Sermons by “Pastor Kay”

First Sunday of Christmas – “Making It Safe”

“May God be good to us, bless our children, instill wisdom in parents, reside in our homes, watch over us all in the coming year. We thank him for having done the same for us in 2018. The Lord be with us, bless this assembly, watch over all the children, give children loving families and homes, make of this congregation an extended family and neighborhood. And as we watch our children grow up so quickly, may their stature and wisdom keep pace with their growing bodies. May we all be found in human and divine favor.”

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Hurry Up and Wait!

While the secular calendar won’t switch to 2019 for another month, the Church Year begins anew today. Advent is a season of waiting and preparation. One Advent tradition is to mark the four Sundays in Advent with four words that encompass what Jesus brings as He comes into the world to be our Immanuel – God with us. These four words are hope, peace, joy, and love. Today we focus on hope. There is a lot of suffering in the world, but hope exists in Christ’s incarnation, death, resurrection, and return.

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Kingdom Builders

Pastor Kay’s message over the weekend was based on John 18:33-37 where Pilate asks Jesus if he is the King of the Jews. As we celebrate Christ the King Sunday, “We give our praise to our God who makes us a kingdom, priests, princes, princesses, royal people and nations, clothed in his eternal mercy and righteousness, to serve in the kingdoms of this world that his rule would reign now and forever. Let there be no doubt who and what influences us, and may we together be the kingdom where each of us and those not yet here will be welcomed and received the same. The Lord be with you!”

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Thanksgiving Day – We Gather Together

“This is really a national holiday determined by leaders of our country, Abraham Lincoln, I believe. It is a day designated to give thanks, although there may be more and more signs pointing to a time of celebrating, and the kickoff for the Christmas madness. We dare not forget, though, that we are grateful people every day, and that our celebrating reveals our receiving of the gifts from heaven that enrich this life now. Those gifts are the wonderful and delightful foods and drinks we enjoy. The gifts are certainly the people who surround us and gather with us. And the gift most assuredly is our God who came into this world to join with us in enjoying life here and promising it will be even greater one day. O give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His mercy endures forever!”

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As the Church Year is approaching its close, we turn our focus to the last things. Pastor Kay tells us, “If there are signs of the end with us, then what a picture can be painted of Christ’s Church embracing the people of the world in His arms of mercy. As God promises, Paradise will be ours one day! And for the people of Paradise, CA now, let’s pray they persevere with faith, and never lose hope. May the gifts of others help reinforce that faith and hope. May our love for Christ be the strength of faith and hope for others, as well as for each of us. There is no fear in love. We shall not fear the end of time. We will persevere with hope.”

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This weekend as we gather to listen to God’s Word and receive His gifts of grace, we are drawn close to the Redeemer, who has given His life in exchange for ours. Only in our relationship with Christ will we ever be made complete – members of His eternal kingdom, sons and daughters of our King. Once we see how our true identity is found in Jesus, we can better understand our unique roles in the relationships with one another that He has given to us.

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Cut It Off/Out!

“And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” Do you actually look forward to the Last Day? There are many things or events to which we look forward with anticipation. We may even say, “I can’t wait!” for the day of graduation from high school or college; the wedding day; the first day on a new job. Yet we don’t say that when anticipating major surgery or the dentist or the loss of a loved one. Today Jesus has us look forward to a reward laid up for us on that day. James chimes in, saying whatever your circumstances, the Christian faith enables us to live with the hope and light of our promised deliverance. Praise God!

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Listen To Yourself

Three weeks ago we heard John’s gospel’s version of Peter’s confession of faith. This week we hear Mark’s version, when Peter says, “You are the Messiah.” In John, the stumbling block in Jesus’ invitation to eat his flesh, given for the life of the world. In Mark too the scandal has to do with Jesus’ words about his own coming death, and here Peter himself stumbles over Jesus’ words. But Jesus is anointed (the meaning of “Messiah”) in Mark only on the way to the cross (14:3); so we are anointed in Baptism with the sign of the cross.

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Follow the Rules

Fellow Christians –

It has been said, “The Church is never more than one generation away from extinction.” This bold statement perhaps finds support in the admonition found in today’s Old Testament Reading. There Moses writes this concerning the works of the Lord, “Make them known to your children and your children’s children (Deuteronomy 4:9). Each generation has the responsibility, and privilege, of passing on the works of God to the next generation.

While much of this teaching happens in the setting of a local congregation, the Christian instruction that happens in the home, in our own family, is key. This teaching is always centered in Jesus Christ, the one through whom our Lord has worked the mightiest work of all – our salvation. That same Savior promises that even the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church! Praise God!

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Never Stale

Pastor Kay’s message this weekend was based on John 6:51-58 where, in John’s gospel, the feeding of the five thousand leads to extended teaching in which Jesus identifies himself as the true “Bread of Life”. Finally, in these verses, he makes a connection that would not be understood until after his death, in light of the church’s celebration of Holy Communion.

Pastor states, “This gift of life at the holy table gives us the incentive to be servants of Christ who offer the same gift to others to receive it with us. And all of us together will never need to worry about an expiration date for this food. It never goes bad or needs to be thrown out. It is food that is everlasting and food that nourishes us for life eternal. Come and taste the love of Christ for you. Jesus speaks again to you and me today – “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Come to this table to eat and drink life everlasting. The Lord be with you.”

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