Archive for Sermons

Worship in January

In the weeks after Christmas and before Ash Wednesday the church observes the season of Epiphany. The chosen readings are meant to shed light on the One  who is Light for the World. We begin this new year with a sermon series that looks at Jesus of Nazareth, the claim that he is God’s anointed one (the Christ) and what that means to each of us.

Jan 1 & 4: Looking for Peace
The search for peace has been a long and broad effort by many. Nation struggles with nation. Family members experience conflict.  Individuals are unsettled.  The story of Jesus presentation in the temple tells us that true peace comes through seeing God. For this  reason, God has sent Christ to us – that we might know God and know real peace.

Jan 8 & 11: A Voice from Heaven
As Jesus comes out of the water at his baptism he sees the heavens torn apart and hears a Voice that says, “You are my Son. I love you. I take pleasure in you.” Not only does the Voice clue us in to the identity of Jesus, but it reveals the message that God wants us to hear for our own lives and what it means to believe in this man, Jesus.

Jan 15 & 18: Come and See
Jesus of Nazareth comes on the scene, calling disciples to follow him. When Nathanael doubts whether anything good can come out of lowly Nazareth, Philip  invites him to come and see Jesus for himself. In our day, we can be like Philip and invite others to “come and see” Jesus at work in the life of our congregation.

Jan 22 & 25: This World Passing Away
Faith in Christ frees us from the dominant ideologies  of our culture to see that our relationships, emotions and possessions, while part of our life, are no longer allowed to dictate our existence.

Jan 29 & Feb 1: Trouble in the Sermon
The power of the Holy Spirit was at work in both     Jesus’ authority as a teacher and healer of a man possessed by a demon. Jesus’ teaching transforms human lives, then and now, as we move from knowing some things about Jesus to actually experiencing his liberating power.

Summer Worship Series

What is the Kingdom of Heaven? What is it like? How can we describe it? Jesus used parables to invite people into an experience of the Kingdom of Heaven. But he also showed people what the Kingdom of Heaven is like with everything he did. Beginning July 3 and running through August we will be exploring Matthew’s vision of the Kingdom of Heaven revealed in the person of Jesus.

July 3 & 6 The Kingdom of God Revealed
A person of faith believes that there is more to this world than meets the eye. Jesus reveals the “hidden” kingdom of God and invites us to participate in that kingdom today and forever.

July 10 & 13 The Spreading Word
In this familiar parable of the sower, the seed goes all over the place, on good soil and bad. The focus is on the grace and reckless generosity of the One who pours out the word of the kingdom on all people. It’s not about us and what kind of soil we are; it’s about God, who sent us Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.

July 17 & 20 The Weedy, Wheat-filled Kingdom
Jesus describes a kingdom where the master has a different attitude towards the presence of weeds than his workers. What does it take for us to think more like the master and less like the workers who want everything perfect right now?

Sunday, July 24 – Guest Speaker: Joy Waughtal
Joy is returning from a year of volunteer mission work in South Africa as part of the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program of the ELCA. Come and hear Joy speak about her experiences at both the 8:15 and 10:15 worship services as well as a special family education forum at 9:15

July 31 & August 3 You Feed Them
Jesus called his disciples to feed the multitude. Though they may have doubted their ability, when they did what he commanded they discovered the power that Jesus had given them. We too are called and empowered for ministry. Ours is not to doubt but to do.

Worship in January

In January we continue working our way through the Lord’s Prayer spending time to look in greater depth at what it is that we are praying for. During the first four  Sundays (and corresponding Wednesday evenings) in January we will be asking, “What does it mean to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread,’ when most of the people in our congregation have so much already.

January 2 & 5: Our Daily Bread
Just how much are we asking for when we ask for daily bread? In his Small Catechism, Martin Luther said daily bread includes everything we need for daily life; food, clothing, shelter, healthy relationships and even a good reputation.

January 9 & 12: Christ the Bridge
No one can deny that there is gross inequality in the world. Some of those inequalities are for reasons beyond our control. But some of them are disparities that we create or sustain. Jesus makes it possible for us to be changed and see our relationship with God and the whole creation in a new way. We then join in the work of Christ, bridging the gap of inequality.

January 16 & 19: A Daily Bread Co-op
Even the most ardent believer in prayer understands that food doesn’t just drop from the sky because we ask for it. And even when it does fall like manna from the sky we still have to work to gather it up. Realistically we are in partnership with God to provide daily bread for ourselves and our world.  How far does that partnership extend? How much does God expect us to do?

January 23 & 26: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
When we turn to God to ask for our daily bread we are admitting that we cannot provide all that we need without God’s help. In this prayer we humble ourselves and exalt the God who so graciously provides all that we need for this life and the next.

Worship in May

May 01 & 02: Bold Church Transformation
Has your life ever taken an abrupt turn in one direction or another? Do you ever feel that you are making plans in one direction, but life is moving in quite another direction? If your answer is “yes,” you are not alone. In today’s lesson, we get an idea of how we can discover God’s plans for us and join in the dream of building God’s kingdom in our lives.

May 08 & 09: Bold Church: Testimony
What is your faith story? What path has brought you to the way you now believe? Today, as we continue reading through the book of Acts we encounter the apostle Paul telling his story. We can learn a lot from him about how our lives can be a living testimony to the grace of God.

May 15 & 16:  Bold Church: Adventure
In the final chapters of Acts, we encounter a long winter, pounding storms at sea, severe hunger, threats of death, a shipwreck and the near loss of hope. Through it all, Paul, under arrest and facing death, maintains a spirit of adventure. The final words of Luke’s riveting story describe Paul proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about Jesus “with all boldness and without hindrance.”

May 22 & 23:  Bold Church: Spirit
The early Christian church began with a spirit of boldness that came from the transforming love of God they experienced in Jesus. The same Spirit of love and goodness that Jesus possessed was given to the disciples at Pentecost and is available to us today. The Holy Spirit makes us a Bold Church.

Our summer worship schedule begins the weekend of Memorial Day. First Light worship will be at 8:15, Summer Song contemporary worship will be at 10:15 and Evening Song worship moves to Wednesday evening at 5:30 beginning June 2.

May 30 & June 2:  Family Tree
Matthew sees Jesus as the fulfillment of the Jewish scriptures. These scriptures describe the Jews as God’s chosen people, set apart. Through baptism we are incorporated/adopted/brought into this family and take our place in the family tree.

On the Vine – Worship in Lent

During Lent we intensify our commitment to God with the thought that it will continue after the 40 days leading up to Easter. At Resurrection it has been our tradition to gather for Wednesday evening worship in addition to our regular weekend schedule.

Every weekend through the end of March we will be looking at what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in the Kingdom of God.  We will be using the ancient Hebrew image of a vineyard to picture God’s kingdom and our place in it.

February 20-21 Grafted:
How do you turn a wild olive tree into one that bears fruit? We are grafted into the historic, cultivated root of God’s first people in order that we would bear fruit for God’s kingdom.

The Wartburg College Outreach Team will be leading worship music at the 9:45 and 11:00 worship

February 27-28 Rooted:
At the baptism of Jesus, his public ministry begins. He is the root, the one into whom we are grafted in our own baptism.

March 6-7 Nourished:
Jesus gives power and authority to his followers to teach and heal. This is our call as well, as we grow in Christ who is the true vine. It is the vine that nourishes us.

March 13 – 14 Growing:
This is not going to be easy! Jesus’ disciples are discovering that Jesus’ ministry is controversial and causes division. This is the essential growing point for every disciple: “will you acknowledge me” before one another? True growth almost always includes pain; growing pains.

March 20 – 21 Stewards:
Before you start something, you need to count the cost of contemplating the project. In this vineyard, we are called to steward God’s gifts as part of living out discipleship.

March 27 – 28 Pressed:
The events of Holy Week press Jesus through political expediency and religious fear. The solution to their problem is the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. To his followers, they felt as if their movement had ended. It was, however, just the beginning.

On Wednesday evenings we will be exploring what forgiveness means and how we can move along the road toward forgiving those who have caused us pain. This will be a practical look at specific things we can do to avoid living a life filled with bitterness and hurt.

Wednesday, February 17 – Ash Wednesday
The season of Lent begins with a dedication to turn from ways that are contrary to God’s ways and seek the priceless treasure that is found in Jesus. The cross of ashes marked upon our foreheads is a sign of that repentance. We also join in the meal of Holy Communion to be strengthened for the journey.

Wednesday, February 24 – What is Forgiveness?
The journey towards forgiving someone begins with an understanding of what forgiveness really means. Is it really about forgetting? Who is really set free when we forgive? What steps do I need to take to begin forgiving?

Wednesday, March 3 – The Hurt
One of the first steps towards forgiving is admitting that we have been hurt and that we need to forgive. Too often we brush off the pain or excuse it. But admitting that someone has done us wrong helps us see that we can do something about it: Forgive them.

Wednesday, March 10 – The Hate
When we have been hurt and are left holding the pain we want to get rid of it. We do that by passing it on to someone else, often the person who hurt us in the first place. But revenge always seems to grow with every return volley. Breaking out of the revenge cycle is the second step towards forgiveness.

Wednesday, March 17 – The Healing
Forgiving is a process. Sometimes is comes quickly. More often, it takes time. But time alone doesn’t heal all wounds. There are some specific things we can do to speed the healing and move us to the next stage in the process.

Wednesday, March 24 – The Hope
Jesus shows us the pattern of death and resurrection that comes with forgiveness. We suffer when we forgive because we absorb the debt. But the promise and hope that we cling to is that we will find new life on the other side of that suffering.