Sermons by “Pastor Kay”

Seating Arrangements

“Whenever we come together for the Lord’s Supper, we anticipate the eternal worship of heaven, which the Bible compares to a wedding feast. The Sacrament is a foretaste of the feast to come. God invited His people through the prophets. The description of that Meal includes seeing God face-to-face. In today’s Gospel, Jesus again extends the invitation through His parable, but He notes the varying responses it receives. Paul leads us to respond with rejoicing. Knowing that the eternal feast is ready, we may be content in all circumstances.”

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Bought the Farm

2017 marks two significant anniversaries: the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses and the 75th anniversary of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Confessing the faith has not gotten any easier since these two events occurred. In fact, it may be more difficult to speak and to live as Christians now – and the future may even more challenging. Yet God is faithful and has promised that His church will survive all the trials that the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh can throw at us. Building on God’s promises, we know that this is our time to be distinctly Lutheran.

Since 1942, the LWML has affirmed each woman’s identity as a child of God and her relationship with Jesus Christ, encouraged and equipped Christian women to live out their lives in active mission ministries, and supported missions around the world through their sacrificial gifts of mites, tithes, offerings, and tireless service. Now is our time to “Be Ready to Confess!” faithfully and boldly of Christ’s redemptive work for us and for all the world. Praise God!

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Generosity Isn’t Fair!

Our reward for being called to work in God’s kingdom does not change based on how long we have been in our Lord’s service. After all, we are saved by grace through faith, not by works. Isaiah’s call for the wicked and unrighteous to return to the Lord shows God’s immense compassion for all people, no matter when they return to Him. God’s ways are not our ways, yet we continue to work in His kingdom until He calls us when we die. Paul is struggled with a desire to depart and be with Christ and a desire to go on living and laboring for the Lord. Death and life content, but Paul knows life will win. He knows that Jesus will return, raise the dead, and dwell with them forever.

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Perpetual Mercy

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). It is of great comfort that almighty God treats us as His dear children. As the hymn says, although “He knows how frail our powers,” still “His grace remains forever” and “His rule is over all” (LSB 820:3-4). Yet while we rejoice in God’s tender mercy for us, today’s Readings remind us that God intends that same mercy for those around us, our family, our own children, and our brothers and sisters of the household of God. As John said, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). In other words, we who have received mercy are the very channels and messengers of that same mercy to others. We renounce disgraceful ways that allow sin to drag either ourselves or others down, and we bring God’s merciful forgiveness of sins to everyone.

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Dance Band on the Titanic

All of our prayer and praise is only our response to what God has said to us. Through the revealed Word of the Bible and the incarnate Word, Jesus, God has talked to us about sin and grace. Our talking back to Him, unfortunately, can be back talk, with all the negative connotations of that term. That’s fine when we deserve to hear the Law, as Job does in today’s Old Testament Reading. But when we have truly heard God’s gracious invitation, as Paul reminds us in the Epistle and Peter heard while in his boat, our talking back to God is humble thanks for His grace and mercy. We have the opportunity again today to hear Law and Gospel and to give God the faith-filled back talk He wants from His forgiven sons and daughters.

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What Was I Expecting?

“There are many expectations we have of the kingdom of heaven alive at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School. Some expectations never materialize. People aren’t always the way we expect them to be. That is a reality that gives us a goal to change, to grow, to transform. We shall build up our trust and faith in God while we increase our desires to care and love one another. We will believe that marvelous things can grow from something tiny, and that we will invest in that in which we find the treasures of faith.

God has a purpose for us. That purpose truly is being the living witness of Christ himself, being the certainty that God desires all things come together for the good of his people and creation. This good begins with each of us today. It matters not how many times we hear it from the pulpit, how fresh and new, surprising and delightful is God’s love. I’m hoping I will have been able to preach that good news at least 50,000 times. What I never expected was adding to the count at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Hilton!. I’m glad I can. The Lord be with you, and me.”

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Parole or Not?

With the whole creation we groan together in birthing pains, waiting for the redemption of all things. Things are not how they were intended to be. We are not home yet. This sad state of affairs is the result of people who are not God playing God. The devil is in on this, sowing weeds throughout the field of this world. But there is no God besides God the Holy Trinity, not in heaven above nor on earth below—not you, not me, not anyone. The real God has appointed that we and all humanity are saved in hope through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our true home is the kingdom of God introduced by Jesus. Along our journey home, even when we do not know what to pray, our hope is sustained by the intercessions of God the Holy Spirit, whose groanings on our behalf are deeper than words can tell.

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Johnny Appleseed Song

God’s vivifying Word cleaves the darkness of humanity’s sin and death, accomplishing the rescue mission on which He speaks it forth. Turned in upon ourselves, the ground of our hearts at different times in our lives is hard-packed, rock-infested, and thorn-choked until God’s merciful speaking creates fertile, receptive soil in which the vivifying Word of His Gospel finds purchase, takes root, and bears much fruit. Through the Spirit’s ministry of God’s Word and Sacraments, we receive the adoption as beloved sons and daughters crying out, “Abba! Father!” Praise God!

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Restless Souls (and Legs)

Are you tired? Are you burdened? Do you feel weary? Jesus says to you: “Come to Me . . . and I will give you rest.” As we come to Jesus in faith, He takes our burdens upon Himself and gives us rest for our souls. Yoked to Christ in our Baptism, our standing in the presence of God the Father is guaranteed because of Him. We gather together for worship today, knowing that as Jesus first comes to us with forgiveness and new life, we can then offer Him our prayers and praise. This is the Father’s gracious will. May He bless us as we gather before Him!

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Welcome to All in this Place

We live in a world where leadership is lifted up, yet we forget that leaders first learn to follow. Following is never easy, especially when the going gets tough. It can be hard enough to follow people we know, respect, and trust. It can be even harder to follow an unseen God who speaks to us through His eternal Word, strengthens us through bread and wine, and leads and guides us by His Spirit. Yet, that is our calling. In the midst of struggle, persecution, famine, joblessness, and conflict, we listen to the One we know, respect, and trust because He is our Creator, our Savior, and is always with us to the end of the age. Praise God!

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