Sermons

Category: Pastor Leyrer

What We Have In Common With Missionary Paul

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Seventh Sunday of Easter - June 2, 2019

Text:  Acts 16:6-10

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Dear Friends in Christ,  At one time in his life he was an arch enemy of the Christian faith.  He considered Christians to be dangerous heretics, and like a spiritual exterminator he spent his time and energy trying to rid the world of them.  He was smart.  He was zealous.  And he was committed to his cause. But everything changed one day as he was traveling to the city of Damascus on one of his seek-and-destroy campaigns. 



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The Work is Done; The Work is Not Done

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Ascension Day - Thursday, May 30, 2019

Text: Luke 24:50-53

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Dear Friends in Christ,  Some of us with long and deep roots in this congregation may have had snippets of it passed down to them, but nobody present was party to the conversation our St. John’s forefathers had when they built this church and had to make a decision on what Bible story of image they wanted on the big stained glass window everyone would see as they exit the church.



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The Shepherd and His Flock

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Fourth Sunday of Easter - Sunday, May 12, 2019

Text: Ezekiel 34:25-31

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Dear Friends in Christ,  Within the church, today is designated as Good Shepherd Sunday.  And, as most everybody knows both inside and outside of the church, today is also Mother’s Day.  Can we make an unforced connection between the two?  I believe we can. 



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A Meal Unlike Any Other

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Maundy Thursday, April 18, 2019

Text: Luke22:7-20

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Dear Friends in Christ, if you’re looking for an icebreaker at a social gathering or find that you’ve come to a lull in the conversation, the topic of food is always a good option. Questions like – If you knew a meteor was going to destroy the earth and you could have whatever you wanted for your last meal, what would it be?  Or: What is the strangest or most exotic food you ever ate? Or: What’s your favorite ethnic food? – usually can generate some dialog, maybe even provide fodder for some good-natured disagreements. Because food and eating meals is something we all have opinions about and all have in common. Many things happened on that first Maundy Thursday evening, but perhaps that for which we remember it most is the institution of the Lord’s Supper. That’s the centerpiece of our Gospel lesson. Not surprisingly, that’s also what we’ll be focusing our thoughts on tonight. While we all have different and personal preferences about the food we eat either daily or on special occasions, one thing we can all agree on is this:  What Jesus prepares for us tonight is



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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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