150118 John1:43

Text: John 1:43

Theme: Are You Going to Follow The Leader?

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."

This is the Word of the Lord.

Many of you know that I enjoy watching auto racing. If you have ever watched a race, maybe you have asked yourself, "Why doesn't that second place car just pass the leader. It looks like he could do it any time." There are advantages to following the leader in auto racing. The car ahead blocks the wind, and in doing so improves the gas mileage of the car in second place. The leader may show the driver in second place the best "line" to follow around the track. And it happens many times that the car in second place will be content to follow the leader for lap after lap, only to pass the leader in the final turn and beat him to the finish line. Today, God's Word talks to you and me about following our Leader, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, all the way to the finish line. As you go through this race called "Life", are you going to follow the leader?

Read more: 150118 John1:43

150111 Acts 16:25-34

Text: Acts 16:25-34
Theme: A Philippian Epiphany

It's not unusual for people to associate specific places with certain events. For example, the two numbers 9/11 remind many Americans of the tragic events that took place in New York City and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001. Or the word, "Lambeau," might make you think about a certain football game that will be played later today.

If that is the case, if people regularly associate specific places with certain events, where do your thoughts take you when I say the word, "Epiphany?" I wouldn't be surprised if your first thought was Bethlehem because Bethlehem was the place where the star led the Magi on their search for the Christ child.

The familiar account of the Wise Men was the gospel lesson and sermon text for last Sunday, and the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord was January 6, last Tuesday. But Epiphany is more than a one-time event that is observed on a single day of the year. According the church calendar Epiphany is a season that will last for another five weeks, and the sermon text for today (the first Sunday after Epiphany) takes us to a different place.

This morning we don't follow a star. We follow two men. We follow Paul and Silas to the province of Macedonia, to the city of Philippi. What the Lord did in this place through these missionaries gives us reason to rejoice. And so today our Epiphany celebration continues. Today we celebrate...

A Philippian Epiphany

I. God revealed his power to a group of prisoners
II. God revealed his grace to the man who guarded those prisoners

Read more: 150111 Acts 16:25-34

150104 Matthew 2:1-12

Text: Matthew 2:1 – 12
Theme: Are You Wise?

I want to begin today with a trivia question: What is the highest ranking free app in the Apple Store right now? It is a game called "Trivia Crack". In this game, you compete against friends in answering trivia question in several different categories. While I haven't played it yet, those that have tell me that it is a very addictive game to play. One of the reasons I haven't started playing "Trivia Crack" is because I have never been that good at playing trivia games. How about you? Are you a wise person? I am not asking if you are a "wise guy". But rather, are you someone who likes trivia and is able to answer a lot of questions on a lot of different subjects? For our sermon today, as we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord, we are going to take a closer look at the visit of the Wise Men who came to visit Jesus and his family. The question for each one of us to answer is: Are YOU wise?

Read more: 150104 Matthew 2:1-12

141228 Luke 2:25-40

William Chatterton Dix isn't exactly a household name, but you are probably familiar with some of his work. Dix was a businessman who lived in England in the 1800s, and his day job as a marine insurance manager allowed him to pursue his real passion when he wasn't working.

William Dix liked to write hymns, and he was pretty good at it. In fact, four of his hymns have made their way into our hymnal. We sang one of them on May 29. It was a Thursday, forty days after Easter, also known as the Festival of the Ascension of our Lord. Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (CW 169) is an Ascension hymn that comforts Christians with the knowledge that the Lord who has ascended into heaven is still watching over his people on earth.

We will likely be singing another one of Dix's hymns in the next week or two. As with Gladness Men of Old (CW 83) is sung during the Epiphany season, and the men of old are the Magi who followed the star to Bethlehem to worship the newborn King.

Dix's most famous hymn is a Christmas carol. I'm confident that you are all familiar with it...because we just sang it. Hymn 67 in Christian Worship begins with a question: What child is this? What is so special about this baby who was born 2,000 years ago, and why do millions of people around the world still celebrate his birth?

Simeon knew that answer to that question. Anna knew the answer to that question. Mary and Joseph knew the answer to that question. And by the grace of God so do we. And if anyone ever asks you to explain the meaning of Christmas, if anyone ever asks you who Jesus is, if you are ever asked...

What Kind Of Child Is This?

I. He is the long-expected Christ
II. He brings peace to the world

Read more: 141228 Luke 2:25-40

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  1. 141221 Romans 16:25-27

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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.

 

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