Sermons

Category: Pastor Leyrer

An Urgent Appeal

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Lent 5, Sunday, April 7, 2019

Text: Luke 20:9-19

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Dear Friends in Christ, If we were using modern day phraseology, and if we were looking at things from a purely non-spiritual outsider’s point of view as just a moment in history, we might say the walls were beginning to close in on Jesus. His opponents had had enough. Recent events and the undeniable recognition they as religious leaders were losing their influence and control over the people had pushed them over the edge. For some time they knew he had to go, but now they were in the active planning stage of deciding just how to make it happen.  And conversations like the one recorded in our text for today only sped up the process.



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A Portrait of Resolve

Pastor Leyrer - Lent 2  March 17, 2019

Text: Luke 13:31-35

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Dear Friends in Christ, Strolling through a store a couple of weeks ago I came across one of those cleverly worded plaques you can hang up at some prominent place in your house. It read: “Believe your husband when he tells you he will fix something.  You don’t need to remind him every six months.” Procrastination is one way to deal with a task, especially if it is an unpleasant one, but there are additional methods. For instance, we can rationalize the need for something to be done and talk ourselves out of it. We can minimize the importance of doing something and conclude that it can wait indefinitely.  And, of course we can utilize the old ostrich head-in-the-sand model and simply hope the situation will go away or magically take care of itself.



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Jesus Is Changed - And So Are Those Who Know Him

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: 2 Corinthians 3:12 - 4:2

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Dear Friends in Christ, If we’re looking for a single thought to describe the emphasis of this Sunday, a reasonable choice would be the word “change.” This theme is reflected in all our Scripture lessons. In our Old Testament reading we see a change that came over Moses when he had been in the presence of God on Mount Sinai. We’ll talk more about that in just a bit. In our Gospel lesson, we see Jesus momentarily changed or “transfigured” from the normal state his disciples were accustomed to seeing him to the glorious state that was and is his as the divine Son of God. Through this event the disciples were given a glimpse of the glory that awaits all who embrace Jesus in faith – including modern day disciples like us.



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Man's Plans; God's Promise - February 17, 2019

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text:  2 Corinthians 12:7-10 

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Dear Friends in Christ,  Imagine this.  Ever since you were a little boy or a girl you’ve been fascinated with the city of Paris.  You’ve read everything there is to read on its history, you know the places that interest you the most, and you know exactly what you want to see once you get there. Now you’ve reached a point in your life when you can make the trip, so you board the plane with great anticipation of just how wonderful this long-envisioned vacation is going to be.  It’s a direct flight, so you don’t have to worry about layovers or connections.



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A Mission and Ministry Prayer - January 27, 2019

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Acts 4:23-31

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Dear Friends in Christ, From ev’ry stormy wind that blows, from ev’ry swelling tide of woes, there is a calm, a sure retreat; 'tis found beneath the mercy seat. Those words written by the 20th century English clergyman Hugh Stowell rightly describe the events recorded in our text for today. 



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Mysteries Revealed - January 6, 2019

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Ephesians 3:2-6

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Dear Friends in Christ, That we are observing the Festival of Epiphany has been noted several times today.  However, did you know…Epiphany was recognized and celebrated as a holiday by the early Christian Church well before Christmas was?



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Searching and Finding - December 30, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Luke 2:41-52

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Dear Friends in Christ, a span of 30 years lies between the record of Jesus’ birth and the beginning of his public ministry.  Within those three decades we have only one incident the Holy Spirit has chosen to share with us.  It is our Gospel lesson for today.



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The Reason for the Season - December 23, 2018

Pastor Leyrer

Text: Genesis 4:1,2,6-8,25-5:5

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Dear Friends in Christ, to some degree its always been this way, but for the last few decades there seems to be an increasingly concerted effort to remove just about any religious element from the way in which our nation acknowledges Christmas, starting with the name itself. What used to be office Christmas parties have become “holiday” parties. What used to be Christmas breaks at non-religious schools have become winter breaks. Whether spoken or written, the common greeting of “Merry Christmas” has given way to the more neutral “happy holidays.” Even Christmas trees are referred to as holiday trees. This trend has not gone unnoticed and has created something of a mild backlash among those who understand that you can change the name or the emphasis or the focus of an event, but you can’t deny the event itself. In this unofficial “reclaim Christmas” movement, one of the more popular and catchy slogans seen on bumper stickers and lapel pins and Christmas cards is the phrase, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” Which, of course, is true. But our text for today drills down even deeper and explains for us why Jesus’ arrival on our planet was necessary in the first place. What becomes clear is that, in another sense, we – as in all of mankind – are THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.



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Prophecy Fulfilled - December 12, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Luke 3:1-6

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Dear Friends in Christ, there is nothing subtle or difficult to understand about the connection between our first reading from Isaiah and the Gospel reading we just heard. What Isaiah prophesied approximately 750 years earlier was fulfilled in the person and message of John the Baptist. Without a doubt, John is one of the more interesting and compelling figures in the Bible, and we are given a lot of information about him in the Gospels. Every Wednesday morning we hold Children’s Chapel for our St. John’s school children. Today John the Baptist was the subject. We talked about the miraculous events surrounding his birth and the impression John must have made on those who came to the wilderness to see and hear him. We said he was probably one of those people you find yourself staring at when you think he isn’t looking.



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A Precursor to Advent - December 2, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Genesis 19:15-17, 23-29

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Dear Friends in Christ, while we don’t customarily greet each other with “happy new year” today, we could make the case that such a greeting would be appropriate this morning – at least in a religious way – because this Sunday is the beginning of a brand new “Church Year.” We have entered another Advent season – that four-week period of preparation, repentance and anticipation that leads us into Christmas. During Advent, which literally means “coming,” we focus our thoughts on the arrival of Jesus Christ, first as the meek and mild Babe of Bethlehem; next as the glorious and powerful King of Kings and Lord of Lords.



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