170507 1 Samuel 17:34-37

Text: 1 Samuel 17:34-37
Theme: The Lord Is My Shepherd

My father sent me to the battlefront to get a report from my brothers. I came home with a war story that is still being told today. I went to the front lines carrying provisions for the armies of Israel. I came home with the head of a giant in my hands. At the beginning of that day I was an unknown shepherd boy. By the time the sun had set I was a national hero and the clear choice to be my people's next king.

Many of you are familiar with the events of my life, and no event is more famous than my battle with Goliath. It was a high point for me. It was a turning point for my people. And it will be the starting point as I speak to you on this Good Shepherd Sunday.

My name is David, and years after these events took place I wrote a psalm, the same psalm you sang earlier today. There were many times in my life when I found comfort in the opening words of Psalm 23, and those words were running through my mind as I prepared to face the Philistine.

When I looked up at Goliath I thought about what it took to be a shepherd. I thought about how much it meant to have a shepherd. And that was enough. I didn't need a sword or shield to protect myself. I didn't need months of military training to prepare for this battle. The only thing I needed to remember when I faced this giant, the only thing I needed to remember when I faced any challenge in my life, the only thing you need to remember when you face huge challenges in your own life is this...


Read more: 170507 1 Samuel 17:34-37

170430 Acts 2:14a, 36-47

Text: Acts 2:14a, 36-47
Theme: The Lord Builds His Church

April 2, 2008. You might not be able to remember the significance of that date, but what happened on that day is something our community will never forget. On an early spring afternoon a gas main ruptured by road construction caused an explosion that destroyed a church just a few blocks away. Pictures of the scene after the blast revealed that all that was left of the nearly century old structure was the bell tower.

Reporters rushed to the scene, and the tragedy was the lead story on every channel that evening. The pastor and a number of parishioners were interviewed. Some were visibly shaken. Some expressed thanks that no one was killed. One member even talked about rebuilding. At the very end of the story one of the newsroom reporters said something significant. He made the comment that in the midst of tragedy there was still hope because the church isn't about a building. The church is about people.

The early Christians understood that. They didn't have a place to call their own. They met in the temple courts. They met in each others' homes. But it didn't matter. It didn't matter to them because they understood that the church wasn't about the building. It's about people.

Luke introduces us to some of those people today. When the sun came up on the day of Pentecost the believers numbered about a hundred and twenty (Acts 1:15), but at the end of the day the church had grown by 3,000! As impressive as the numerical growth was, it was matched by the spiritual growth of the members.

How did this happen? Who or what was responsible for this exponential growth? It wasn't a fool proof program. It wasn't a dynamic speaker (although Peter could preach with the best of them). It was God. It was the Lord working through the water and the Word. And as we examine how the Lord blessed the early church we will see that he works through the same means to build his church today...


I. He gives people the faith to believe
II. He gives people the desire to serve

Read more: 170430 Acts 2:14a, 36-47

170423 John 20:19-31

Text: John 20:19-31
Theme: Peace Be With You!

Two weeks ago, as we celebrated Palm Sunday, we talked about the peace that Jesus alone is able to offer because he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Last Sunday, as Pastor Pagels shared with us the sermon of the angel on that first Easter, we heard the message of peace: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." Today, our living Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, comes to each one of us and says: "PEACE BE WITH YOU!" From our look into God's Word today we will see that THIS PEACE IS OFFERED TO US BY OUR RISEN LORD and that THIS PEACE MOTIVATES US TO DO THE RISEN LORD'S WORK.

Read more: 170423 John 20:19-31

170416 Matthew 28:1-10

Text: Matthew 28:1-10
Theme: The Greatest Sermon Ever Written

What do Joe Namath, President George Bush the elder and I have in common? Besides the fact that we are all males, besides the fact that we have all played sports, each one of us has made bold predictions about the future.

Three days before the 1969 Super Bowl, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath appeared before the Miami Touchdown Club. He tossed a few footballs into the audience, made a few jokes and then announced: "The Jets will win on Sunday, I guarantee it."

Such a pronouncement was almost without precedent in American sports, especially because the Jets were 23 point underdogs. But as they say, that's why they play the game, and in one of the greatest upsets in football history Joe Namath's Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts 16-7 to win Super Bowl III.

During the 1988 presidential campaign, George Bush promised that, if elected, he would not support a tax increase. Some of you may even remember his now infamous pledge: "Read My Lips. No New Taxes." Bush won the election, but he later accepted tax increases to push a deficit-cutting budget deal through Congress, at the time controlled by the Democrats. This change in policy was used against him in his re-election bid, and some believe it was the reason he lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.

There is a chance you did a double take when you looked at the service folder or up on the screen and saw the sermon theme for today. I will admit that it is a pretty bold claim, but I stand by it. Just like Joe Namath, I guarantee that my prediction will come true. But unlike George Bush, I promise that I will not go back on my word. Not because I've been working on this sermon for weeks and weeks. Not because I think a little too much of myself either. I stand by this statement because the sermon I am referring to didn't originate with me.

When the women approached the tomb on Easter morning and saw that it had already been opened, they were confused. "What happened to Jesus? Where did he go? Who took him?" And so God sent an angel to explain what had happened: "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said" (6).

That declaration, spoken by the angel and recorded by Matthew, was the first ever public proclamation of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. And as such it rightfully deserves to be called...


Read more: 170416 Matthew 28:1-10

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.


Worship Schedule

8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

Television Broadcast
Thursday at Noon & 7:00 P.M.
Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985


St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066




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