171123 Colossians 3:15-17

Text: Colossians 3:15-17
Theme: Be Thankful!

There are a number of indelible images that we almost automatically associate with the Thanksgiving holiday: Pilgrims with their bonnets and black hats and buckles sitting down with Native Americans for a feast; a plump, juicy turkey cooked to a perfect golden brown; and for some families a decoration at the center of the Thanksgiving dinner table, a large, overflowing cornucopia.

If you aren't 100% sure what a cornucopia looks like, there is a clip art image of one on page five of the service folder. "Cornucopia" literally means "horn of plenty," and that is a pretty good definition of what a cornucopia is. It is a large basket filled with the bounty of the year's harvest, with fruits and vegetables and grains.

Today's sermon text could be called a cornucopia too, a cornucopia of divine commands. In the span of six short verses Paul encourages us to clothe ourselves with all kinds of Christian virtues, to bear with each other, to forgive one another, to put on love and put love before everything else, to let Christ's peace rule in our hearts and let Christ's Word dwell in us richly, to do everything we do in the name of our Savior.

Tucked away in the middle of all these imperatives is one more. It is so short and so simple that it would be easy to skip right over it. But not today, not on the day we celebrate our national day of Thanksgiving. These two little words remind us why we are here today, why we sing God's praises today, and what our Lord calls us to do every day...

BE THANKFUL!

I. For everything you have
II. In everything you do

Read more: 171123 Colossians 3:15-17

171119 Ezekiel 34:11-16; 23-24

Text: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24
Theme: The Shepherd King will Look After His Sheep

This weekend, in our schedule of worship services that we are using here at St. Matthew's, we are bringing another Church Year to a close. As we conclude another Church year, it is good for us to be here in God's house, gathered together around his Word. It is good for us to be here in God's house, singing his praises. As we spend time together in our Lord's Word today, we hear the comforting and assuring message that only comes from the Word of our God. For it is only in the Word of our God that we read that Jesus, our one and only Savior, is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. It is only in the Word of God, and specifically here in Ezekiel chapter 34, that we hear the promise that Jesus Christ, the Shepherd-King, will look after his sheep. He will reign over them. He will rescue them. I invite you to listen now to the Old Testament Lesson appointed for this "Christ the King Sunday", taken from Ezekiel chapter 34, we begin reading at verse 11:

"'For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice...I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.'"

Read more: 171119 Ezekiel 34:11-16; 23-24

171112 Matthew 25:1-13

Text: Matthew 25:1-13
Theme: What It Takes To Become A Triumphant Saint

What a difference a week makes! The focus of our worship last Sunday was the Last Judgment, a day that could be described as the most sobering Sunday of the Church Year. The dominant color of the day was red. We usually associate red with the Holy Spirit, but last Sunday red was also a visual reminder of the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons (Matthew 25:41).

Today is drastically different. The mood is different. The music is different. And you probably noticed that the color is different too. White is symbolic of holiness and purity. White reminds us that even though our sins are like scarlet they shall be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). White represents the white robes worn by the righteous in the book of Revelation (7:9).

And on this Saints Triumphant Sunday white reminds us of our loved ones who have finished their lives in faith and now rest from their labors. They are the ones who are wearing white robes. They are worshiping with the angels. Even now they are basking in the glow of eternal glory.

It's an amazing picture, isn't it? It is a picture of perfection. In fact, there is only one thing that could possibly make that picture better, and that would be if you and I were in it. If it sounds too good to be true, it's not. It's not just wishful thinking. A heavenly reunion is possible, and in the parable of the ten virgins Jesus tells us how to make this possibility a reality. Listen and learn from our Savior as he explains...

WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME A TRIUMPHANT SAINT

Read more: 171112 Matthew 25:1-13

171105 Daniel 7:9-10

Text: Daniel 7:9 – 10
Theme: Are You Ready to Stand in the Lord's Courtroom?

Once again we have reached those Sundays in the Calendar of the Christian Church know as "The End Times Sundays". During this time, our readings from God's Word remind us that a day is coming when the Judge of all mankind, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ will come again in all his glory. For centuries human beings have tried to predict the exact moment the Savior will come again. But, as we read in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the Savior's return will happen "in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." And in 2 Peter chapter 3 we are told that "the day of the Lord will come like a thief."

In today's Gospel Lesson, we read that when Jesus comes again, all will stand before him to be judged. So the question for each one of us to ask ourselves on this "Last Judgment Sunday" is: "Are you ready for that day?" Are you ready for your Judge to come? Are you ready to stand in the Lord's courtroom? Listen now as I read again the First Lesson assigned for our worship this weekend. It is taken from Daniel chapter 7 where we read verses 9 – 10:

9 As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.

10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

Read more: 171105 Daniel 7:9-10

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

Sunday
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
262-912-6060

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