Sermons

December 2017

What Child is This? - December 25, 2017

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: Hebrews 1:1-9

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Dear Friends in Christ, our Newborn King: In 1865 a man by the name of William Chatterton Dix wrote the beloved Christmas hymn, “What Child is This?” It is fair to assume he wasn’t the first to ask the question. That distinction, no doubt, fell to Mary.  Whether verbally or non-verbally, she probably first asked that question the moment the angel Gabriel left her after announcing she would be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God. What child is this I am carrying?



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A Mystery Unlocked at Christmas - December 24, 2017

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: Romans 16:25-27

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A Mystery Unlocked at Christmas. I recently had the chance to spend some time with some of my family, and with the larger group, one of the fun activities we did was an “escape room” game.  Maybe you’ve done one of those yourself – they’ve become popular in the last couple of years and there are a number of them in the Milwaukee area.  If you have not, the concept is this.  Your group has to solve a series of riddles and puzzles to get out of a locked room in a hypothetical situation in under an hour – for us the hypothetical situation was an escape from prison.  When the game first starts, you notice there are clues everywhere – codes, riddles, numbers, keys and the like – some more important than others, some you need immediately and some that become important later.  As the game progresses, there’s usually one big clue that falls into place, and then everything starts to go from there, and if you find that big clue soon enough, everything falls into place nicely and the door pops open. 



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While We Wait - December 17, 2017

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Text: 1 Thesalonians 5:16-24

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For anyone who loves Christmas, this coming week might seem like the longest week of the year.  We’ve been waiting all year long since last the last Christmas season ended, and there are so many signs all around us reminding us that it’s almost here...but it’s not quite Christmas yet.  Just like every child who sees the presents filling up space around the Christmas tree—but can’t open them yet—we have to wait. In a way, the whole life of every Christian is a time of waiting, isn’t it?  Now that we have recently come through the season of End Times in our last church year, and we are almost through another Advent season in this new church year, we have had seven or eight weeks in a row now where we have been reminded that Jesus is coming again.  So we have talked quite a bit about heaven, and how infinitely and eternally glorious it will be.  No more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain… No more sin, no more sadness—every tear will be wiped from our eyes.  The more we hear about eternity with Jesus, the more we long for his return.  But for now…we have to wait. 



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Advent Reminders - December 10, 2017

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: 2 Peter 3:8-14

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Dear Friends in Christ, Maybe it’s parents or siblings or other family members. Maybe it’s a close friend. Maybe it’s a more formalized arrangement, like a mentor or a life coach. But most of us have, or have had, people in our lives to whom we’ve looked for counsel and advice; people whose judgment we trust because of their age or experience or knowledge; people who love us enough to tell us if we’re starting to go down the wrong track and gently remind us to order our lives around truths that we already know. John the Baptist would fit into that category. For obvious reasons he is an annual Advent fixture, and he has already been mentioned numerous times today. His counsel in the Gospel lesson is the equivalent of a yearly spiritual check-up as he reminds us to prepare ourselves mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the arrival of Jesus. He is a wonderful Advent figure and guide, and there is much we can learn from him.



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Where's Your Hope? - December 3, 2017

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: 1 Peter 3:18-22

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Where’s Your Hope?  The Voice of the Martyrs is an international non-profit designed to get the word out about persecution of Christians around the world.  Maybe some of you have had the chance to read some of their material.  Spending just a few minutes reading about the experiences of Christians in other places makes you thankful for the blessings we enjoy in our country.  The scope of the accounts published range far and wide to people from all different ages and places, but of the ones that have been shared with me over the last couple of years, some of the most powerful are those coming from Christians who languished in prisons behind the iron curtain – many of these stories share a common theme that I’d like to share with you tonight.  Without getting into too much detail, their atheist captors would do terrible things to these Christian people and then ask, “Where’s your God now?”  Let’s see him save you from this!  Where’s your hope, Christian? 



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