Sermons

Category: Pastor Schroeder

Is It Good for Us to Be Here?

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Transfiguration - Sunday, February 14, 2021

Text: Mark 9:2-9

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At some point, I’d guess that all of us have imagined what it would be like to live the life of a celebrity. We picture the adoring fans…and we can’t help but start thinking about the lifestyle, how we’d spend all that money: luxurious homes, fancy cars, maybe even a private jet that could take us wherever we wanted to go—like somewhere warm. You could have a personal chef, and a personal trainer, and a personal assistant. You’d hang out with other celebrities and eat at the finest restaurants and you’d never have trouble getting tickets to the biggest events around. 



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Jesus Has Called You

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Second Sunday After the Epiphany - Sunday, January 17, 2021

Text: John 1:43-51

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It was two weeks ago already that our family was having a game night at home. My wife’s phone rang first, and so we took a break from our game for a bit. Not long after that, my phone rang, too. It was a number I didn’t recognize, but I picked up anyway. “Hello, is this Eric Schroeder?” “Yes, it is…” “This is President Gurgel from Martin Luther College; I’m calling to let you know that in a meeting of the governing board this evening, the Holy Spirit has called you to be professor of theology and history at Martin Luther College.” And we talked for a few more minutes, but honestly, it’s hard to give full attention after hearing that opening statement. And now, as I continue to deliberate between a call here and a call there, life feels different than before. And it should feel different, because life changes when you’re called by God. You should know that, too!



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Memento Mori

Pastor Eric Schroeder - New Year's Eve - Thursday, December 31, 2020

Text: 1 Peter 1:22-25

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As the story goes, a general returns from a long campaign to celebrate the victory with a parade through the capital city. As the sights of home replace the visions of war, and as the shouts of praise seek to erase the cries of the battlefield, there is a part of him that doesn’t want to forget. As horrifying as it might be to dwell on the staggering loss of life that so recently occurred, he doesn’t want to dishonor the memory of those who fought so bravely and weren’t so fortunate as he to make it home alive. But there is another reason, too. He knows that if there is a next time—and in war there is always a next time—victory is not guaranteed, nor is survival. And so, even as the throngs of people hail him as a conquering hero, assigning him an almost godlike status, he is listening closely to the words being whispered into his ear, by the slave he has ordered to stand right behind him, repeating these words over and over again: “Remember…you are only a man.” 



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Letters to the Seven Churches: Laodicea

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Fourth Sunday in Advent - Sunday December 20, 2020

Text: Revelation 3:14-22

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We all know someone who likes to drink coffee. It is the third-most consumed drink in America, after water and carbonated soft drinks. So whether you drink coffee yourself or not, I’m sure you are all well aware that there are two main ways that coffee is served. The vast majority is brewed steaming hot, quite often hotter than you’d want to drink right away, but you can also order iced coffee. Same ingredients, just ground up coffee beans and water—along with whatever flavors or sweeteners you’d like added in. But you either get it hot or cold. What you don’t typically see is the option to order lukewarm coffee, and there’s a scientific reason for that: it has to do with how your taste buds work. You see, at either end of the temperature spectrum, the taste buds on your tongue that detect bitter (and often unpleasant) flavors don’t work as well. But when you eat or drink something right around room temperature, those same taste buds kick in, and coffee doesn’t end up tasting as good, whether it’s hot coffee that has cooled down or iced coffee that has warmed up. It’s not just coffee, either. It’s the same reason that cold drinks are served over ice—so they stay cold and taste better longer. You get the picture.



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Seven Letters to the Seven Churches: Thyatira

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Midweek Advent 2 - Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Text: Revelation 2:18-29

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Today’s sermon marks the midpoint of our Advent series. The fourth letter of the seven is addressed to the church in the city of Thyatira. We don’t know a whole lot about this city or its inhabitants, but it may sound familiar to a few of us. For bible readers who have traveled with St. Paul on his missionary journeys in the book of Acts, you may remember that when Paul arrived at the Macedonian city of Philippi, he met a woman named Lydia; she was the dealer of purple cloth who happened to be from the city of Thyatira. Other than that, as I said, we don’t hear about this city again until St. John writes to them in Revelation.



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Letters to the Seven Churches: Ephesus

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The First Sunday in Advent - Sunday, November 29, 2020

Text: Revelation 2:1-7

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Please permit some words of introduction before we begin our sermon series. The Revelation of Jesus Christ to St. John, or simply Revelation, can be an intimidating book. It is filled with symbolic language, some of which can seem awfully disturbing. But anytime we approach these words of God, we want to remember a couple of things:



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God Unbreaks the Broken

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Saints Triumphant - Sunday, November 15, 2020

Text: Ezekiel 37:15-28

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Have you ever tried to uncrack an egg and put it back in its shell? I doubt it. Have you ever unpopped a balloon, and gathered all the helium together again? I’m sure you haven’t. In fact, I’m sure no one has. We’ve cracked enough eggs and popped enough balloons to know it’s not even worth attempting to try and undo it, because it would be impossible.



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A New Normal?

Pastor Eric Schroeder - All Saints' Day - Sunday, November 1, 2020

Text: Isaiah 26 1-4, 8, 9, 12, 13, 19-21

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Before we get into our discussion today, I almost feel like I should apologize for the wording of the sermon title. I know that some of you are already tired of hearing the expression, “the new normal.” I get it; I think we all get it. Pandemic or no pandemic, none of us likes the idea that current mandates might have to be extended or even tightened further. We don’t like talking to people behind masks and plexiglass barriers and straining to understand their muffled responses. We don’t like the division surrounding an election that may or may not be over by this time next week. We don’t like having our worship services limited to the first 85 people who sign up, as if we need to compete with our brothers and sisters for a place in God’s house. We can find all kinds of experiences that we don’t like about our lives today, but what’s worse than any one of them is the idea that we might just have to get used to them, because 2020 might spill over into 2021…and beyond. 



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God Knows Better

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, October 4, 2020

Text: Jonah 4:5-11

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My wife and I met in New Ulm; she spent a couple semesters at Martin Luther College before moving back home to Michigan to finish nursing school.  I hope that she would say the best thing about her time in Minnesota was meeting me; I do know for sure what she’d say the worst part was—she was not a fan of the Minnesota winters.  When Bethany and I got married, we had no idea where we were going to end up. I had three years left of seminary, and then came call day, when I would be assigned to serve somewhere.  Looking ahead to call day, the possibilities are on everyone’s mind. But if you asked Bethany back then where she would have liked to wind up, I know her answer, because it became a familiar refrain over those three years: “Anywhere but Minnesota.” 



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United in Praise

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Unity Sunday - Sunday, September 13, 2020

Text: Isaiah 42:8-13

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Our nation could use some unity right now. Even though we live in a country whose pledge of allegiance makes claims to be “one nation under God” and “indivisible,” perhaps you’ve thought especially lately that every day we stray farther from God, and America seems pretty divisible lately. It seems like no matter what you think about literally anything at all, you can find someone who disagrees wholeheartedly, and loudly, and angrily. Whenever we live through times like these, it’s easy to be divided especially about names, and I’ll mention two that we all have heard before. We still have Donald Trump and Joe Biden. At the same time, there are some new names: George Floyd, Joseph Mensah, Dr. Fauci, Jacob Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse... With every name, there are emotions that come to mind, and then there are reactions, and opinions, and arguments to be made about who’s right and who’s wrong. And so, there is division.



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