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Sermons

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For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

October 2022


October 2, 2022,  "Keeping the Flame Burning" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2022


September 18, 2022,  "Mammon, Part I:  The Way of Righteousness" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

August 2022


August 28, 2022   "Why Do We Sing?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

August 7, 2022 "The Essence of Faith" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 2022


July 24, 2022 "God's Goodness, Part 4: The Judge Who Shows Mercy" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 17, 2022  "God's Goodness, Part 3: The Covenant Partner Who Blesses" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 10, 2022 "God's Goodness, Part 2: The Law-giver Who Prospers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2022


June 19, 2022 "Words from the Wise: Gamaliel" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

June 12, 2022 "The Trinity: The Holy Spirit" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

June 5, 2022  "The Day the Universe Changed" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

May 2022


May 29, 2022  "Easter Discipleship, Part 5: Waiting with Joy" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 22, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 4: Trust in My Healing Grace" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

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

 

 

January 2, 2022

“Jesus Draws a Crowd” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, January 2, 2022 Year C Epiphany 1:  Isaiah 60:1-6  •  Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14  •  Ephesians 3:1-12  •  Matthew 2:1-12

THEME:  Seek out God’s power and presence in our lives by paying attention to the work of the Spirit. 

 

Astrologer priests from a land far to the east are studying the nighttime sky.  One night, they see something new and it startles them.  Is it a star, or an angel?  Whatever it is, they understand its significance.  The new king of the Jews has been born.

So, they saddle up their camels and set out on a 400-mile trek across the desert.  3 weeks later, they arrive at Herod’s palace in Jerusalem.  With scriptural guidance from Herod’s advisors, they find their way to a manger in Bethlehem.  There they worship the new-born king.

Can you imagine how Mary and Joseph must have felt?  If they had any doubts about the heavenly importance and worldly significance of their son, this visit surely puts an end to those. They may have been simple peasants, but they know that religious royalty from foreign lands do not make house calls for just anyone.

The arrival of the magi is an unexpected visit and a sure sign of things to come.  From the time his earthly ministry commences in his baptism in the chilly waters of the Jordan River, Jesus attracts the attention of multitudes who don’t even know him.

For a man who craved regular solitude in order to meditate and pray, Jesus sure seems to have had a knack for drawing a crowd.  Everywhere he goes, people seek him out.

Some are merely curious.  They simply want to see what all the buzz is about.  Others are desperate for healing.  They bring him loved ones who are sick, crippled, lame, blind and possessed.

They also come for teaching, wisdom the likes of which they have never heard.  They sit slack-jawed with astonishment as Jesus describes the coming Kingdom of God and the life it commends.  They’re even more amazed that the Kingdom not only belongs to them, but their place within it will be prominent.

This is a complete reversal of their circumstances.  The vast majority of those in the crowds are the poorest of the poor:  a few tradesmen and fishermen, but mostly just dirt-poor farmers, barely able to feed their families.

Social outcasts are also drawn to Jesus.  These folks are despised because of what they do:  tax collectors, prostitutes, and others whom the religious leaders have branded sinners to be avoided.

Most are Jews, but there are Gentiles, too.  Jesus even attracts Samaritans, those Jewish half-breeds despised by other Jews.

It doesn’t matter where he is.  Jesus draws a crowd everywhere.  On a hillside, along the seashore, in village streets and humble homes.  In small town synagogues and the Jerusalem Temple itself.  Everywhere he goes, crowds gather. 

The reason is plain to see.  Jesus has mercy on them all.  He makes them whole and guides them to abundant life.  Whether they see him as teacher, prophet or Messiah, to those with ears to hear and eyes to see, Jesus is the very presence and power of God.

The same is true today.  People everywhere are attracted to the power of God’s presence.  But there is a major difference.  Jesus no longer walks the earth as he once did.  So, how do we know where God is present to us today?

Jesus himself gives us the answer.  Not long before his betrayal and crucifixion, he tells his disciples he must leave them, but he will not leave them orphaned.  He will not desert them. 

And he is as good as his word.  He sends them the Holy Spirit.  And the Spirit does what Jesus did.  It guides them and leads them to healing.  It makes them whole and drives them to share the good news with the world.  The Spirit is to them what Jesus was to them:  the presence and power of God.

That begs a question.  What about you and me?  Where do we find the power of God’s Holy Spirit?

Well, we can simply read about it, of course.  The Spirit is at work from the very beginning of the gospel. 

It is responsible for Mary’s pregnancy and Jesus’ birth.  It descends on Jesus in his baptism. It strengthens him to endure Satan’s temptation.  It empowers his ministry of teaching and healing.  Then the Spirit energizes his disciples to continue his ministry by giving birth to the church. 

All of that we find in scripture.  But if we really want to know what the Spirit is like, then we have to do more than just read about it.  We have to experience it, too.

The great Puritan preacher, Thomas Goodwin, told a story to illustrate that.  One day, he noticed a man walking along with his young son by his side.  At one point, the father stooped down, picked up the little boy and gave him a big hug and a kiss.  Then he told his son, “I love you” and he put the boy back down. 

Goodwin asks, “Did the little boy experience his father’s love more through what his father said, or when his father picked him up and held him?”  Clearly, the experience of being held in his father’s arms communicated love in ways that are far more powerful than words.

And that’s how it is with the Holy Spirit.  We can read about the Spirit in scripture and theology books, and that’s important to do.  But we will never truly understand the full power and presence of God’s love, until we have experienced his Holy Spirit working in us and through us.

Learning to experience the Spirit turns out to be a lot like sailing.  Has anyone here ever been out on a sailboat?

When our girls were young we would spend a few weeks each summer up at a small lake in Vermont.  As you can imagine, boating was a big deal up there.  Pretty much everyone had a kayak or a canoe.  Some even had a motorboat.

But for me, the best way to experience being out on the water was to sail.  So, I bought a used 14-foot sailboat and I would sail every day of those precious few weeks.

What I loved so much about sailing was being able to power that boat with nothing more than the wind.  Just by putting up the sail and adjusting it for the direction and speed of the breeze, I could sail all the way down the lake with the wind, and all the way back against it.

Sometimes the wind was light and the sailing was smooth and gentle.  Other times, the wind was brisk.  That made for an exhilarating ride.

And that’s how it is with the Spirit.  If you don’t put your sail up, it doesn’t matter how hard the wind is blowing.  You’re just going to drift. 

When you do put your sail up, things get interesting.  As long as you pay close attention to the direction of the wind, you can really go places.  But if you try to ignore the wind, you will find yourself floundering and going in circles.  You may even capsize.

So, what does this metaphor mean?  In spiritual terms, it means we need to pay attention to the way God is working in our lives through the Spirit.  The first place to look is inside of us.

As we pray, what is our heart telling us?  When we read scripture, what are we hearing?  Are there certain verses that stick out to us, passages that seem to have particular application to our lives?  In worship, what moves our mind and our heart?  These are all the interior workings of the Spirit. 

The second place to look is outside of us.  The Spirit moves in powerful ways through the people and events of our lives.

The saying is true that, when it comes to the people God places in our lives, there are no coincidences.  So, then we need to ask:  What are the people around us telling us?  Where are these relationships leading us?  What impact are we having on their lives?

The same thing is true regarding the events in our lives.  Are there certain doors that are opening up?  Or closing?  These are all signs of God’s possible direction through the Spirit.

The best way I know of to discern the Spirit’s direction, both inside of us and outside of us, is to be quiet and reflect.  Whether you call that meditation, centering prayer or simply inner stillness, taking time to be quiet will open up the heart space we need to hear what God is saying to us. 

And when these signs begin to cluster in groups, it’s like the wind picking up in sailing.  That’s the time to make sure your sail is set correctly to catch the wind and then hang on tight, because the Spirit will take you places, places that you never dreamt you could go.

And when you’re on that kind of a journey, it’s not only powerful for you.  It’s powerful for others, too.  They will be attracted to what God is doing through us.  Like Joseph and Mary were surprised to receive a visit from the Magi, we may be surprised by how far the impact extends.

Yesterday we welcomed in a new year, 2022.  It’s a good time to make some changes in our lives, to make some New Year’s resolutions.  Maybe you’ve already made a few of those.

Let me suggest we all adopt one more.  Let’s resolve to pay closer attention to what God is doing in our lives.  Let’s listen more closely to where the Spirit is leading us.  Then let’s follow it faithfully.

When we do, you can be sure we will be amazed - not only at where it takes us, but by those whom God calls to walk with us.

May it be so.

Last Published: January 4, 2022 1:40 PM
Sermons

Click here to view Worship Videos.

For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

October 2022


October 2, 2022,  "Keeping the Flame Burning" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2022


September 18, 2022,  "Mammon, Part I:  The Way of Righteousness" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

August 2022


August 28, 2022   "Why Do We Sing?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

August 7, 2022 "The Essence of Faith" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 2022


July 24, 2022 "God's Goodness, Part 4: The Judge Who Shows Mercy" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 17, 2022  "God's Goodness, Part 3: The Covenant Partner Who Blesses" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 10, 2022 "God's Goodness, Part 2: The Law-giver Who Prospers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2022


June 19, 2022 "Words from the Wise: Gamaliel" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

June 12, 2022 "The Trinity: The Holy Spirit" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

June 5, 2022  "The Day the Universe Changed" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

May 2022


May 29, 2022  "Easter Discipleship, Part 5: Waiting with Joy" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 22, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 4: Trust in My Healing Grace" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

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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