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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 29, 2022

“Easter Discipleship, Part 5:  Waiting with Joy” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, May 29, 2022  -  Year C / Ascension  •  Psalm 47 or Psalm 93  •  Ephesians 1:15-23  •  Luke 24:44-53

THEME:  

Have any of you ever heard of the Peter Principle?

It’s a theory of management suggested by a college professor named Laurence J. Peter.  In 1968, he published a book promoting his theory. 

He sums it up this way, "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence... in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties... Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence."

This means that top salespeople, for example, tend to be promoted into sales management.  But their management skills are often not anywhere near as good as their sales skills.  As a result, they struggle and may even fail.

That’s not all that can go wrong with job promotions.  There is another factor that often gets in the way of the success of employees who have been promoted.  That is nepotism. 

Nepotism happens when jobs are given to family members of the owners a company.  This is a common practice.  Three quarters of small businesses in this country are family-owned and run.  Frequently the daughter or son of the owner is promoted quickly into top management.

On the surface, that might not seem like such a bad thing. 

What researchers have found is that nepotism often leads to poor performance.  Those promoted are likely to lack the skills and experience required to succeed, but because of their close family ties with the owners, very little is ever done about it.  As a result, when the boss’s children are kicked upstairs into senior management, other workers tend to feel demotivated, alienated and unhappy, as well.

This may be true of many family organizations, but not the one God runs.  In fact, just the opposite.  The workers in God’s family business are ecstatic when his son gets kicked upstairs into senior management.  That is what is happening in our text this morning.

The disciples and the other followers are gathered in Jerusalem after Jesus’ crucifixion.  They have been astounded by the appearance of the risen Jesus.  He appears to them, not as an ethereal ghost, but as a real flesh and blood human being.  The message is unequivocal:  his resurrection is real. 

After they get over their initial shock and amazement, Jesus helps them understand all that has happened in light of the scriptures.  Then he gives them their commission. 

He is the Messiah, who suffered, died and was raised from the dead, as he told them he would be.  They are to be his witnesses.  Their mission is to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins to all nations and peoples, starting in Jerusalem. 

Then Jesus leads them all out to Bethany.  It’s a fair-size crowd, roughly 120 people.  That includes the 11 remaining disciples, his mother Mary, his brothers, and the other followers. 

At Bethany, Jesus makes his triumphant exit, from the very same place of his triumphant entry into the city.  He blesses them all and promises they will receive future power to undertake their mission.  Then he ascends to heaven to take his rightful place on God’s throne.

If you were Jesus’ disciple, how would you feel at that moment?  Wouldn’t you be a bit down-hearted, even bitter?  Certainly, we would all feel unsure and a little anxious about the mission ahead, especially without Jesus physically with us, as he had been all along. 

But that is not what Jesus’ followers do.  Not in the least!  They rejoice.  

His ascension to heaven is the incontrovertible proof that Jesus’ humiliation on the cross was not failure in God’s eyes.  Far from it.  In fact, just the opposite! 

It was the proof of Jesus’ total obedience and devotion to God.  The world may have condemned him, but God exalts him.  This is God’s full endorsement of Jesus and his mission.  

That’s why his followers worship him.  They finally understand who he is.  Jesus really is the Messiah, God’s own son, judge and ruler of God’s Kingdom. 

And now, he is exactly where he belongs, where God intends him to be:  seated on heaven’s throne, clothed with royal power and, somehow, mysteriously guiding events on earth even now, so that this life will be more and more like the Kingdom he will one day usher in all its fullness.

That’s why his followers rejoice.  They shout.  They jump.  They sing, just like they’ve seen so many others do when Jesus makes them whole.  It’s the joy of salvation, the joy of being made whole, of living a new life in Christ.  It is the joy of renewed hope.

So, they return to Jerusalem to wait, as he told them to do.  And when you’ve seen God’s glory the way they have, there is only one place to wait for his Kingdom:  in God’s house.  That’s where they spend their days - in the Temple, praising God.

What the disciples are showing us is the model of how you and I should wait for Jesus’ return.  They worship God, waiting patiently and expectantly for the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise.  It is a way of life grounded in hope, infused with joy, and celebrated in worship.

 

That is how you and I are to live as we wait for the Kingdom.  But we also know this is often easier said than done, especially after weeks like this one.

 

How are we supposed to live with hope, joy and praise in a world where children die senselessly, violently, tragically, not only at a school in Texas, but all over the globe.

 

How can we maintain hope, joy and praise when one country bombs another into oblivion, all for the sake of vain political ambition and the twisted pursuit of past national glory?

 

How can we be hopeful when families all around us are struggling to make ends meet, fighting against the tide of rising prices of everything from gas to baby formula?

 

There is no question.  These are some of the darkest days we have seen in a long time.  I know that some of you who are older have lived through tough times before.  But for younger generations, this is the single most difficult time of their lives.  And they are struggling. 

 

For all us as Christians, these days may just be the supreme challenge to the hope we proclaim in Jesus Christ.  Not only is it difficult for us to proclaim that message - because we are suffering - but we also know how hard it is for others to trust it.

 

But life wasn’t all peaches and cream for those original followers of Jesus either.  They were violently oppressed by Rome, stalked by hunger, besieged by grinding poverty and tempted, the same way we are today, to give in to despair.

 

Until.  Until they saw the risen Jesus rising once again, this time up to heaven, to sit on his rightful throne from which he rules this world and the next.  That is the source of their hope that allows them to resist despair.  They trusted that the risen and ascended Jesus could, and would, lead them through it and out of it.

 

I recently ran across something that helps us do the same.  It’s called the Survivor’s Creed by by the Christian author and pastor, Max Lucado.  It reads like this:

You’ll get through this.

It won’t be painless.

It won’t be quick.

But God will use this mess for good.

Don’t be foolish or naïve.

But don’t despair either.

With God’s help, you will get through this.

 

What happens in hard times, is we tend to fear that we won’t get through the adversity at hand.  Whether we say it aloud or not, we can easily act and think in ways that assume nothing and no one can or will change our circumstances. 

 

That leads us to despair.  And despair is the enemy.  Despair is the very opposite of hope.  It’s what happens when we stop believing that God can deliver us from our suffering.

 

But God has a proven track record of doing just that.  Throughout scripture, God is always delivering people through hard times.  

He delivered Joseph from the bottom of a pit to a prosperous life in Egypt and reconciliation with his family.  He delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, across the Red Sea, through the desert and on into the Promised Land of Canaan.  

 

He delivered Daniel from the lion’s den.  He delivered Jesus from the grave.

 

He will deliver you and me through our hard times, too.  In fact, he’s already delivering us. 

 

That’s what the Ascension is all about.  God has exalted Jesus to the throne and put him in charge over all things in heaven and on earth.  You can think of it as the ultimate promotion success story. 

 

Jesus has been elevated to his new position and he is supremely – divinely – equipped to excel in it.  This is not nepotism.  It’s not the Peter Principle – it’s the Jesus Principal.

 

Because Jesus is on his throne, the end of our suffering is already in sight.  He’s already at work to bring something good out of our suffering, and the suffering of the world around us.

 

What are you experiencing right now?  How are you feeling?  Are you like Joseph, down there in a pit somewhere?  Are you deeply discouraged, walking through a dark valley of shadows?

 

Let’s take a cue from Jesus’ followers as they watch him rising through the air into heaven. 

 

Let’s put our trust in him.  Let’s let him nurture our hope.  And let’s let our hope lead us to rejoice, and then, in word and deed, to be messengers of that hope.

 

Because he’s already working out how to lead us through this. 

 

May it be so.

 

 

Last Published: May 27, 2022 12:06 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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