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Sermons

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For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

June 2022


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 22, 2022

“Easter Discipleship, Part 4:  Trust in My Healing Grace” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, May 22, 2022  -  Year C / Easter 6  Acts 16:9-15  •  Psalm 67  •  Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5  •  John 5:1-9

THEME:  Look to Jesus and follow him through his church to be made whole and enjoy eternal life now. 

 

Someone once told me that the secret to an effective presentation is, first, tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em. Second, tell ‘em.  And then third, tell ‘em what you told ‘em.  So I think that means we are due for a recap of this sermon series on Easter Discipleship.

Over these last 3 weeks, you and I have been walking with Jesus through the Gospel of John.  The question we’ve been asking him is how should we live in light of his resurrection.  We began by understanding his command to Peter to feed his sheep as a command to us to nurture each other in the faith.

Then we talked about the importance of resting in silence so we can hear the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd who leads us into peace.  Last week we followed Jesus as he washed his disciples’ feet and commanded them to do the same for each other.  We understood that this means we should perform acts of loving kindness for all, to make God’s presence palpable for those we serve in Jesus’ name.

Today, we focus on the healing grace Jesus offers to make us whole.  Our story opens as Jesus encounters a group of invalids at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.  They are gathered around this pool because it was believed that an angel of the Lord would periodically stir up the waters and the first person in would be healed.  We have no evidence that this ever happened.

Jesus, of course, can never pass by human suffering without stopping to help.  Evidently, someone has pointed out to him this crippled man who has been lame for 38 years – probably his entire adult life. 

Jesus asks the man what seems to be a rhetorical question.  “Do you want to be made well?” 

We expect the man to shout “You bet I do!”  Instead, he complains. “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am making my way, someone else steps in ahead of me.”

That makes us wonder.  Why would this man continue to place his faith in a bogus healing ritual which has been of no help to him for 38 long years?  All along, the only real source of healing is standing right next to him asking him if wants to be made whole? 

Behind Jesus’ question there is another question.  Do you recognize that I am God’s Messiah who can make you whole?  

The lame man does not.  But Jesus heals him anyway.  When he does, the man’s reaction is jaw-dropping.  Does he rejoice?  Does he leap for joy and hug his mysterious healer?  Does he suddenly declare Jesus the Messiah and son of God? 

No.  Even now, having been miraculously made well, he does not.  He simply picks up his mat and walks away without a word.  He doesn’t even bother to ask Jesus his name.

This man’s lack of gratitude is stunning.  Even when Jesus finds him later in the Temple, the man still has not a word to say.  When the religious authorities confront this man, he promptly throws Jesus under the bus for healing him on the sabbath!

But even more stunning than his lack of gratitude, is his lack of understanding.  Why does he not pause to consider who this is who has finally delivered him back to a full life after decades of suffering?  Apparently, he’s been so focused on looking for evidence of angels stirring up the water that he completely misses God’s Messiah standing at his elbow!

This man lacks any faith in Jesus.  In the gospel of John, this is the height of sin.  By any measure, this man has done nothing to merit being made whole.  Yet, Jesus heals him anyway.  We have a word for this.  We call it grace.

This week I have been pondering the possibility that you and I may be more like this lame man than we think.  All of us need to be made whole.  For some of us, that does indeed mean physical healing.  And for all of us, the healing we need goes beyond the healing of our bodies. 

Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has suggested that, once we get beyond the basics of food and shelter, there are 4 basic needs we all have:  Support, Stability, Self-expression and Significance.  And Jesus makes them all available through his church.

What he means by Support is that we are not meant to walk this earth alone.  And, yet, over the last 50 years, the prevalence of loneliness has reached all-time highs.  The isolation of COVID has only made this worse.

That’s where the church comes in.  We are a family.  That’s what all churches are meant to be, and we here at SSPC are especially like that.  Our vision is to be even more of a grace-filled family of faith than we already are.  That means we walk with each other through both the celebrations of life and the suffering of life.  In doing so, we are to each other the reality of God’s presence. 

The new small group ministries we are planning right now and which Lisa will be spearheading are all about increasing that sense of family connection.  Stay tuned for more information on those as we approach the fall. 

 

In addition to Support, we all need Stability.  We need a firm foundation from which to live our lives.  For us, that foundation is our Christian faith. 

For the first 1700 years of the church, that foundation was widely accepted throughout the Christian world.  But over the last 300 years, this has been increasingly called into question.

As a result, we find ourselves today living at a very strange moment in the history of humanity.  Truth is widely considered to be relative and personal.  In other words, it is supposed that you have your truth, and I have mine, and any claims that you or I might make that our truth is more broadly applicable, are suspect.

This is a deeply unsettling and unsatisfying way to live.  Without the conviction of the truth of the gospel promise of God’s love and eternal life in Jesus Christ, we are like a ship without an anchor.  We are battered by every storm that comes along.  This is why levels of stress, fear and anxiety are going through the roof, especially among younger people. 

Paul writes about this in his famous ode to love in I Corinthians.  Because we have faith, we have hope.  And because we have hope, we have the courage to love.  This is why the second half of our vision statement is to share Christ’s love with all

 

In addition to support and stability, we need Self-expression.  All of us are made in God’s image, but we are not all the same.  God has given you and me unique gifts, skills and talents.  He has given us different personalities, experiences and desires. 

We are at our happiest and most fulfilled when we can put those gifts to work for God’s purposes.  We can do that at work, at home, at school – but nowhere more directly than right here at church. 

In just a few moments, we will elect new officers.  These folks have heard God’s call to serve him as Elders and Deacons.  They are using their gifts to be compassionate caregivers and discerning spiritual leaders. 

And there are a whole host of other ways that we can meet our need for Self-expression here in Christ’s church.  If you would like to do that, please come and see me.  I promise we can put you to work!

Support, Stability, Self-expression.  And the fourth fundamental need we have is Significance.  We can only be truly happy if our lives have ultimate meaning. 

And here at SSPC we are part of the most meaningful mission the world has ever known.  We are partners in God’s mission of love and redemption.  That’s why we have not created a new mission statement.  We already have one:  to discern God’s movement in the world and to cooperate with it.

 

Support, Stability, Self-expression, and Significance.  These are essential components of eternal life in the here and now.  Jesus wants to give us all of them.  That’s his mission.  Later on in John’s gospel he sums it up by saying, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  And that life is available here through his church.

But too often we make the mistake of thinking we need to look elsewhere first.  When we do that, it’s as if we’re saying the real source of abundant life isn’t available at church, but through secular wisdom, scholastic knowledge, material wealth, and professional success. 

We teach this lesson to our kids, too.  As parents, we are laser-focused on their schoolwork and their activities and sports achievements.  These are all important, but it begs the question, “Are we equally focused on growing their relationship with Jesus through his church?”

When we get our priorities mixed up and put these other things first, we are like that lame man focused on the uncertain presence of angels in the water, when Jesus, the only true and reliable source of abundant life, is right at our elbow.

And he’s asking us a question.  “Do you want to be made well?  Do you want to be made whole?”

If so, you’ve come to the right place.  Trust him.  Lean on his grace, and he will show us the way to true life.

May it be so. 

 

 

Last Published: May 24, 2022 2:52 PM
Sermons

Click here to view Worship Videos.

For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

June 2022


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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