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Sermons

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For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

October 2019


October 6, 2019  "A New Family" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2019


September 15, 2019  "Sight? Or Insight?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

August 2019


August 25, 2019  "Seeing as God Sees" by Rev. Don Wahlig

August 4, 2019  "Five Lies & the Truth" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

July 2019


July 28, 2019  "Walking Hand in Hand" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

June 2019


June 23, 2019  "The New, True You!" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 16, 2019  "The Fuzzy Logic of Discernment" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 9, 2019  "Speaking of Dreams and Visions" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2, 2019 "Who's the Prisoner?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

May 2019


May 5, 2019 "Vision Correction" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

April 2019


April 21, 2019 "So, Where Is He?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

April 14, 2019 "A Wondrous Love" by Rev. Don Wahlig

April 7, 2019 "For Love, or Money?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

March 2019


March 31 "Grace Forgotten" by Rev. Don Wahlig

March 17, 2019 "The Love that Won't Quit" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

February 2019


February 17, 2019 "The Kingdom Vision" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 10, 2019 "Fishing Tips for Amateur Anglers" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 3, 2019 "Grace Unlimited" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

January 2019


January 13, 2019 "The Promise of Baptism" by Rev. Don Wahlig

January 6, 2019 "The Message of the Magi" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

December 2018


Christmas Eve, 2018 "Self-giving Love" by Rev. Don Wahlig

December 23, 2018 "Sing Along" by Rev. Don Wahlig

December 2, 2018 “Living in Between" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

November 2018


November 18, 2018 “Persistent Witness" by Rev. Don Wahlig

November 11, 2018 “Everyday Foxhole Faith" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

October 2018


October 28, 2018 “True Discipleship" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 21, 2018 “How the Truly Great Get that Way" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 14, 2018 “The Cost of Discipleship" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2018


September 30, 2018 “Holding It All Together" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 23, 2018 “Gentle Wisdom" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 16, 2018 “Finding the Right Words" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 9, 2018 “Jesus: Savior...and Lord?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

January 21, 2018

“Restored to Service?” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, January 21 [Epiphany 5] – Isaiah 40:21-31  •  Psalm 147:1-11, 20c  •  1 Corinthians 9:16-23  •  Mark 1:29-39

FOCUS:  Follow Jesus’ example of spending time with God to restore our spirit and reenergize our call to serve others.

 

          Do any of you enjoy reading adventure novels?   I sure do. 

          It probably won’t surprise you that there are all sorts of lists of the best adventure novels of all time.  All these lists are different, but there are half a dozen novels that consistently make it.  Can you guess which ones?

  • The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien,
  • Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson;
  • Moby Dick – Herman Melville;
  • Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain,
  • The Call of the Wild – Jack London
  • Gulliver’s Travels -  Jonathan Swift

          I want to suggest to you this morning that the Gospel of Mark deserves a spot on this list.  Mark’s gospel reads just like an adventure novel.  Take the first chapter, for example.

          In the span of a few verses, the good news of God is announced and John the Baptist appears, calling the crowds to repentance.  Jesus, the promised one, arrives and, as John baptizes him, the heavens split and God’s voice pronounces his favor. 

          Jesus announces the "good news" that God's reign is, in fact, already at hand.  He recruits a few fishermen to be his first disciples. 

          Before we can catch our breath, Jesus takes them to the local synagogue on the Sabbath.  There, his public ministry begins.  

          The congregation is awed by his authoritative teaching and his command over demons.  They rush home to spread the word about this miraculous teacher / healer.

          Meanwhile, Jesus retreats to Peter’s house where his healing work continues.  Peter’s mother-in-law has been laid low with a fever.  As a result, she’s unable to fulfill her role of providing hospitality.

          When Jesus takes her hand and lifts her up – she’s healed.  She immediately brings them food and refreshment.

          Then, in the blink of an eye, it’s sundown. The Sabbath is officially over and news of this miraculous teacher / healer has brought the town to Peter’s doorstep. 

          One after another, the people bring their ailments to Jesus, seeking healing.  And, one after another, he makes them whole.

          Frankly, it all sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?  And Jesus is exhausted. 

          I don't’ think any of us would be surprised if he went to bed early that night and slept in the next morning, would we?

          But, instead, he does the exact opposite.  He rises well before the sun and heads off to “a deserted place” to pray away from people.

          Have any of you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality test?  If so, you’ll remember it tells you, among other things, whether you are an extrovert or an introvert.

          They didn’t have this test 2,000 years ago, but it’s a pretty safe bet Jesus was an introvert.  He was forever going off to pray alone.  That’s how it is with introverts:  they need time alone to recharge their batteries.

          But there’s something more happening as Jesus prays out there in the darkness.  In truth, he wasn’t alone.

          He was in conversation - with God.  Now, it probably didn’t sound like a conversation, but then again true prayer usually doesn’t.  At it’s deepest, it’s a physical experience of the Holy Spirit that can produce a language all it’s own. 

          That’s what the apostle Paul thought.  In Romans, he writes, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit itself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

          That’s what prayer was like for Pope John Paul II.  Staff and visitors in the Vatican’s private chapel would often comment that they overheard him groaning as he prayed.

          Maybe Jesus did that too.  But, whatever happened out there in that lonely place, it restored Jesus to his calling, just as he restored Peter’s mother-in-law to her calling.

          When we think about her calling, let’s not make the mistake of projecting our 21st century notions of what constitutes appropriate gender roles back onto domestic life 2,000 years ago.  In the 1st century Palestinian world, it was her calling and her honor to show hospitality to guests in her home.

          But there’s a problem.  She has a fever.  Most folks who comment on this text don’t bother to consider why she has a fever.  But I wonder, is it because she’s been working too hard, trying to care for everybody else in the household?

          Whatever caused it, her illness precluded her from doing the work that provided the basis for her identity, both within the family and within the community.

          Deprived of her ability to fulfill that role, she confronted the same question unemployed workers do today.  They ask themselves:  ‘Who am I when I am no longer able to pursue my calling?’  It’s an existential crisis.

          By curing her from the fever that confined her to bed, Jesus restored her to health, and to her calling to serve others.

          That is exactly what happened to Jesus himself when he went out into the early morning darkness to be alone with God.  He, too, was restored to his calling.  The question is, how did that actually happen?

          It seems to me that he received three things in that time of prayer:

  • reassurance of God’s presence,
  • reaffirmation of his calling and
  • renewed energy to pursue it. 

          Friends, the lesson this text teaches us is that we can receive those same three things when we go off to pray.

          If you’re beginning to contemplate a renewed commitment to service and discipleship for Lent – and I hope we all are – then let me suggest we start by following Jesus’ 3-step example of prayer.  Let’s call these our Lenten lifts.

          First, in prayer we seek and receive reassurance of God’s presence.  This is not as mysterious as it sounds, nor does it have to be complicated.  

          It can be as simple as repeating to ourselves a phrase from scripture.  In the silence of our hearts, we can say something like “Here I am”, as Isaiah did, or, as Jacob said, “Lord, surely you are in this place and I did not know it.”

          In reality, God is always close at hand.  The question is “do we recognize his presence?”  Spending time in quiet prayer reminds us that – yes, indeed – he is with us, now and always.  We need that reassurance every bit as much as Jesus did.

          The second Lenten Lift in our prayer life is the reaffirmation of our calling.  We all share one primary calling, of course:  we’re all called to be Jesus’ disciples.  That means sharing the good news by loving and serving others.

          But, each of us lives out that primary calling in different ways.  For example, we are called to love our neighbor – and that will be different for each of us.  We’re each called to love our families.  Again, that’s going to be different for everyone. 

          These are our specific callings.  They arise from the intersection of how God made us, where God placed us, and whom God calls us to love.  All of our gifts and circumstances are different, and that’s why our specific callings are different.

          When we let God speak to us in prayer, the reaffirmation of these specific callings takes different forms.      Sometimes it’s cognitive – a logical recognition that we need to more fully love our kids, siblings or parents. 

          Sometimes, it’s an emotional experience.  Someone we know well, or someone we hardly know at all, has a deep, pressing need.  In prayer, the Spirit tugs at our heart strings.  Our compassion compels us to show Christ’s love to that person.

          Other times, the reaffirmation comes from reflecting on the example of someone else’s discipleship.  In prayer, the Spirit inspires us to do what they’ve done, to love others as they have loved them. 

          A shameless plug:  In our upcoming Lenten Faith & Film Series, all of us, no matter how young or old, will have weekly opportunities to be inspired in exactly this way.

          That brings us to the third Lenten prayer lift.  After reassuring us of God’s presence and reaffirming his specific call on our lives, the Spirit works through prayer to reenergize us to undertake our specific calling.

          You might say it fills up our gas tanks with God fuel, cleans our spiritual spark plugs and tunes our evangelism engines so we can take off again in pursuit of our calling.

          That’s how we are restored to God’s service through prayer, just as Jesus was:  Reassured of God’s presence, Reaffirmed in God’s call, and reenergized for God’s work.

          When his disciples found him in the morning, Jesus was ready to lead them off on a teaching and healing tour to share the good news throughout Galilee.

          What about you and me?  Are we willing to trust the power of prayer to restore us to our specific calls, as Jesus did?

          If we are, odds are good that you and I will find ourselves playing a part in God’s own real-life adventure story as we follow Jesus in sharing the good news. 

          Wherever that leads us, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be even more exciting and fulfilling than any paperback novel.  May it be so.          

Last Published: February 13, 2018 12:42 PM
Sermons

Click here to view Worship Videos.

For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

October 2019


October 6, 2019  "A New Family" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2019


September 15, 2019  "Sight? Or Insight?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

August 2019


August 25, 2019  "Seeing as God Sees" by Rev. Don Wahlig

August 4, 2019  "Five Lies & the Truth" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

July 2019


July 28, 2019  "Walking Hand in Hand" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

June 2019


June 23, 2019  "The New, True You!" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 16, 2019  "The Fuzzy Logic of Discernment" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 9, 2019  "Speaking of Dreams and Visions" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2, 2019 "Who's the Prisoner?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

May 2019


May 5, 2019 "Vision Correction" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

April 2019


April 21, 2019 "So, Where Is He?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

April 14, 2019 "A Wondrous Love" by Rev. Don Wahlig

April 7, 2019 "For Love, or Money?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

March 2019


March 31 "Grace Forgotten" by Rev. Don Wahlig

March 17, 2019 "The Love that Won't Quit" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

February 2019


February 17, 2019 "The Kingdom Vision" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 10, 2019 "Fishing Tips for Amateur Anglers" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 3, 2019 "Grace Unlimited" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

January 2019


January 13, 2019 "The Promise of Baptism" by Rev. Don Wahlig

January 6, 2019 "The Message of the Magi" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

December 2018


Christmas Eve, 2018 "Self-giving Love" by Rev. Don Wahlig

December 23, 2018 "Sing Along" by Rev. Don Wahlig

December 2, 2018 “Living in Between" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

November 2018


November 18, 2018 “Persistent Witness" by Rev. Don Wahlig

November 11, 2018 “Everyday Foxhole Faith" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

October 2018


October 28, 2018 “True Discipleship" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 21, 2018 “How the Truly Great Get that Way" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 14, 2018 “The Cost of Discipleship" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2018


September 30, 2018 “Holding It All Together" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 23, 2018 “Gentle Wisdom" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 16, 2018 “Finding the Right Words" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 9, 2018 “Jesus: Savior...and Lord?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

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