150816 1 Kings 19:3-8

Text: 1 Kings 19:3-8
Theme: Elijah's Journey Is A Lot Like Mine

Elijah. You could make a strong case that the prophet of God belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Old Testament heroes of faith alongside the likes of Abraham and David and Moses. Elijah visited a starving widow in Zarephath and promised that her cooking oil would not run out as long as there was a drought in the land. And it didn't. And when that widow's son got sick and died Elijah stretched his body over the boy's lifeless body and brought him back to life.

Elijah was the prophet who stood alone against hundreds of pagan prophets in the showdown between Baal and the Lord on Mount Carmel. Do you remember the details of that account? Both parties built altars and sacrificed bulls and prayed for their god to send down fire to burn up their offerings. The prophets of Baal wailed and cried and even cut themselves, but no matter what they did they couldn't create a single spark. When it was Elijah's turn, he soaked his offering with water, lots of water, and then he prayed. God heard Elijah's prayer and sent down fire from heaven that burned up his offering and the wood and the stone altar and all the water around it.

These and other accounts demonstrate that Elijah was a towering figure in Old Testament history, but he also figured prominently in the New Testament. When Jesus asked his disciples what the people were saying about him, they reported that some were convinced he was the second coming of Elijah (Mathew 16:14). When Jesus spoke from the cross some people misunderstood what he was saying and thought he was calling out to Elijah (Mark 15:35). At his transfiguration, when Jesus gave his disciples a glimpse of his glory, he appeared with Moses and Elijah. And tucked into the last chapter of James we find the last reference to Elijah in the Bible, where James makes the claim that "Elijah was a man just like us" (5:17).

Really? Do you buy that? How much do you and I really have in common with a man who communed with Jesus and called down fire from heaven and raised the dead? Maybe more than you think. In today's text in 1 Kings 19 Elijah is on the move. He is in trouble. He is in danger, and he is in desperate need of help. And as we examine the circumstances surrounding this unplanned trip I pray that each of us will find that...


I. Going my own way leads to a hopeless end
II. Trusting in God's guidance leads to an endless hope

Read more: 150816 1 Kings 19:3-8

150809 John 6:24-35

Sermon Text: John 6:24 – 35

Sermon Theme: Are You Hungry?

In his sermon message for us last weekend, Pastor Schneider reminded us that Jesus Christ is so much more than just a Bread King. While caring for you and me, our loving Savior-God does make sure that all of our physical needs are taken care of. But in his great love for you and me, our Savior-God has freely provided for our greatest needs, our spiritual needs of forgiveness and eternal life, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus is so much more than just a Bread King!

Read more: 150809 John 6:24-35

150726 Mark 6:30-34

Text: Mark 6:30-34
Theme: A Good Time To Get Some Rest

What a week! It was the kind of week that makes you forget about the cold and wind and ice and snow that we expect to experience in another month that starts with "J" in Wisconsin. On Channel 4 meteorologist Brian Gotter usually makes a prediction for his "pick day" of the week, but this past week it would have been difficult to pick just one day because every day was beautiful.

Because July is usually warm and sunny, this is also the time when lots of people schedule summer vacations. That is why Pastor Schmidt isn't here this morning. He is at a family reunion in Minnesota. Maybe you were fortunate enough to have this past week off so you could get outside and enjoy the nice weather. But even if you weren't, even if you had to work, even if you were stuck behind a desk, the good news is that the forecast looks almost as good for the week that begins today.

Having time to enjoy God's creation is a blessing. Taking time away from our busy schedules is important too. Studies show that vacations make people happier and more productive, and they might even prolong your life. And so if you are one of those people who leaves vacation days unused, if you feel guilty about taking time off, don't! And if you don't want to listen to me, listen to Jesus.

The Lord understood the importance of work, and his work was the most important work on earth, but he also recognized the benefits of rest, for himself and for his followers. He wants people to get the rest we need for our bodies. He wants us to get the spiritual rest we need for our souls. And he doesn't want us to wait. He wants us to start now because today is...


Read more: 150726 Mark 6:30-34

150712 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5

Text: 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5
Theme: Two Promises From Paul For Preachers Of The Word

This is about the time of year when the church year might get a little old. During the first half of the year, called the festival half of the church year, we move rapidly from Advent to Christmas to Epiphany to Lent to Easter to Ascension and Pentecost. But now we are in the non-festival half of the church year. The seasons don't change. The colors don't change. And for about five months or so every Sunday is simply called the so-and-so Sunday after Pentecost.

The seventh Sunday after Pentecost may not sound all that special, but the focus of our worship today fits together perfectly with a very special event at St. Matthew's. I am not an expert on the history of the congregation, but I wonder if there has ever been a day like today at St. Matthew's. This morning we will recognize three members who have completed their training and have received calls into the full-time public ministry.

Aleah Dovnik will be a preschool teacher in North Mankato, Minnesota. Emilee Koltz will be a tutor at Luther Prep just down the road in Watertown. And Jacob Ziel will be an instructor and dormitory supervisor at Nebraska Lutheran High School in Waco, Nebraska. These young Christians are eager and excited, and maybe just a little bit nervous. And they have quite a bit in common with another young called worker by the name of Timothy.

The apostle Paul wrote 2 Timothy to his young friend and co-worker as his own ministry and his own life were coming to an end. Paul wanted Timothy to carry on this important work. Paul wanted to encourage Timothy to remain faithful to his calling. And so he dedicated his last letter to the man he affectionately referred to as "my dear son" (1:2).

These inspired words were originally addressed to a young pastor, but they also apply to you. In a general way these words were written for all of us because God has called each of us to proclaim his Word. And as we take up this important task, as we carry out this soul saving work, we don't go alone. We go with God's promise, actually two promises...


I. You will face great challenges
II. You will receive the greatest reward

Read more: 150712 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5

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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 or on-line


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




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