Sermons

The Verdict is Announced - June 18, 2017

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon text: Romans 3:21-26

To some degree, we all know how a legal trial works.  Some of us have been there ourselves, but even if we haven’t, most of us have seen a court case depicted on television or in a movie.  But no matter how much or how little experience we have with court cases, we know that the biggest moment, the most intense point of the whole proceedings, what everything else builds up to, is the announcement of the verdict.  At the time of announcement, the verdict is the only voice that matters. 

Today, as we begin our summer series on Paul’s letter to the Romans, it is no overstatement to say that these are some of the most important verses in the whole book.  Some would go so far as to say that these are some of the most important verses in the whole Bible, which would, in turn, tell us that these are the most important words that human ears can hear.  They are words that teach us about a verdict that has already been announced, and a voice that will one day resound before all humanity as everyone who has ever lived will be gathered for judgment. 



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The Triune God Changes Us - June 11, 2017

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: 2 Corinthians 13:11-14

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If the verses of today’s second lesson were the only thing we knew about the Christians living in the ancient city of Corinth, we’d have a far from accurate picture of the church that existed there.  If we were to take the time this morning to read both letters Paul wrote, all 29 chapters of them, you’d see what I mean.  Some of the leaders in Corinth had written Paul, asking for his help with a wide variety of problems, and going down the list seems shocking.  Perhaps at the back of their mind was this question: how can Christian people behave this way? 



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The Work of the Holy Spirit - June 4, 2017

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: John 16:5-11

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Dear Friends in Christ, Pentecost was originally a major Old Testament Jewish harvest festival that took place fifty days after Passover.  It was a pilgrim festival, meaning devout Jewish believers throughout the world would gather in Jerusalem (as we heard just moments ago in our reading from the Book of Acts).  Old Testament believers most often referred to it as the Feast of Harvest, or the Feast of Weeks.



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Expectations and Plans - May 26, 2017

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon theme: Jeremiah 29:10-14

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Students, Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, invited guests, and especially and most pointedly…Graduates:  Today is a day of expectations.  On the one hand, it is a day of fulfilled expectations.  For at least a year, for many of you a number of years, you have been showing up at school.  Along with that, you were expected to keep showing up, to be present, and to be attentive, and to participate, and to complete your assignments and take your tests.  You are here tonight because you all surpassed at least the minimum level of required expectations.  You are graduating.  So you aren’t expected to show up tomorrow, or next week, or next school year for more classes, not here anyway. 



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Success with Your Savior - May 28, 2017

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: 2 Corinthians 4:13-18

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Rumored to have originated in 19th century English poetry, this little proverb has become somewhat of a maxim for life in western society, and in America in particular.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Parents instruct their kids, coaches encourage their athletes, “how-to” and “self-help” books advise such persistence to their readers – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, eventually you’ll have success. 



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The Ascension of Christ is Both an End and a Beginning - May 25, 2017

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: Ephesians 1:22-23

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Dear Friends in Christ,  Today we come to the end of a journey with Jesus.  It began at the end of last November when we entered the Advent Season – that time of preparation to meet our Savior both as the long anticipated Babe of Bethlehem, as well as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who will come to judge the world.



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Love in Action - May 21, 2017

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon text: 1 John 3:13-18

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Can you remember the longest sermon you ever heard?  Was it a half-hour long?  45 minutes?  Did the sermon alone take a full hour?  Or did it just seem like it?... A few years ago a pastor in Florida named Zach Zehnder began preaching a sermon with some representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records on hand.  He actually combined a number of sermons into one marathon sermon lasting for—any guesses?—53 hours and 18 minutes.  It’s probably safe to assume that the pastor is the only one who didn’t fall asleep at some point.



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The Blessing of Clarity - May 14, 2017

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: 1 Peter 2:9

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Dear Friends in Christ, Some things we know with certainty.  For example, on this weekend we know for sure that God-fearing mothers – and by extension, all the devout Christian women who have played and continue to play such a vital role in our lives and the life of our church – are great blessings to us.



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Follow Your Good Shepherd - May 7, 2017

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: Hebrews 13:20-21

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When the little mechanized voice chimes in: turn left in 350 feet, do you listen?  Or do you second guess the GPS system and take an alternate route?  When you’re in a strange and unfamiliar city, it’s pretty hard to beat a GPS for leading you to your destination.  I’m going to guess, though, that if you use a GPS in an area that you know well then there’s probably been a time when you second-guessed the GPS and took a local shortcut.  Perhaps, if you have an older model that doesn’t automatically update the maps, you have even run into a place when the roads have changed and the GPS is flat out wrong!  The technology is always improving, but it’s still not perfect.  Sometimes you have to second guess what you are following! 



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You Don't Belong Here - April 30, 2017

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon text: 1 Peter 1:17-21

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At various points in our lives, I think all of us will find ourselves in situations where we feel like we don’t belong.  I had one recently…Last week my wife and I were in San Antonio for a ministry retreat, and one night around 9:30 or so, we left our hotel with another pastor and his wife and went to a part of town within walking distance.  Our trip happened to coincide with “Fiesta” time, a citywide festival with music and parties and food, and so we thought we would take in some of the local culture. We walked down a street that was closed off, absolutely full of people and vendors and stages for the bands, and we got to the other side, where we found ourselves in a market district that was shutting down for the night.  And there were a handful of police officers there.  We were going to ask if there was a public restroom around, but they quickly changed the subject.  One of the officers took one look at us and said, “You don’t really want to be here…”  You could tell that she was trying to find the right words, and finally she said this: “Pretty soon there are going to be a whole lot more people here with prison tattoos than people who look like you.”  And that was all she needed to say.  Suddenly we felt like we didn’t belong there.



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