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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

 

 

May 1, 2022

“Easter Discipleship, Part 1:  Feed My Sheep” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, May 1, 2022  -  Year C / Easter 3:  Acts 9:1-6, 9-19  •  Psalm 30  •  Revelation 5:11-14  •  John 21:1-19

THEME:  Nourish each other in the faith.

 

Are you a fan of seafood?  For a lot of people, it’s very much an acquired taste.

As a child, I was not fond of fish.  That’s because every summer when we would go to the beach for a couple weeks, our parents would take us deep sea fishing.  There are some strange-looking fish in the sea.  Have you ever seen a sea robin?

Even worse, we had to clean the fish we caught when we got back to the dock.  Let me tell you, there is nothing like bloody fish guts to turn you off to the very idea of eating fish.

But then I discovered that I liked shrimp, and then clams.  As I got older, I slowly began to develop a taste for fish.  First, was trout, then flounder, then salmon.  Somewhere along the way, dieticians figured out that eating fish is really good for us, too. 

But it wasn’t until my 20s when I started going to restaurants that specialized in seafood that I finally discovered just how tasty well-prepared fish can be.  Branzino, Sea Bass, Red Snapper, Tilapia.  From there I branched out to octopus, squid and even sushi. 

But as much as I enjoy fish today, there is one meal at which I could never imagine having fish.  That is breakfast.  But not everyone can afford to be so picky.  For many people around the world, being able to have fish for breakfast or any meal is the difference between starving and surviving.

That was certainly true of Peter and the other disciples who made their living fishing in the Sea of Galilee.

It’s been a few weeks since they experienced the dramatic events of Passover week in Jerusalem.  Then came the astounding news that Jesus was alive.  They were skeptical at first, but then he appeared to them, not once but twice.  So, they no longer doubt that he has been resurrected.

But, as certain as they are of that, they are a whole lot less certain what that means for them.  What should they do?  What does it mean to be a disciple of the risen Jesus?  That is the question you and I will explore over the coming weeks of this Easter season.

For Peter, it evidently means that life initially goes back to the way it was before.  He and 6 other disciples are back home in Galilee.  One evening, as the heat of the day has finally retreated, he tells them, “I’m going fishing.”  “OK,” they say, “we’ll come with you.”  And off they go on an all-night fishing trip.

But it’s one of those nights when the fish are just not interested in being caught.  When they head back to shore toward dawn, they’ve got nothing to show for their efforts.

But just then, they notice a fire on the beach.  In the dim light, they can see someone tending it, but they don’t recognize him.

Then he calls out to them, “Let your nets down on the right side of the boat.”  They do.  Before they know it, they’ve got a whole school of Tilapia in their nets.  Now they know who it is.  It’s Jesus.

He waves them in and invites them to have breakfast.  So, Peter brings his haul of fish and they join Jesus by the fire.  After they’ve eaten, Jesus does something odd.  He looks over at Peter and asks him a question. “Peter, do you love me more than those?”  “Of course, I do,” Peter says, “You know I do!”  

Three times Jesus asks him the same question. And three times, Peter replies yes, once for every time he denied knowing Jesus the night he was arrested.

And three times, Jesus tells Peter, “Feed my sheep.”  It’s a reminder.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  He knows his time on earth is coming to a close, until that day when he returns.  So, he is commissioning Peter to lead and care for his followers the way he did, even at the risk of giving up his own life.

Peter will do exactly that.  Along with James and Jesus’ brother John, Peter will lead the Jerusalem church.  And as the church grows, he will eventually share that role with other apostles, each of whom will nurture congregations of their own.  That is how the early Church was organized as it grew. 

But then the first generation of apostles died.  It was a major leadership crisis for the church.  They wondered who will lead us now?

The solution was the creation of the office of Bishop to oversee all the churches in a particular city.  The Bishop carried a shepherd’s crook, the symbol of his responsibility to care for Jesus’ flock, as Peter and the disciples did.

Over time, the Bishop of Rome became the most important Bishop.  He was given the title of Pope.  He, too, carries a shepherd’s crook. 

In our Reformed Tradition, the hierarchy of leadership and care is different.  Instead of a Bishop or Pope, John Calvin assigned the role of feeding the sheep to spiritual leaders called Elders.  With the help of Deacons, the Elders and the Pastor in a congregation tend the flock.  Beyond the local church, the Elders and Pastors work together to care for the wider flock.

And so, 2,000 years of church hierarchy all stems from that morning when Jesus and the disciples had breakfast on the beach and Jesus commanded Peter to “Feed my sheep.”  But I have to believe Jesus had more in mind than just an organizational chart.

Friends we are all sheep.  We are members of Jesus’ flock.  But we are more than that.  We are all shepherds, too.  We nurture one another.

No one understood this better than the apostle Paul.  He used that wonderful analogy of the body of Christ.  Each of us has been given gifts to help one another grow in the faith, to build each other up in love.  That’s how Jesus wants us to feed one another.

We do that knowing that, somewhere along the line, someone fed all of us.  If we are fortunate to have had good loving parents, they began by nourishing our bodies with food, and our hearts with love.  They nourished our minds by making sure we were educated.  And, for those of us who grew up in the church, they made sure that our souls were nourished by coming to know Jesus through the life of the congregation.  

Here's how that happened for me.  When I was young, my parents would take us to church every Sunday.  Now, there were four of us boys, and I was the youngest.  I can remember vividly how my older brothers would protest.  And of course, we would always be late, so we’d sit in the back pews.  Understandably, our stressed-out parents were, shall we say, in a less than charitable mood.

But then the service started and something changed.  Being in worship was like being with extended family.  My friends and their parents were there.  The adults helped lead worship and they taught our Sunday School class.  They led Thursday afternoon Youth Club and weekend youth retreats.

Later, I came to understand the full scope of what my parents did in the life of the church.  My father served as an Elder and Clerk of Session.  My mother served as a Deacon and Trustee.  They both taught Sunday School and were active in their respective men’s and women’s groups.  I came to realize they nurtured my faith more by what they did than what they ever said.

And I have no doubt that their example of faithfulness helped nurture the faith of others, some of whom have told me so.  And I certainly hope that this is what Beth and I are doing for our girls.  

Who did this for you?  Who fed you and nurtured your faith?

And then the big question is:  Whose faith are you nurturing through your example?  Which lambs in Jesus’ flock are you feeding?

The truth is we may not know.  We may never know.  Further, it’s a certainty that there are others outside of this flock who are inspired and fed by our example of faith.  

At work or where you volunteer, or out in public, who might be watching you to see how a faithful Christian acts and serves others?

Whoever it is that we are feeding, we have to remember we can only feed others if we keep ourselves fed.  And, friends, that is exactly what happens here in worship and in the life of this congregation, this grace-filled family of faith seeking to share Christ’s love with all.  

That’s why it is critical for us to be here, to worship and serve Christ together, to learn how to better love and serve him together, and to be his disciples together.  As we do, we are connected spiritually to Jesus and to everyone everywhere who lives now or ever has lived under his name. 

In just a moment, they will all be present with us at this table where we celebrate that connection in a visceral way through the Eucharist.  This is the table where Christ feeds you and me.  It’s as if you and I are seated with Christ and the disciples around that fire on the lake shore, tasting the fish and the bread. 

It nourishes us.  And it reminds us:  Jesus calls you and me to feed his sheep.

May it be so.

Last Published: May 2, 2022 10:57 AM
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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