Sermons on “Matthew”

The Heartache of Jesus

When Mark asked if I would consider preaching my first weekend serving as your intern I said “Yes!” but was in all honesty a bit intimidated. As a member of this congregation for just over a year, I do know a bit more about this community than some, perhaps. Yet to speak to you right out of the gate?! Thankfully Mark encouraged me to choose a text and to preach on something meaningful to me. So that is what I’ll try to do this morning.

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Where the Heart Is

Grace and peace to you from God our Creator and our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you have been in and out the last few weeks, we are on week 4 of our seven week sermon series on the elements of worship.  So far, we’ve covered communion, the sermon, and last week, we talked about music – why we bother singing hymns and listening to the organ.  Today, we are tackling something different, something that might be uncomfortable for some to consider – and that is the offering. 

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Stepping Into the Arena of Faith

Over the past few years, I have seen a rise in articles and blog posts about something called imposter syndrome. It is a term that was coined by two psychologists in the 1970s[1], and is defined as “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true.”[2] In other words, it’s when a person feels like a fraud, when they doubt their capabilities, when they doubt themselves.

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Left Behind

I have already been told several times this past week that people are excited to hear a sermon about the rapture. I can honestly say that it’s the first time in my experience as a preacher that someone has actually told me in advance that they’re excited to hear a sermon. But that level of interest and anticipation points to the curiosity and concern about the very subject we’re talking about today: the rapture.

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So What Now?

It has been a week. Seven days since our celebration of the glorious resurrection on Easter morning. We have worked through the left over ham. The eggs have been found, some probably broken or lost. Your Easter best has returned to the closet. The relatives have gone home, or you yourself have come back from vacation. School is back in full swing. And if you are good at pacing, you are still working through some Easter candy. So now what?

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God Chose Life

The Resurrection. This event is the pinnacle of the Christian faith. What we proclaim, confess and celebrate every single Sunday morning in worship. This moment which transcends all earthly explanation is what brings us here this Easter morning. We gather to celebrate the risen Lord. But what does that all mean? Why is this such a big deal, what statement does one person’s return to life really mean in the whole scheme of things? In our modern context with thousands of philosophies and answers, what makes the Resurrection of Jesus worth proclaiming, what are we really saying when we declare Christ risen?

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An Unpredictable Easter

Dear friends in Christ, grace and peace. Amen

If someone asks you tomorrow; how was your Easter? What will you say, how will you respond?

Will you give predictable answers?

The music was great and the sermon too long.

The church was full of people and the lilies were beautiful.

Children were all dressed up and I even saw a couple of Easter bonnets.

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Disruptive Faith

Faith is expensive. I’m not talking about the cost of sending your kid to Bible camp, or the additional grocery bill you will rack up with your generous Minnesota Foodshare Month donation, or the extra gas you burn driving into church once – or even twice! – a week. The cost of faith is not a monetary one. Faith is expensive because of the way it changes and disrupts your life. Faith breaks you down and messes you up, making you unable to do things the way everyone else does them or the way even you used to do them. And not just once, but every day.

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Sheep, Shawls and the Least of These

Dear friends in Christ, grace and peace. Amen

[HOLD UP PRAYER SHAWL]

May God’s grace be upon this shawl…

warming, comforting, enfolding and embracing.

May this mantle be a safe haven…

A sacred place of security and well-being…[PUT ON PRAYER SHAWL]

Sustaining and embracing in good times as well as difficult ones.

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The One About Judgment…

May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Amen

How I was going to come at this parable has changed probably 5 different times throughout the past couple weeks. But than last week we heard about how a man was thrown out of the banquet hall and condemned to outer darkness because he was not wearing a wedding robe. We also heard from the gospel of Luke this Wednesday about a narrow door that possibly only a few will enter. Since our text today seems to carry the same types of metaphors and harsh judgment, I feel the topic cannot be skirted much longer. So why not… Let’s talk about judgment. More importantly how do we as Christians respond to images of a God of judgment.

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