Sermons

March 2021

The Only True King

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Palm Sunday - Sunday, March 28, 2021

Text: Zechariah 9:9-10

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Dear Friends in Christ, Do the names Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego ring a bell? These were the three men thrown into a fiery furnace because they refused to give a powerful king by the name of Nebuchadnezzar the kind of honor they reserved only for God.



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Hands of Self Preservation (Pilate)

Rev. Dr. Mark Braun - Midweek Lent 6 - Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Text: Matthew 27:15-26

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15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”  23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified (Matthew 27:15-26).



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God's New Deal

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Fifth Sunday in Lent - Sunday, March 21, 2021

Text: Jeremiah 31:31-34

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New is always better…right? Maybe it’s all the advertising we see everywhere we look, always reminding us that it’s time to upgrade. Maybe the old one is starting to wear out and break down. Or maybe it’s just the fact that after a while, we become more aware of the flaws of what we already have: your car doesn’t handle well in snow (is it time for new tires or even a new car?) …your mattress is too soft, and you wake up with a sore back…your home doesn’t have enough storage space or room to entertain guests. Whatever it is, even if we don’t always act, we can all think of something new that we’d like to have.



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Hands of Brutality (Roman Soldiers)

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Midweek Lent 5 - Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Text: Matthew 27:27-31

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Mom and Dad took pride that they had raised a happy kid. She was ten years old now and growing into a nice young lady. It was during her fifth-grade year, though, that her parents began to notice a change in personality. The youthful exuberance, her joy for life, and the permanent smile on her face gave way to a visible sadness. During that school year she grew increasingly distant. Her parents approached her. They took an interest; they asked, “What’s wrong?” and said, “It’s okay to talk about it.” The behavior continued. It wasn’t until the bruises started showing up that they called a meeting with the school principal. Only after hours of prodding did their daughter break down crying, admitting that she was being bullied by a group of mean girls in school.



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Look and Live!

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The Fourth Sunday in Lent - Sunday, March 14, 2021

Text: Numbers 21:4-9

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When was the last time you found yourself complaining about something? Could it have happened already today? If so, what did you find yourself complaining about? I’m sure the answers to such questions are probably as varied and far ranging as the experiences and personalities of the different people gathered here today, but I’m going to make a few guesses. I’m guessing that in the not too recent past most of us have probably complained at least once or twice about something that someone in a position of authority has done – whether in government or elsewhere. In addition to that, I’m going to guess that most of us have complained once or twice about the behavior of other people we interact with regularly – whether that’s a frustrating co-worker or classmate, or a family member or friend who is getting on your nerves. On top of those, I’m guessing we could add some complaints about health challenges, maybe some grumbling about financial matters, perhaps a little dissatisfaction about the food on our tables, and maybe to top it off just a couple of gripes about the constantly changing spring weather, despite the fact that it’s really been pretty nice lately.



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The Hands of Hypocrisy: Caiaphas

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Midweek Lent 4 - Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Text: Mark 14:55-65

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55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.’ ” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.



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The Ten Commandments: Timeless and Relevant

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Third Sunday in Lent - Sunday, March 7, 2021

Text: Exodus 20:1-17

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Dear Friends in Christ, In classroom setting terms, our text for today is not new material. At least not for us. And we still dare to hope that most people in our country have at least some knowledge of the Ten Commandments. Or at least recognize the name.



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Hands of Misguided Zeal: Peter

Pastor Steven Pagels - Midweek Lent 3 - Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Text: John 18:4-11

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Of course, it was Peter. Of the four Gospel accounts that record what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane on Maundy Thursday, only John identifies Peter as the disciple who grabbed his sword and gashed the right ear of the high priest’s servant. But if John would have omitted that little detail, if the disciple who was responsible would have gone unnamed in all four Gospels, if you would have been left to guess the identity of the guilty party, is it possible that your initial reaction would have been: “That sounds like something Peter would do”?



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The House of God

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Second Sunday in Lent - Sunday, February 28, 2021

Text: Genesis 28:10-17

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It’s not uncommon for monuments or memorials to be set up where history is made. All of us can think back over our lives and try to remember some of those places we’ve visited. It can happen a couple of different ways….Perhaps you have an interest in history, and so you’ve planned trips around historical places to visit.  Some people, for instance, like to visit Civil War battlefields, so they can plan a weeklong trip and stop at Antietam, Gettysburg, Bull Run, and other places where battles were fought that turned the tide of our nation’s history. Or if you’re flying all the way to Hawaii, you almost have to make a stop in Pearl Harbor and see the memorial there. I’ve been told that alone is worth the trip. Sometimes you found historical places because you went looking for them.



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