August 16, 2022
Judges 6:25-31; Acts 12:1-17; Mark 6:1-6
How will people respond when we speak the truth of the Holy Bible? Will they argue? Will they laugh at you? Will they be offended? Will they put others against you? Or will they do the unexpected? How does your fear affect God’s activity?
August 9, 2022
Judges 6:11-27; Galatians 1:11-24; John 7:1-13, 25-31
When people choose their champions or leaders we have a few categories we naturally look for. Are they strong, courageous, confident, and powerful? God chooses His champions and leaders by different metrics. God chooses people that surprise us, a senior citizen with a warrant for murder like Moses; the chief persecutor of the church like Paul; the least son of the smallest family of the least clan in all Israel like Gideon. As we meet God’s chosen champion we will explore what God looks for and discover it is a whole lot more like you and me that we might be comfortable with.
August 1, 2022
Judges 6:1-10; Philippians 1:12-17; Luke 11:29-35
The story of Gideon begins in difficult times. The people have stopped following God and started following the ways of the nations around them. God, in His anger, sets His hand against them to discipline them with seven years of suffering at the hands of their enemies in Midian. It is in the midst of this suffering that we encounter a vision of the heart of God for His people. God will raise up a champion, albeit an unexpected one, and save them in a way that will clearly show both His power and His love. Through these events we will see how this is a smaller version of the story of how God rescued the whole world through another unexpected warrior a few centuries later. Today, we set the scene for Gideon’s story, and see that his times might not be so different than ours today.
July 27, 2022
One of the greatest ways to have joy is to bring joy to others. How do we help others find Christ in the midst of struggles? How do we be a light of the peace, grace and joy of Jesus?
July 21, 2022
Habakkuk 3:13-19; Philippians 2:1-10; John 16:16-24
Joy. Joy. Joy. We talk about it all the time, and sometimes we miss being full of joy. Sometimes it is hard to be joyful. Sometimes we do the same things that used to make us joyful and they don't have the same impact. How do we reclaim the joy in our hearts?
July 11, 2022
Isaiah 9:2-7; Philippians 2:1-11; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
When Jesus sent out His followers to proclaim the Word of His kingdom to all who would listen, He assured them: "The one who hears you hears Me" (Luke 10:16). Those who responded in faith knew that the kingdom of God had come near to them and their joy increased knowing they were truly members of the household of God. Although this sending of the 70 took place some 2,000 years ago, the same reality is ours today! Jesus continues to send out His workers in order that they may preach His Word, preside over His Meal, and welcome into the household of God all who trust in Him. We are listening to Jesus Himself as His kingdom comes near to us. What peace and joy can be ours when we trust that heaven's grace is ours to receive!
July 5, 2022
Genesis 18:10-15, 21:1-7; 1 Peter 1:3-12; John 15:9-17
One of the marks of the people of God is that they live with joy. Joy may or may not be found in our circumstances at any given moment, but because of the great love God has demonstrated for us through His Son, Jesus, we are filled with an inexpressible joy knowing that His promises are sure and our future in His kingdom is secure. Because of who we are in Christ, we can find joy in the most difficult of circumstances.
June 28, 2022
Genesis 4:1-15; 2 Timothy 4:1-18; Luke 18:9-17
“How can you be so sure?” That is the question we may find ourselves asking when we read the confidence expressed by Paul in today’s Epistle: “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8); “The Lord stood by me and strengthened me. . . . I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. . . . The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:17–18a). “Paul, how can you be so sure?” Today’s service will help us to see that Paul’s certainty was not based upon his strength of faith or his works of ministry; no, it was based solely on God’s faithfulness to him in Jesus Christ, the Crucified! Through His Word and Spirit, God provides such confidence and certainty to us also as we gather in His presence and are received by Him as members of His heavenly kingdom. “To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18b).
June 23, 2022
Genesis 8:5-8; 2 Timothy 3; Luke 6:43-49
As we continue to go through the book of 2 Timothy, Paul clarifies what it means to be Christian. Those who follow Jesus are different from the world. People who are not filled with anger, selfishness and greed, but instead those who live the life that Jesus modeled and calls us to do.
June 15, 2022
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; 2 Timothy 2:1-6; John 8:48-59
In the beginning, following the crown of creation formed in Adam, the Lord said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). By the Lord’s continued creative work in making Eve, Adam would not be alone nor would humanity that followed even into a broken and sinful world. Yet even before the creation of the world and mankind, God Himself was not alone. In His eternal triune nature, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are and always have been. With thanksgiving, even as we come before Him today not alone but together, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit also join us together as one. Our Lord, Three in One, One in Three, comes to us through Word and Sacrament to unite us in faith given, promises fulfilled, and forgiveness assured.