Sermons

What God Did: Sacrifice

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The Fifth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, July 5, 2020

Text: Leviticus 1:1-9

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Isn’t it amazing what a difference good cameras and modern computer enhancement technology can make to a person’s appearance? Maybe the most obvious example is the side-by-side pictures you sometimes see of a movie star or celebrity as they appear on the big screen compared to their appearance in regular life. Sometimes they’re hardly recognizable as the same person! Maybe you’ve seen the same thing on a more personal level by playing with the filters and lenses available on snapchat or Instagram or other similar apps. You can see wrinkles disappear, skin blemishes clear up, you can look years older or years younger, whatever you want – amazing differences to your appearance! Even though we all know such things are not representative of reality, we still find ourselves somewhat drawn to them – at the very least enough that we use them somewhat frequently. So why is that? I suppose on the one hand it’s just fun – it’s kind of a cool toy. But, I think there is also a part of us that is drawn to the idea of things being better than they appear to be. 



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What God Did: Became Man

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Fourth Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, June 28, 2020

Text: Matthew 16:21-23

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Dear Friends in Christ. The last two weekends of our summer sermon series on the Apostles’ Creed were devoted to messages on the First Article, meaning they revolved around God the Father. Two weeks ago, we spent our time on a text that displayed God the Father as Almighty; last week’s text highlighted how he is the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Today we make a shift and move into the Second Article, devoted to God the Son. The first and lead-off statement we confess in the Second Article is beautiful in its clarity and simplicity. We declare: “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.”    



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Who God Is: Creator

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Third Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, June 21, 2020

Text: Genesis 2:8-9, 15, 20b-25

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8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.



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Who God Is: Almighty

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Second Sunday After Pentecost - Sunday, June 14, 2020

Text: Exodus 3:1-10

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Dear Friends in Christ. If I gave you a minute, could you identify an old familiar family friend or relative who has always been around and seemingly has always been a part of your life? Maybe someone you grew up with or an especially close Aunt or Uncle? Someone you don’t even think that much about because they always seem to just be there? I’m guessing many of us can. 



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You're On God's Side!

Pastor Kyle Bitter - Trinity Sunday - Sunday, June 7, 2020

Text: 2 Corinthians 13:11-14

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So, whose side are you on? Doesn’t it seem like that’s become the question of the day in all kinds of aspects of society? Whose side are you on in response to a pandemic – people have all kinds of different ideas! Whose side are you on when it comes to racial and social issues – again, the lines seem to have been drawn! Whose side are you on when it comes to political ideology? If you haven’t noticed, it’s an election year! Sometimes it almost seems like everyone is expected to choose a side and then go to war against those on the other side until they’re forced to admit they were wrong with every single detail of their position! We’ve all seen the strive and turmoil that creates. Whose side are you on? It becomes the all-important question, and answering it causes nothing but trouble.



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Unpacking Pentecost

Pastor Joel Leyrer - Pentecost - Sunday, May 31, 2020

Text: Joel 2:28-29

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Dear Friends in Christ, I would propose that the word “unique” is routinely overused in the English language, but when it comes to the life of the Christian Church, that term applies today. While all the other great festivals and observations in the church center around an event in the life of God the Son (Jesus Christ), Pentecost does not. Today is all about the work of the third person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit. In that sense, Pentecost is indeed unique.



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Christ-like Confidence

Pastor Kyle Bitter - The Seventh Sunday of Easter - Sunday, May 24, 2020

Text: John 17:1-11a

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Several times this past week, I got caught in a minor traffic slowdown. Now, ordinarily that wouldn’t be worthy of mention living in a city, other than perhaps in complaining about it. But, I think you can see why it’s significant right now. It’s been a while since there’s been much traffic on the roads at all, but that’s changed in the last week or two with the lifting of lockdown restrictions and the beginnings of normal activity again. People are starting to socialize again. Businesses discuss plans for reopening. We are looking at ways to resume in-person worship here at St. John’s. So how does all that make you feel? There are many who feel a tone of excitement and relief – finally we can step away from the stress of lockdowns and start getting back to normal! But right along with that, there are many who also feel some measure of apprehension! Will this mean a bunch of people get sick? Will this be one step forward and two steps back? I’m going to guess that for most of us we probably find ourselves swinging back and forth between the desire to get back to normal and concern about what heading in that direction could cause!



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Ascension Message

Pastor Eric Schroeder - Ascension - Thursday, May 21, 2020

Text: Luke 24:44-53

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It’s Ascension. It's also graduation season. In a typical year, tonight would have been our graduation service for our 8th graders at St. John’s. However, this isn’t a typical year. Even before the big disruption we’ve all gone through lately, we knew that this date would be already be taken, reserved for Ascension worship because it is the 40th day after Easter. And ours isn’t the only graduation that changed this year; little did we know back then how graduations all over the place would be different this year.



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Christianity is a Love Story

Pastor Joel Leyrer - The Sixth Sunday of Easter - Sunday, May 17, 2020

Text: John 14:15-21

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Dear Friends in Christ, Pretend, for a moment, that you are a detective or a private investigator. You are called to a second floor flat where a meeting of 13 people has recently taken place. Someone hands you a piece of paper. Written on it are the words of our text, John 14:15-21. Nothing more.



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Jesus Promises a Place for Us

Pastor Eric Schroeder - The Fifth Sunday of Easter - Sunday, May 10, 2020

Text: John 14:1-12

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If (and I know, it’s a big if) you could go anywhere today—anywhere at all—where would you go? I think it’s safe to assume that most of us are tired of being cooped up and getting antsy to go somewhere. We’ve had a whole lot of time to think about what we’ve been missing the last couple of months, and so maybe it doesn’t take too long to come up with your answer. Where would you go? This time of year, kids go to the zoo for field trips…but not this year. Some of us are itching to go to a baseball game. Wouldn’t that be fun, to tailgate in the parking lot and then catch a Brewers game? Maybe you’re not a sports fan, so you say, “I’d just love to go shopping…without a mask. I’d visit with people and try on outfits and find some deals, because there are always deals to be found if you are willing to look.” I was talking to someone last week who said they just want to go out to eat and sit down in a restaurant to have a nice meal. Today would be a great day to spend with family, maybe go see mom if you could, and I’m sure all of you are sincere who have expressed your longing to get back to church for worship services and Bible study. 



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