Hallowing the Name — March 17, 2019

March 18, 2019

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Jesus was praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.

I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Doormats for the Kingdom? — February 24, 2019

February 25, 2019

The Good News: Luke 6:27-38

Jesus said, “Here: I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

Behold What You Are, Become What You Receive — January 13 2019

January 14, 2019

Scripture for the day:

Isaiah 43:1-7

Thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, who formed you, O Israel:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
For you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your scattered children from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
I will say to the north, "Give back those you have taken away,"
and to the south, "Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away,
my daughters from the end of the earth,
every child that was taken from me--
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

 

Luke 3:1-17,21-22

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod Antipas was ruler of Galilee, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah while he was in the wilderness. He traveled through all the region around the Jordan River, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make God’s paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made level,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all people shall see the salvation of God.’”

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We are safe, for we have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God could raise up children of Abraham from these river stones. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And the crowds asked him, “Then what should we do?” He answered, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

The people’s hearts were full of expectation, wondering if John might be the Messiah. John answered all of them, saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him, in a physical form that looked like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

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Star Words — Sunday January 6, 2019

January 8, 2019

Scripture for the day is Matthew 2:1-23, the story of the magi's visit to Bethlehem and the massacre of the innocent children by King Herod.

Participants in the sermon were invited to draw a "star word" from a box.

You can support Grace Lutheran Church online at gracenempls.org/donate.

How the Grinch Learned the Magnificat

December 12, 2018

"How the Grinch Learned the Magnificat" by Pastor Emmy Kegler
Mary played by Casey Velcko; the Grinch by William Schar; Cindy Lou Who by Sheena Schar.

Full text of parody available at gracenempls.org/grinch-2018.

The Beginning of It All - Sunday, December 2, 2018

December 7, 2018

John 1:1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 

No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Treasuries & Turkeys — November 11, 2018

November 12, 2018

Mark 12:38-44

As Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “Beware the religious leaders, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplace, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the temple offering box, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper pennies. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

If You Had Been Here — November 4, 2018 (All Saints Sunday)

November 5, 2018

Scripture reading: John 11:1,3-7, 14-29, 32-44:

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

After this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again. Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jewish residents of Jerusalem had come to Martha and Mary to console them. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when Mary heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. She knelt at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the crowd said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Mercy — October 28, 2018 (after the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue)

October 29, 2018

Scripture reading: Mark 10:46-52

As they continued toward Jerusalem, Jesus and the disciples came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were passing through, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”

And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”

So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.”

Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.”

Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.