Sermons

The Sacrifice Is Complete - April 14, 2017

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: John 19:17-30

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If you had been in Jerusalem on this day about 2000 years ago, would you have gone out of the city to see the spectacle that was taking place on Mount Calvary?  By this point, likely just about everyone in the city knew something was up.  Palm Sunday’s welcome had not happened hidden in a corner, and neither had the trial before Pilate.  So would you have gone out to watch?  Or would you have done everything in your power to stay away?  Maybe the thought of such gore and violence nauseates you a bit, or maybe you would feel compelled to watch even though you aren’t really sure you want to, much as drivers on the freeway seem compelled to slow down and look at the scene of an accident. 



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Understanding Easter - April 16, 2017

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: Colossians 3:1-4

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Dear Friends in our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, The English poet William Wordsworth wrote a poem about a man who strikes up a conversation with an eight year old little girl.  When he asks her how many are in her family, she tells him that, including herself, there are a total of seven brothers and sisters.



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The Lasting Love of Jesus - April 13, 2017

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon text: John 13:1-15, 34

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The time was right around sundown.  That doesn’t usually mean anything special according to our way of keeping time.  But for the Hebrew people, it meant a great deal.  It might seem odd to us, because we are so tied to our clocks and consider midnight to be the time that changes the date, but each new day on the Hebrew calendar began when the sun went down.  Why does this make any difference at all?  Well, it has to do with the way we think of the days of Holy Week compared to the way Jesus would have thought about Holy Week.  We call this day “Maundy Thursday,” named after the command given in the last verse of our gospel reading and sermon text.  We call tomorrow “Good Friday,” and we remember it well as the day Jesus died on the cross to take away the sin of the world.  But for Jesus, these events all took place on the same day; it all happened between one sundown and the next.  So this particular sundown was especially significant for Jesus. 



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Glory from Humility - April 9, 2017

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: Matthew 21:1-11

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I wonder what the Roman soldiers stationed in Jerusalem thought of Palm Sunday.  Maybe their first notice was when they heard the commotion and wondered if they were going to have to put down another insurrection from among those odd Jewish people that Caesar had asked them to keep in line.  And then they heard the cries of “Hosanna” and “blessed is he.”  One of their Rabbis was coming into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey and the people were waving branches and shouting, pretending that he was a king.  It seemed harmless enough.  Perhaps some mocked the folly of these people with such limited perspective.  Didn’t they know what a king’s welcome really looked like?  Perhaps some of the Romans had seen the spectacle of a Triumph parade, thrown in honor of a Roman general and his army as they returned victorious.  In comparison to this guy on a donkey?  Not even worth comparing.  Glorious entry into Jerusalem?  Maybe to these Jews with the limited perspective from their little corner of the world, but likely not much more than that. 



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Repent! Turn to Jesus - and Not to Yourself! - April 5, 2017

Pastor Knickelbein

Sermon text: Luke 18:9-14

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To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'



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Every Miracle Is a Declaration - April 2, 2017

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: John 11:17-27, 38-45

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Dear Friends in Christ, It’s probably fair to say that both inside and outside the Christian church, the activity that most people associate with Jesus Christ, even more than his teachings, are his miracles.  And for good reason.  The Bible records a lot of them for us (roughly 40).  The Bible also tells us Jesus performed many more miracles that are not recorded. 



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Repent! Turn to Jesus - He Holds the Key to Heaven - March 29, 2017

Pastor Leyrer

Sermon text: Luke 23:35-43

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Dear Friends in Christ, Things are not always as they seem.  Appearances can be deceiving.  You can’t judge a book by its cover. We’ve all heard such phrases.  We all know what they mean.  They warn us not to make judgments exclusively on the basis of what something looks like. Those phrases are never more true than where we find ourselves tonight as we continue our Lenten meditations.  Picture the scene. 



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Greatness Through Service - March 26, 2017

Pastor Schroeder

Sermon text: Matthew 20:17-28

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“How are you?”  It’s a question we ask and a question others ask us.  “How are you?”  Even though it is a chance to share how we are really, truly feeling at that very moment, far too often we respond with a far-too-brief answer.  Without even thinking about it, we say “I’m good”—or “I’m well,” depending on our preference for grammar and usage.  We say, “I’m fine” or “I’m OK,” and if the other person hasn’t already walked away, we might turn it back around and ask “How about you?”  And then most often we receive a response like our own and move on to other small talk, after what could have been the single most personal and meaningful conversation we had all day.



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Jesus Helps Us See Clearly - March 19, 2017

Pastor Phil Huebner, Wisconsin Lutheran High School

Sermon text: John 9:1-7,13-17,34-39

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Forcefully and deliberately you blink your eyes. It doesn’t help. That foggy haze won’t seem to go away. No matter how furrowed the brow, no matter how squinted the eyes, you can't seem to focus. You can’t find your way. Stumbling in a stupor of confusion, you feel so lost.



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Jesus Approaches: In Spirit and Truth - March 12, 2017

Pastor Bitter

Sermon text: John 4:5-26

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It’s hard to be outside.  Not outside of a building, but outside of a group.  Sadly, it’s something we all experience from time to time.  Maybe it was because of malice, at the hands of a bully in school who seemed to do everything in his power to make sure you were excluded from the group.  Maybe it was circumstantial, and you found yourself in a group where everyone else is from a different culture than yours.  They’re nice enough, but it can be uncomfortable.  Or perhaps you go on social media and you see all the wonderful things everyone else is doing…and your life doesn’t quite seem to measure up.  Or maybe it’s religious when you realize that as a Christian, you are an outsider from the common narrative in society on many issues.  Whatever the case might be, it’s not a particularly pleasant feeling. 



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