Sermons

Category: New Year

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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Jesus Christ is the Same Yesterday, and Today, and Forever

Pastor Joel Leyrer - New Year's Day - Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Text: Hebrews 13:8

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Dear Friends in Christ, “So, what’s new?” All of us have been on receiving end of this common conversation opener. How do you respond to it? My guess is one of two ways. If there is something truly noteworthy that has taken place in the not-too-distant past or some family milestone that was reached or is being planned for the near future, you’ll mention that.



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One More Year

Pastor Kyle Bitter - New Year's Eve - Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Text: Luke 13:6-9

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Was 2019 a good year or a bad year? The weeks leading up to New Year’s usually seem to be filled with discussion about that question, and as a result you see articles listing the top ten greatest moments in sports, the top ten news stories, and all kinds of similar things looking back and giving opportunity to review the blessings and challenges of the past year. So how was 2019? I suppose that depends on which issues you are most interested in. If you look at things from an economic perspective, it seems that by most measurable numbers 2019 was a pretty good year for most Americans. If you look at things from a political perspective, on the other hand, one might conclude that 2019 was not so great as the partisan bickering and strife seemed to somehow reach still greater levels of discord than in the past! If you like sports, I suppose it depends on how your team of choice did. Was 2019 a good year or a bad year?   



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With God's Blessing - January 1, 2019

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Text: Numbers 6:22-27

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These words sound familiar.  You have heard these words before (or words awfully close to them) more times than we can count.  We can call them the Aaronic Benediction (named after Moses’ brother Aaron, who is mentioned here) or the priestly blessing (since Aaron was the first in a long line of Jewish High Priests that would come from his line).  Most of the time, we just call it “the blessing.”  Quite often, they are the last spoken words we hear before our worship services end. 



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One More Year - December 31, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: Isaiah 51:1-6

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Over the last couple of weeks, Time Magazine has been publishing their annual series of “Top 10” lists about 2018 – both good things and bad things.  Among the lists are the top 10 movies, the top 10 sports moments, the top 10 technology gadgets, the top 10 crises, the top 10 dictionary word lookups, and many more.  It’s an annual way of trying to capture a snapshot of the most significant moments in American culture over the past year.  What if you were to do the same thing with your life in 2018?  What kinds of things would make the top 10 highlights of 2018?  Maybe you graduated from school or got promoted at work.  Maybe a child was born.  Maybe you celebrated a milestone birthday or anniversary.  Maybe you formed a new friendship, moved to a new place, or maybe 2018 wasn’t necessarily a year of major milestones, but a year of new memories in the same place with many of the same people.  No matter what it was, 2018 is One More Year of celebration and thanksgiving to God, and that’s why we have gathered here tonight. 



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A New Year in Jesus' Name - January 1, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: Exodus 14:13-15

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New Year in Jesus’ Name  In 2018…I’m going to eat better.  In 2018…I’m going to finish the daily bible reading challenge.  I’m going to exercise more.  I’m going to sleep more.  I’m finally going to accomplish those goals at work that have been so long in coming.  I’m going to spend more time with family.  In 2018…  New Year’s resolutions are popular, and New Year’s is a good time to make such resolutions, because a new year, in some ways, offers you a new start.  It kind of feels like the slate is wiped clean and you can start over again, forgetting about the failures and challenges of last year.  But alongside that, it’s easy to have some reservation.  What does 2018 hold?  How will your health concerns play out this year?  What will happen to your child away at college?  What’s going to happen after graduation?  What will the economy and political situation of our country be like?  This year, through the first lesson, as we look into the unknown future, God has a New Year’s resolution for you.  He wants you to approach the New Year with confidence, because you’re entering the New Year in Jesus’ Name.  



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What's In A Name? - January 1, 2017

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: Luke 2:21

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Dear Friends in Christ, There are a number of different directions we could go today and we’re actually going to touch on all of them.  Let me explain. Most years we have a separate and distinct New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day service, but because this is one of those years where they fall on a Saturday and Sunday, we’re observing them together according to our regular weekly service schedule.  Our opening hymn and prayer for the church today express our gratefulness for the closing of one year of grace as we enter another one.  So there’s a New Year element in our service today.



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A New Year in His Name - January 1, 2016

Pastor Schroeder

Text: Luke 2:21

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January 1…New Year’s Day…the year 2016.  2016 years since what?  Isn’t it ironic that even in our world that so often rejects the message of the Bible and the teachings of Christianity, that around the globe, our whole system of days and years counts time from when Jesus was born? 



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A Promise, Plan and Plea as We Enter 2016 - December 31, 2015

Pastor Leyrer

Text: Matthew 6:25-34

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Dear Friends in Christ, Depending upon our basic personalities as well as a number of personal variables such as age, health, children, condition of loved ones, and work related issues, it’s fair to assume that each of us will enter this New Year a little differently.



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