Sermons

April 2022

Fear Not!

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The Second Sunday of Easter - Sunday, April 24, 2022

Text: Revelation 1:4-18

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It was the mid-90s AD, just a few short decades removed from Jesus’ time on earth, and the outlook was bleak. Already 11 of the 12 apostles were dead – most of them likely killed in various waves of persecution that swept the Roman world under infamous emperors like Nero and Domitian. The last apostle, John, possibly one of the last eyewitnesses of Jesus death and resurrection left alive, had been arrested. He was sentenced to exile on the desolate island of Patmos. Left leaderless and facing increasingly intense and organized persecution, one can only imagine the doubts and fears that plagued the Christians of the first century. What would the future hold? Was Jesus’ victory as thorough and all-encompassing as they had thought, or did the devil now hold the keys to the world and things would just return to the way they had been before? Fear and uncertainty spread like wildfire!



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The One You Can Trust

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Confirmation - Saturday, April 23, 2022

Text: Proverbs 3:5-6

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Someday, you’re going to need a mechanic. Something on the vehicle you drive is going to break or wear out, and it’s going to need replacing. And unless you can fix it yourself, you’ll have to take your car to a mechanic.



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Victory Over Death

Pastor Kyle Bitter - Easter Sunday - Sunday, April 17, 2022

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

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In the city of St. Augustine, Florida, one can visit what might be the oldest tourist attraction in the United States. It’s called the Fountain of Youth, and according to the story its waters provide just that – a return to perpetual youth for all who drink. Legend has it that the site dates all the way back to 1513 when the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon landed nearby and marveled at the strength and vitality of the natives living in the area – concluding that the source of such health could only come from the waters of the long sought after spring now known as the Fountain of Youth. Not long after, a nearby spring picked up that name. Looking back, it seems more likely that Ponce de Leon was primarily interested in treasure and land rather than searching for a legendary spring, but nevertheless the story has caught on and many people remember the explorer as much for his connection to the supposed mythical fountain as for anything else he might have been involved in! I suppose that’s not all that surprising in the end. There’s an appeal to myths like these – it’s fun to think about what it would be like if aging and sickness and even death could be avoided by something as simple as a drink of special water! It’s a nice relief from what we know to be reality: Death always wins. Eventually everyone has to face it!



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Easter Sunrise Message

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Easter Sunday - Sunday, April 17, 2022

Text: Luke 24:1-8

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Dear Friends in Christ, The words just read transport us in spirit back to that very first Easter dawn and allow us to consider the glorious Easter message through the eyes and emotions of those who first lived it. Must have been quite a morning, don’t you think?



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Done

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Good Friday - Friday, April 15, 2022

Text: John 19:17-30

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It is good to get things done. It’s a good feeling to look at a kitchen that had been a total disaster an hour ago and now is suddenly organized and clean; it’s nice to stand back, if only for a moment, and appreciate a stack of folded laundry that used to be a pile in a basket. A newly planted flower bed always looks better than a bare spot of dirt. No matter how well we did, there is at least a small sense of relief after handing in a big test that had been looming for several days. For many people, finishing up a long work week makes every Friday something to look forward to.



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A Most Magnificent Meal

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Maundy Thursday - Thursday, April 14, 2022

Text: Luke 22:7-20

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Dear Friends in Christ, A good meal can make quite a difference.



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Hosanna to Our King

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Palm Sunday - Sunday, April 10, 2022

Text: Luke 19:28-40

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By now, just about all of us have certain expectations for when Palm Sunday comes around. Maybe you can think back to traditions you remember if you grew up in the church, whether at St. John’s or somewhere else. For many congregations, Palm Sunday was once (or might still be) confirmation day. Here at St. John’s, after a few years where circumstances shook things up a bit, how wonderful it is be able to resume the tradition of a palm procession with the children on Palm Sunday morning…it’s something we dare not take for granted, but this is definitely a return to what we have come to expect on Palm Sunday: kids, and palm branches, and hosannas to our king.



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Ode to the Greatness of God

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Fifth Sunday in Lent - Sunday, April 3, 2022

Text: Isaiah 43:16-21

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Dear Friends in Christ, If you have spent any time in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, you know that reading it is like holding a multi-faceted diamond under a light – it shines and sparkles in different ways depending upon the angle.



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