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April 1, 2020 Lent Midweek 6 Sermon

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John 6:66-88   

6 After this, many of his disciples turned back and were not walking with him anymore. 67 So Jesus asked the Twelve, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Sermon for Midweek Lent 6, April 1, 2020

Everyday, somewhere, couples get divorced. We remember all the happy moments of that wedding day when the young man and woman declared there love for each other and put rings on one another’s hands. They each made promises to love and cherish each other, to be there for each other whether in good times or in bad, whether they were sick or healthy, whether they had many possessions or few. They said they would cherish each other, that they would have each other’s backs everyday right up until one of the died.

So what happened to all those happy days? What happened to the heartfelt, “till death do us part” commitment they made to each other? What does it take to break up a married couple? How many disagreements and arguments? How much disgust over things like personal habits, too much alcohol, fits of anger or rage, drugs, video games taking time away from relationships, pornography, physical or mental abuse, child abuse or unfaithfulness? What causes the “Wow” to turn to “Ugh”? As a pastor I have seen so many of these that it makes you want to weep. It is always a loss and a rejection when someone deserts a marriage.

When Jesus began his ministry there were many whom he inspired to say “Wow”! But by the end of his ministry there were some who could only say, “Ugh”. Read More

March 29, 2020 Sunday Worship: Sermon & Prayers

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Sermon Text for Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 29, 2020

Psalm 102

1 O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry for help come to you.  Do not hide your face from me on the day when I am distressed.  Turn your ear to me on the day I call.  Hurry! Answer me!  For my days go up in smoke, and my bones are burned like hot coals. My heart is cut down and withered like grass,  so I forget to eat my food.  Because of the sound of my groaning, my bones stick out of my flesh.  I am like an owl in the wilderness,  like a screech owl among the ruins. I lie awake.  I have become like a lonely bird on a roof. All day long my enemies taunt me.  Those who ridicule me use my name as a curse,  because I eat ashes like bread,  and I mix tears with my drinks.  10 Because of your rage and your wrath,  you have picked me up and thrown me away.  11 My days are being stretched out like a shadow,  and I am dried up like grass.   12 But you, Lord, sit on your throne forever, and you will be remembered through all generations.  13 You will rise and have compassion on Zion.  Yes, it is time to be gracious to her,  because the appointed time has come.  14 Yes, your servants will show favor to her stones, and they will have compassion on her dust.  15 Then the nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.  16 For the Lord will rebuild Zion.  He will appear in his glory.  17 He will respond to the prayer of the naked.  He will not despise their prayer.  18 Let this be written till the last generation, so that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.  19 For the Lord looked down from his high, holy place.  From heaven he viewed the earth 20 to hear the groans of the prisoner,     to release those condemned to death. 21 So the name of the Lord will be recorded in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem, 22 when the peoples and the kingdoms are gathered together to serve the Lord.  23 He took away my strength during my lifetime.  He cut short my days.  24 I said, “My God, do not take me away in the middle of my days.”  Your years go on through all generations.  25 Long ago you laid a foundation for the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  26 They will perish, but you remain.  All of them wear out like a garment.  Like clothing you will change them, and they will be changed.  27 But you are the same, and your years will never end.  28 The children of your servants will dwell with you, and their descendants will be established before you.

Sermon for Lent 5,   03-29-20; St. Paul’s, Green Garden, MI

Text:  Psalm 102  Theme:  Our Comfort when the end is near

The assassination of a president.  The attacks on the world trade centers on 9-11.  A loved one is killed in an untimely accident.  You are diagnosed with a terminal illness or have become part of the present pandemic. We all know what at least one of those moments feels like.  We know what it feels like to hear one or more of those pieces of news.  What have you felt like when you heard about those things or things like them?  Doubt?  Despair?  Tears?  Loss of appetite?  When you hear news like that it reminds you that your life in this world, life as you know it will come to an end someday–be it sooner or later.  Our new self knows that our eternal life with God will be far better, but our sinful nature cringes at the thought of enduring suffering or emotional pain in this life. Read More