The life of a Christian can be ordinary, but don’t let the world fool you. This Sunday we begin a new sermon series – The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of a Christian. In this first message from the Gospel of Matthew we’ll see how a Christian loves God above all things. That isn’t flashy. You won’t make the papers for bearing your cross. At the end of it all, God promises a reward.
Witnessing for Christ isn’t always easy. Jesus warns his disciples that a servant isn’t above his master. We know how Jesus was treated; should we expect to be treated any different? This Sunday we’ll look at the persecution of the church and how God has preserved his faithful through the ages. Christ is our King.
When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them. What was the problem? They were like sheep without a shepherd. What was the solution? Send out the shepherds. Jesus send his disciples to serve God’s people with the word. The dual focus this Sunday is on helping hurting people with the gospel of forgiveness in Jesus and sending people to do that work. We continue our sermon series Witnesses for Christ under the theme: Witness through Compassion.
The call of Matthew is powerful example of mercy from our Lord. Matthew didn’t fit the description of a model Jew. He wasn’t a logical choice, according to the logic of that time. Most people wanted to stay away from tax collectors and sinners. Jesus went out of his way to minister to those who need mercy. This Sunday we saw how we can Witness to Those Who Need Mercy.
As a witness we are charged with telling people what we see. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, in the verses just before our text in Matthew 7 Jesus writes, “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it.” This Sunday we will see why only a few will find that narrow door. We’ll see how we can Witness to the Truth.
There isn’t a Christian alive who can adequately explain the Trinity. The word Trinity isn’t found on the pages of Scripture. The truth of our 3-in-1 God is clearly taught in the Bible from start to finish. This Sunday we will focus on the Trinity. We’ll see how it can help us confess our faith in our amazing God and how it can help us spot false teaching a mile away.
The harvest festival of Pentecost was not a new concept to God’s people. Every year they would come in from the fields with their first fruits and offer them to God. This was a statement of thanks and a statement of faith. Thanks for the harvest that they already had and a statement of faith that God would continue to give them more as the harvest continued. That festival marked the birth of the New Testament church. What a harvest it has been! God continues the harvest of souls for his kingdom through you and me.
What do you do when your plans fall through? We’ve been asking this question all Easter! By the grace of God he opens our hearts to hear his words. This Sunday we celebrate the coronation of our king! It’s Ascension Sunday. We will join our voices to the disciples in praise.
How to live – that is the question. I have to ask you – have you ever seen death? Our society is quarantined off from death for the most part. Death is something that happens in the hospital or maybe in a hospice setting. Because of Easter life is more certain!
This Sunday we’ll answer the question, “What do we do when our hearts are troubled?” The takes takes us to the night that Jesus was betrayed. That might seem like quite the jump, but his words of comfort to his disciples are all the more sure now that we live in the reality of Easter. He lives!
Do sheep listen? I don’t know much about sheep, but nine months into dog ownership and I can tell you that they don’t always listen. In fact, I’m convinced that my dog hears what I’m saying, comprehends what I want, but he still refuses to do what I say simply because he is unwilling. I’m told that sheep don’t always listen either, but before I start in on a rant on white woolly animals, I should confess my own selective hearing issues. Yes, I don’t listen at times too.
What do you do when your plans fall through? That’s a question for our Easter sermon series and that the disciples were asking themselves on that first Easter. Slowly the reality of the Gospel hit them. This Sunday we’ll ask this question: …when all we can do is go for a walk? Two disciples were walking on the road to a small town called Emaus. Another traveler opened up the Scriptures to them. This was Jesus.
This Sunday we start a new Easter sermon series – What do we do if our plans fall though? Not everything goes according to our plans. This was true in Jesus day as well. Our first sermon will be When we’re locked in a room. After a month of lock down, you may have some questions too!
Good Friday marks the final day of the season of Lent. In this last word from the cross we see that Jesus spoke a word of trust.
Plaque on kitchen wall said, “The three most important words ever spoken: ‘It is finished.’” The three most important words spoken? Not exactly. As recorded in the Greek of St. John’s gospel, our Lord’s sixth word from the cross is not three, but one: tetelestai.
“I have needs too, you know.” These are words that punctuate an argument. You say them with tears streaming down your face. Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” Did he say it with tears of exhaustion? Was he telling the world and his Father that he would take no more? Suffer no more? Was he demanding at least a tiny bit of relief? Let’s find out. This Sunday we study John 19:28, the fifth word that Jesus spoke from the cross. He spoke a word of need.
“God forsaken of God who can understand it?” When Luther remarked on the complete isolation of our Lord Jesus as he hung on the cross, he struck a nerve. No one can possibly understand this because Jesus is the only one on this side of the grave who had experienced it. Because Jesus has, we never will.
How many exasperated parents haven’t scolded their teenager, “I hope someday your kids will treat you the same way you’re treating me!” How many of us, now grown-ups, look back and shudder at things we said and did to our parents while we were growing up? If so, we need to spend a few moments looking again at our Savior and his cross.