Sermons

I Was Shown Mercy

Speaker: Pastor Jason Free
Text: 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Service: 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

 

  

His arm covered his face as he realized that he had no right to be in his presence. He was afraid to even look; afraid to see, as he recalled the sin of the murder he committed and the exile he now lived in. His whole body trembled in fear at the punishment he knew he deserved. But instead of punishment he was called. Called to deliver God’s people from the oppression of the Egyptians and promised that the great I AM would speak through him. This servant of the Lord was Moses.



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Build with Wisdom

Speaker: Pastor Philip Casmer
Text: Matthew 7:15-29
Service: 2nd Sunday after Pentecost

 

  

This past week you sent a number of us to the National Conference on Worship, Music & the Arts which took place on the shore of Lake Michigan at Carthage College in Kenosha. Again, thank you, because it was really wonderful. I want, for just a few moments, to tell you about some of the wonderful things… This week, I learned that super-hero pipe-organs are so complex that it can take three people to really play them...and, for those moments when worship gets really epic, some have a golden star-thingy that spins around and rings tinkly bells in the background - and it’s called a zimbelstern. Twirly pipe-organ star-thingys were the least of it, though... There were excellent breakout sessions by talented people about conducting music or organizing a hymnology curriculum and graphic design for outreach to your community or thinking about how to communicate the gospel in this tumultuous 21st century. There were organ and vocal recitals and opportunities for community artwork and all of it came together in eight worship services and concerts that were so edifying. Six times we heard encouraging sermons. We heard children and pastors, teachers and church members use their voices under the direction of talented men and women; pastors chanted readings in one service and lit incense while everyone held candle-light in the dark in another; jazzy saxophone made mello music with guitar and piano in another service and there was even a gospel-style Nicene Creed - swaying, soloists, hand-claps and all. It was really, truly excellent - all around.



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God Bless You!

Speaker: Pastor David P. Kolander
Text: 2 Corinthians 13:11-14
Service: Holy Trinity

 

  

Sneezing can be an interesting, sometimes embarrassing, thing… Have you ever found it difficult to hold back a sneeze? And when someone else sneezes, it often is very difficult to hold back a response, isn’t it? Hopefully the response doesn’t have to be, “Turn away from me when you’re sneezing.” Hopefully the response can be what many of us may say to someone else – maybe people we don’t even know – whenever we hear a sneeze: “Bless you” or “God bless you.” For many people it’s just the polite thing to do – to ask God to bless someone when you hear them sneeze.



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Be Utterly Amazed!

Speaker: Pastor Jason Free
Text: Acts 2:1-13
Service: Pentecost

 

  

Utterly Amazed. The people were utterly amazed at what they saw and what they heard. And I love that that Luke describes it for us like this in verse seven of our lesson. Because aren’t there some things in life that are just utterly amazing and that’s honestly the best way to describe it: “It was amazing!” “I was amazed!” And packed into that word ‘amazing’ is a sense of awe and wonder, and even a little disbelief, and no other words do it justice.



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Pray for Me, Jesus!

Speaker: Pastor David P. Kolander
Text: John 17:1-11
Service: Easter 7

 

  

Is it okay to ask the Son of God to pray for you? Have you ever had things going so bad in your life – have you ever been so confused by what’s going on around you in your life – have you ever had so many things, so many people, so many questions coming at you all at the same time in your life -- that you didn’t just want someone else to pray for you, but you wanted Jesus Christ himself to do that praying? Whether you have ever thought about doing that or not, would Jesus even do it if you did ask him? And what would Jesus say if he did say, “For you I will pray?” As we close out our Easter season worship theme of “Unless I See…,” let’s see whether these words of prayer of Jesus to his Father in John chapter 17 can allow us to say to God’s Son when we have trouble seeing his love or his plan, “Pray for me, Jesus!”



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A Life Without Ifs

Speaker: Pastor Jason Free
Text: John 14:15-21
Service: Easter 6

 

  

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” What a way to start this lesson: “IF!” I wonder how the disciples took this. What do you think they thought when Jesus first said this to them? A lot had already happened to them that night. Jesus had announced he would be betrayed and Judas was named the betrayer. Jesus announced he would be with them only a little while longer and Peter boldly claimed he would follow him, even die for him; Jesus told Peter he would instead deny him. Thomas asked Jesus if he would share the way to where he was going to go and was told instead “If you really knew me, you would know.” Philip asked Jesus to “show them the Father” and received a response filled with disappointment, “Don’t you know me.” 



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Greater than Jesus?

Speaker: Pastor Philip Casmer
Text: John 14:1-12
Service: Easter 5

 

  

Verse 12 just seems wrong - am I right? That “[the believer] will do greater things” than the things Jesus had been doing? That Bible passage seems like the most difficult one in this bunch, doesn’t it? I know you agree, rather, that Jesus is the greatest person in the history of the world; I mean, Jesus’ person and work saves the world…and some of his works - raise the dead, heal the blind, read the mind...wow! Verse 12 seems like something you wouldn’t want to say - “Yes, I have done many things greater than Jesus…” In fact, to be most honest, most of us would probably say whose life has gone so greatly that we would even remotely entertain the prospect of accomplishing something greater than Jesus? Just seems wrong, right?



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Listen! Enter! Live!

Speaker: Pastor Jason Free
Text: John 10:1-10
Service: Easter 4

 

  

What if today, instead of seeing me standing here or Pastor Casmer or Pastor Kolander, there was a complete stranger? Someone you had never seen before. But this stranger was wearing an alb just like this and he had on the stole, and in fact he was taller and much better looking than myself. And so you just figured that today you were going to have a guest preacher and you settle in for the service, most of which remains the same. There is a confession and absolution, there are hymns, there are readings, but then the sermon rolls around; its different. There is something off about this man’s message. He is a good speaker – very eloquent – but, but, something’s not right. You turn to the person sitting next to you and you ask, “Does this guy’s sermon sound right?” “Yeah, it does. I haven’t heard anything about my forgiveness through Christ, I haven’t heard a word about the salvation that is mine through faith in Jesus.” “Okay, well maybe he’s just hitting the law a little harder this time.” Next week the same man is here standing in front of you and again; you listen closely. No gospel. No forgiveness. No Jesus. Something’s not right, all you have to do is listen.



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Jesus Gives Us Something Hopeful to Talk About

Speaker: Pastor Philip Casmer
Text: Luke 24:13-35
Service: Easter 3 / Confirmation

 

  

If Jesus joined you as you were walking around Brookfield Square or the Corners this afternoon, what would he find you discussing? If Jesus sat down at your confirmation party this afternoon, burger in hand? Or if he caught you around the water-cooler in the office? What kind of conversation would he encounter with us? Chances are, we would be excited to host Jesus, to talk with him, but how often do you think he would be excited to find what we were discussing?



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I Have Risen from the Dead!

Speaker: Pastor David P. Kolander
Text: Colossians 3:1-4
Service: Easter Sunday

 

  

Because of the One I died with
Because of the One I will live with

Obviously we are here today at this beautiful worship service on this wonderful day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but who does the opening verse of our lesson tell us also has been raised from the dead? St. Paul says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ…” This may sound strange to us when we first hear it, but this worship service is also an Easter celebration of your and my resurrection from the dead. On this great festival of the resurrection of our Lord, let’s see what it means that each and everyone of us is able to say just as much as Jesus Christ our Lord – and why it is so important that each and everyone of us is be able to say just as much as Jesus Christ our Lord – “I have risen from the dead!”



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