Sermons

Jesus is the Way!

Only after Easter were the disciples able to understand Jesus’ words. Now they knew that He was and is God in the flesh, our way to the Father. So sure were they, that Stephen could echo Jesus’ last words as he faced death. Peter, in the Epistle, was able to review prophetic words of Scripture that they now knew spoke of Jesus. Today it is our turn to proclaim Jesus as the way, truth, and life, so that our friends will also know who He is and join us to live in His marvelous light.

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The Gate

Thanks to the grace of God working faith in our hearts, we are able to hear the voice of Jesus, our Shepherd. What that would mean, were we to block out competing voices around us, is described in Acts—the members of the Early Church were active in teaching, fellowship, communion, prayers, and works of charity. Their actions spoke volumes, and many others “heard” Christ through them. We all stray, of course, as did the people to whom Peter wrote in today’s Epistle. But in His grace, God calls us back to return to “the Shepherd and Overseer” of our souls. We gather again to hear His voice today.

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Our Walk to Emmaus

It took the resurrection to reveal God’s eternal plans to save the fallen human race. Who among the people of Jerusalem knew that “this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36) would be Lord and Christ? Who knew that it would take His blood to pay for our sins—as Peter reveals in the Epistle. And how could the disciples on the road to Emmaus understand that their guest was Jesus, risen from the dead, until He revealed Himself in the breaking of the bread? We would also be clueless were it not for the grace of God in revealing His plan of salvation to us and working faith in our hearts to believe it. To Him be the glory forever!

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Open and Closed Doors

On Easter evening and again the following Sunday, because the disciples saw Jesus alive, they knew the resurrection was real, and they believed in Him. They were then able to witness to their faith in spite of opposition and persecution from the Jewish council. Though grieved by various traits, it was the “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3) that enabled the Early Church to rejoice. The reality of the resurrection becomes evident to people around us as we live out our faith, confessing Jesus as Lord and offering peace and forgiveness in His name. As they come to faith, they join us and “have life in His name” (John 20:31).

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It’s Not About the Nail

What a great celebration in observing our Lord’s resurrection yesterday! On Easter Sunday, Pastor Ball tells us, “We live in the full power of God, our God who is alive and who calls us to follow Him. Knowing this, we see this world as being redeemed before our eyes, as being healed even in the middle of pain and brokenness. Believing this, we live boldly, knowing that God’s love for us is stronger than any other force in this world, because our God is the God who has overcome the world.” Praise God!

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Both Love and Serve

Maundy Thursday is the beginning of the Three Days – the ancient observance of the mystery of our salvation, which plunges the faithful into the death of Jesus and brings them with him to resurrection life. The Three Days begin with one liturgy extending from Thursday evening through the Easter Vigil.

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Surely, Not I?

This weekend’s liturgy began with a palm procession, commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Quickly the tone of the service changed as we meditated upon Jesus’ passion and death. Because this story is so central to our faith, we hear Matthew’s account of the passion this weekend and John’s version on Good Friday. Though Jesus is obedient even unto death on the cross, he is exalted by God. We gather to remember his offering for the life of the world, and to be fed by his life-giving mercy. This Holy Week will culminate in the celebration of the Three Days of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection.

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Do You Believe This?

This weekend’s Gospel was based on John 11:1-45 where John tells us about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Pastor Kay states that “We believe in Jesus with or without the miracles. We believe in Jesus even if this story about Lazarus was never told to us. We believe in Jesus even though we have no proof he rose from the dead. We believe in Jesus because he is our Lord, our God and our Savior.” Praise God!

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Known But Not New

“Often we come to Church for the same reason as the woman at the well. We’re seeking a little refreshment. A moment of quiet reflection. Time to be away from the rest of the world. That’s available to us here at St. Paul, but while you have come for just a sip, realize that God intends to quench your thirst for a lifetime. Because today, He offers you Living water. A washing clean of the sins of the past. An implanting of the Holy Spirit.” Praise God!

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