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Sermons

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For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

May 2022


May 15, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 3: Love One Another (as I Have Loved You)" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 8, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 2: Follow My Voice" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 1, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 1: Feed My Sheep" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 2022


April 17, 2022 "New Life, or an Idle Tale?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 10, 2022 "The Deeper Meaning" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

March 2022


March 13, 2022  "Images of Jesus- Part II: Friend of the Cross" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

February 2022


February 13, 2022  "Love, Faith, Hope - Part III: The Life of Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

January 2022


January 30, 2022  "Love, Faith, Hope - Part I:  Acts of Love" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

January 2, 2022  "Jesus Draws a Crowd" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

December 2021


December 19, 2021 "Advent Anticipation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

December 5, 2021 "Advent 2: Wilderness Preparation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 2021


November 14, 2021 "How It All Ends, Part 2: Resurrection" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 7, 2021 "How It All Ends, Part 1: Return" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 2021


October 31, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 5: Steward God's Gifts" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 24, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 4: Nurture Relationships" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 17, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 3: Share Hospitality by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 10, 2021  "SSPC Values Part 2: Show Compassion" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 3, 2021  "SSPC Values Part 1: Glorify God" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 2021


September 19, 2021  "Gentle Wisdom, or Worldly Ways?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 12, 2021  "Prophetic Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 5, 2021  "A Vision of Our Future" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

August 2021


August 15, 2021  "Wise Living" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 2021


July 4, 2021  "Humility Over Hubris" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2021


June 27, 2021  "Faith Over Fear" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 2021


May 30, 2021  "The Spirit, Part 3: :Life and Peace" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 23, 2021  "The Spirit, Part 2: The Life of Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 16, 2021  "The Spirit, Part I: Wisdom and Revelation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 9, 2021  "Love Actually, Part 4: Love and Christ" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 2, 2021  "Love Actually, Part 3: Love and God" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 2021


April 25, 2021  "Love Actually, Part II: Love in Action" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 18, 2021  "Love Actually, Part I: Love and Family" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

Easter, April 4, 2021  "How Does It End?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

March 2021


March 28, 2021  "The King We Weren't Expecting" by Rev. Don Wahlig

March 14, 2021  "The Cure for Snake Bite" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

February 2021


February 28, 2021  "Are you Kidding, God?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 14, 2021  "Premature Joy" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 7, 2021  "Need a Liftt?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

 

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

March 11, 2018

“Walk in the Light” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, March 11 [Lent 4] – Numbers 21:4-9  •  Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22  •  Ephesians 2:1-10  •  John 3:14-21

FOCUS:  Follow Make good works our way of life to reconcile us with others and find unity in God’s household.

 

Do any of you like to ski?

From the time we met, Beth and I have always enjoyed skiing together.  In fact, the conversation we ever had, was about skiing.  Beth was born in New England.  That’s where she learned to ski.  That’s also where my father first took us to learn as a family when I was a child.  So, naturally, when our girls were young, that’s where we took them to learn.  

We always dreamed about skiing in the Alps one day.  About 20 years ago, that dream finally came true.  Beth was invited to a winter conference in Interlaken, Switzerland.  I got to tag along. 

It was spectacular – we woke up in the morning and looked out the hotel window to see Jungfrau, an 8,000 foot high mountain covered in snow.  As you can imagine, the skiing was terrific.

One evening, our group activity was something slightly different.  We rode the ski lift to the top of the mountain.  Instead of strapping on skis, we hopped on plastic sleds.  We were going to sled down the mountain.

It was pitch dark.  Having come from a nice dinner with plenty of good French wine, more than a few of us began to have some trepidation about this idea.  We had skied this mountain and we knew that it was pretty steep.

As we all lined up to go, we could see a single torch 50-75 yards away. Our instructions were simple – follow the path from torch to torch down the mountain.   The light from the torch was just enough to see the path between us and the torch.  But that was all we could see.  To either side was just darkness and, we assumed, danger.   As it turned out, we were correct.

So, we started off toward the first torch – steering with our hands and slowing ourselves down with our feet.  When the path to the next torch veered sharply off to the right, we followed it toward the light.  When it veered back again, we did the same.  That’s what we did, all the way down the mountain. 

We made it to the bottom safe and sound.  We had done as we were instructed, and had an exciting ride in the process.  But there were others who decided to ignore the path from light to light.  Some got lost, a few got hurt.  There was even a broken leg and a trip to the hospital. 

 As I read our passage from Ephesians, it occurred to me that Paul is writing about a very similar situation.

What Paul has in mind in this letter is first and foremost encouragement:  encouragement to resist the old life of sin.  Paul reminds the Ephesians and the other churches with whom this letter was shared, their new life in Christ is a far cry from their old life.

There was a time when their minds were darkened by ignorance and hardness of heart.  Like the pagans around them, they lived only to satisfy their own desires.  They were as good as dead.  Paul knows what he’s talking about, because, at some point in his life, he lived that way, too. 

But as the saying goes, God loves us just the way we are – and too much to leave us that way.  In the words of John’s gospel, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

So, by God’s grace, we have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

We are resurrected from spiritual death and “made alive” in Christ.  That calls us to a new way of living.  That way of life is new to us – but, in fact, it’s not new at all.  It’s what God intended for us from the very beginning.  It’s what we were created for.

The hallmark of this new way of life is good works.  What Paul will go on to say is that the proof of those good works is unity:  reconciliation with God, and with each other.  

For Paul, that meant Jewish and Gentile Christians living, worshiping and working together as a single spiritual household, one humanity united through the cross and living together in peace.

That sounds terrific, doesn’t it?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every church were like that?  But, as we know all too well, the fact that we all share a common baptism does not guarantee we will live together in perpetual peace.

The reason is simple:  we are all still sinners.  Yes, because of God’s grace and our trust in Jesus, our sins are washed away, but our sinful nature is not.  We may be saved, but we still sin.

This was true of Paul’s churches as well, of course.  If it weren’t, then there’d be no reason to write this letter.

This is why he goes on to offer some practical instructions for achieving the unity God intends for us.  He says, “I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, patience and bearing with one another in love.” 

That’s quite a contrast with the values of the world we live in!  Instead of humility, the world values pride.  Instead of gentleness, it seems to reward only aggressiveness.  The world has precious little use for patience, it seeks immediate gratification. 

And, instead of bearing with others in love, the world refuses to tolerate those who are different, and it simply despises the weak.  It’s quick to judge and condemn them both.

Which explains why there is such precious little unity in this world.  And sometimes, more often than we would like, we bring those values into the church with us.  Inevitably, they divide us.  That’s the thing Paul is warning us against.

But when we manage to get it right, the church truly stands out.  We stand apart from the world.  In the language of John’s gospel, we walk in the light. 

That doesn’t mean we agree on everything.  Of course not – we disagree, sometimes we even fight, just like any family does.

But we are still a family.  And the message is clear:  We trust in Christ, the light of the world.  Rather than living for ourselves alone, we choose to live in Christ, which means we live for one another.

So, we not only follow his light, but we become beacons of light for others.  Together we illuminate the path, just as surely as Beth and I relied on those torches as we slid down those steep ski slopes in the dark. 

Friends, if you and I are willing to stick to that well-lit path, we won’t just be safe in Heaven when we get to our life’s end.  Salvation is about a lot more than just a safe landing.  Living for Christ – here, now – is the adventure of a lifetime.

And, best of all, we won’t be alone.  Other folks we’ve come to know and love will be walking that same path with us, following his light the same as we are.

So, let me ask you, who illuminated the path for you?  Who shone Christ’s light into your life in such a way that you could see where to walk in faith, and what to avoid?

Maybe a pastor or a parent?  Maybe a teacher or a friend?

And, then the really big question:  for whom are we shining Christ’s light?  Whose faith walk are we illuminating with our gentleness, patience, and loving forbearance? 

          That is the question of a lifetime.  Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that it’s the question of our legacy.  Because our faith is only so vital as it carries on to the next generation.  It is our mission and our duty, our task and our treasure, to share our faith with those who come after us.

          That doesn’t just mean our own kids.  Because we’re all in this together.  It means taking an interest and making a commitment to reach out and nurture the next generation of followers – nobody who they are or how they come to us.

                   Our gentleness, our patience, our love and our forbearance will go a long way toward making them feel included in the life of this faith family. 

So, let’s keep at it – let’s keep on shining Christ’s light to guide them, and all of us, so we all stay on the path. 

          As we do, let’s remember, it’s about more than arriving safe in heaven when our days here are done.  It’s about having the adventure of this lifetime, too.

          May it be so.     

Last Published: March 13, 2018 8:58 AM
Sermons

Click here to view Worship Videos.

For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

May 2022


May 15, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 3: Love One Another (as I Have Loved You)" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 8, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 2: Follow My Voice" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 1, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 1: Feed My Sheep" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 2022


April 17, 2022 "New Life, or an Idle Tale?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 10, 2022 "The Deeper Meaning" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

March 2022


March 13, 2022  "Images of Jesus- Part II: Friend of the Cross" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

February 2022


February 13, 2022  "Love, Faith, Hope - Part III: The Life of Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

January 2022


January 30, 2022  "Love, Faith, Hope - Part I:  Acts of Love" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

January 2, 2022  "Jesus Draws a Crowd" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

December 2021


December 19, 2021 "Advent Anticipation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

December 5, 2021 "Advent 2: Wilderness Preparation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 2021


November 14, 2021 "How It All Ends, Part 2: Resurrection" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 7, 2021 "How It All Ends, Part 1: Return" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 2021


October 31, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 5: Steward God's Gifts" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 24, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 4: Nurture Relationships" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 17, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 3: Share Hospitality by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 10, 2021  "SSPC Values Part 2: Show Compassion" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 3, 2021  "SSPC Values Part 1: Glorify God" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 2021


September 19, 2021  "Gentle Wisdom, or Worldly Ways?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 12, 2021  "Prophetic Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 5, 2021  "A Vision of Our Future" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

August 2021


August 15, 2021  "Wise Living" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 2021


July 4, 2021  "Humility Over Hubris" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2021


June 27, 2021  "Faith Over Fear" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 2021


May 30, 2021  "The Spirit, Part 3: :Life and Peace" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 23, 2021  "The Spirit, Part 2: The Life of Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 16, 2021  "The Spirit, Part I: Wisdom and Revelation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 9, 2021  "Love Actually, Part 4: Love and Christ" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 2, 2021  "Love Actually, Part 3: Love and God" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 2021


April 25, 2021  "Love Actually, Part II: Love in Action" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 18, 2021  "Love Actually, Part I: Love and Family" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

Easter, April 4, 2021  "How Does It End?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

March 2021


March 28, 2021  "The King We Weren't Expecting" by Rev. Don Wahlig

March 14, 2021  "The Cure for Snake Bite" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

February 2021


February 28, 2021  "Are you Kidding, God?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 14, 2021  "Premature Joy" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 7, 2021  "Need a Liftt?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

 

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

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