russ Cramm, Paul Erickson, Wayne Dunn and Val Dynes. This cross was also specifically made, upon request, for THIS congregation! It took a few months for us to receive it after ordering it because it was carved, by hand, for your eyes.  In the process of going through our worship today, I pray that we may answer a few question: 1) Why do we use a processional cross? To answer that, we use it on feast days, large festival days within the church year; Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, Christmas, etc. The second question is this, “Why do we have a crucifix? Why not an empty cross?” For this question, I will allow the worship service itself to give the answers.  But, to be sure, we do not hold any superstitious fantasies about a piece of wood on which our Lord may or may not have actually been crucified – any more than we hold any superstitious thoughts about the cross on our altar or the cross I wear around my neck or the cross jewelry we wear. These are only 'symbols. And the purpose of 'symbols' is to point to something beyond themselves, and not to the thing itself.  It's not the cross itself that we worship and adore – but all that the cross points to – which is the indescribable love of the almighty God that He was poured out onto this fallen, corrupt and sinful world through His perfect, innocent, holy Son, who suffered the punishment that we deserve, by bearing them in His body unto death, even death on a cross.

This processional crucifix cross was blessed for use in our worship. It was purchased with the memorial funds from and in memory of Russ Cramm, Paul Erickson, Wayne Dunn and Val Dynes. This cross was also specifically made, upon request, for THIS congregation! It took a few months for us to receive it after ordering it because it was carved, by hand, for your eyes.

In the process of going through our worship today, I pray that we may answer a few question: 1) Why do we use a processional cross? To answer that, we use it on feast days, large festival days within the church year; Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, Christmas, etc. The second question is this, “Why do we have a crucifix? Why not an empty cross?” For this question, I will allow the worship service itself to give the answers.

But, to be sure, we do not hold any superstitious fantasies about a piece of wood on which our Lord may or may not have actually been crucified – any more than we hold any superstitious thoughts about the cross on our altar or the cross I wear around my neck or the cross jewelry we wear. These are only 'symbols. And the purpose of 'symbols' is to point to something beyond themselves, and not to the thing itself.

It's not the cross itself that we worship and adore – but all that the cross points to – which is the indescribable love of the almighty God that He was poured out onto this fallen, corrupt and sinful world through His perfect, innocent, holy Son, who suffered the punishment that we deserve, by bearing them in His body unto death, even death on a cross.

English: Jesus Christ

Latin: IHCOYC   XPICTOC  

Greek: Ἰησοῦς Χριστός

The fingers of Jesus’ right hand spell out “IC  XC”, a widely used four letter abbreviation of the Greek for Jesus Christ.  It is by the name of Jesus that we are saved and receive blessings: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” (Phil 2:10).

 

The fingers of Jesus’ left hand is an indication of the trinity.  You see one finger extended while three are tucked, hidden or less prominent.  All of this is simply to affirm the doctrine of the trinity that is found many places in Scripture, to which Jesus affirmed in our Gospel text from last week, “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30.

Sermon - Easter Sunday - 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 - Without Easter?

Without Easter, we have nothing to celebrate because we didn’t get the news!!  Easter is that day that we know that God’s promise will come to us.  That we get to live…in bodies…without that stuff that makes life difficult. So thank God for Easter, thank God for Jesus, and thank God for the resurrection—his, of course…but ours as well!