Showing posts from November, 2015

Sermon on Deuteronomy 8:1-20, for Thanksgiving, "In a position to give thanks"

Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you, from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. If we asked the question, “Have I been put in a position to give thanks?” What answer might God’s Word give us? God’s Word gives us a clear and simple answer: Yes. Every one of us is in a position to give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 says, “ Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ” Give thanks in all circumstances. God teaches that we should be thankful in all circumstances. The question was, “Have I been put in a position to say thanks?” And if we answer Yes, together with Scripture, then we rightly acknowledge that we are always in a position to give thanks, no matter what our circumstances are. But if “No” is our answer, what does that say? Our “No” might come consciously, if we are openly ungrateful toward God or are grumbling about our circumstances. Or the “No” might come unconsciousl

Sermon on Luke19:28-40, for the 1st Sunday in Advent, "Enter the King"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The city of Jerusalem has been a formidable stronghold for thousands of years. Even before King David captured it for the Israelites, over 3,000 years ago, it was an ancient fortress of the Jebusites. A city on a hill, it resisted the invasions and attacks of countless armies through history. Many kings mounted their forces against it and failed. Many also succeeded, as the city has fallen just as many times throughout history. It’s been a scene of warfare, of defense and offense, of siege, victory, and defeat, for thousands of years. Still today it’s contested land, and the Temple site that once was Jewish, is now covered by a Muslim mosque. But in the middle of all that tumultuous history, one king entered the city like none before or after Him. He came riding in on a borrowed donkey. But it wasn’t the donkey that made His entrance unique. Kings had ridden into Jerusalem on royal mules before, to be crown

Sermon on Isaiah 51:4-6, for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, "God's Justice"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Do you see or experience a deep, human longing for peace, and for justice? Whether it’s from the common prayers of 5 th graders for world peace, to the hopes and aspirations of adults and even our national leaders, there certainly seems to be a longing for things to be better, to be different. We praise peace and justice, with our words at least. Whether we live that out or not, is another story. But even if you agree that most Americans, long for certain ideals of peace or justice—we cannot escape the brutal reality that not everyone shares this longing. We’re daily confronted with the ugly and horrendous violence of mankind. Acts of terror on innocent people, bombings, shootings, and all kinds of violence. Not just internationally, either, but in our own nation and in our communities as well. Even though we find it incredibly hard to believe, we face the painful reality that m

Sermon talking points on Daniel 12:1-3, 25th Sunday after Pentecost

Aloha, there is no written manuscript for the sermon this week. You can still find the audio on  Sermon Talking Points Read sermons at: Listen at: 1.        Reread Daniel 12:1-3. If you have time, read the entire 12 chapter book, and notice how it begins with historical narratives, the well-known stories, and gradually shifts into more and more prophetic visions. Look at chapter 9 in particular, how Daniel lead his people in prayer and confession to God. How does chapter 12 expand the vision and prophecy of the book for all peoples, not only Israel? 2.        From an earthly perspective, the people of Israel were caught in the middle of massive empires competing for dominance of the Middle East. The Babylonians, Persians and Medes, Greeks, etc all had their turn ruling over Israel. But who was in control of all of this? Who gave Daniel the