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Sermons

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For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

November 2022


November 20, 2020  "Who Is This Jesus?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 13, 2022  "Steady Faith" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

October 2022


October 30, 2022  "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 3: Relationship Redeemers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 23, 2022 "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 2: Generous Givers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 16, 2022   "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 1: Covenant Connectors" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

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

 

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

July 17, 2022

“God’s Goodness, Part 3:  The Covenant Partner Who Blesses” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, July 17, 2022  -  Year C / 6th Sunday after Pentecost - Amos 8:1-12 and Psalm 52  •  Genesis 18:1-10a and Psalm 15  •  Colossians 1:15-28  •  Luke 10:38-42

THEME:  Trust God to bring the blessing of new life because nothing is too wonderful for God.

 

If you have been watching the news lately, you have no doubt seen those stunning images NASA released earlier this week.  Do you know the ones I’m talking about?

These pictures were taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA's largest and most powerful space telescope.  It cost $10 billion and will spend the next 20 years peeping into far flung galaxies.  It will reveal the history of the universe from the Big Bang, to the birth of galaxies, planets and stars. It will even be able to identify other planets where life may exist.

The Webb Telescope is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, which also generated ground-breaking images of the cosmos.  But the difference in clarity between the two is like the difference between our old analog TV sets and the latest LCD digital video monitors.

The pictures that were released this week are simply stunning.  They clearly show formations like the Cosmic Cliffs in the Carina Nebula, the striking Southern Ring Nebula, and a compact galaxy known as Stephan's Quintet. 

Unless you are an Astrophysicist or an astronomer, these names may mean very little to you, but what all of us can appreciate is the detail and clarity of the images themselves.  Now we can truly appreciate the multitude of stars.

And when God approached Abraham to make a covenant with him, it was this view that he took Abraham out of his tent to see.  God told him, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able.  So shall your descendants be.”

Along with the promise of land and widespread reputation, God promised Abraham a multitude of ancestors.  These blessings can be summed up in one word:  well-being.  Well-being in all the dimensions of life:  material, social and spiritual.

Abraham and Sarah, however, are just a little skeptical about that promise of a multitude of ancestors.  We see that clearly as they welcome three strangers on a hot desert day. 

They receive their visitors with remarkable hospitality.  The three men, one of whom is apparently God in disguise, bring a message, a reminder of God’s promise.  Within the year, Sarah, who is long past child-bearing age, will nevertheless bear a child to Abraham, who is in his late 90s. 

Just as Abraham laughed at this promise in the previous chapter, so now Sarah laughs as she eavesdrops on their conversation.  But then one of the mysterious messengers (God himself) asks them a question that pulls them up short.  Is anything too wonderful for God? 

 That question is for us, too.  We are heirs to God’s Covenant in Jesus Christ.  How do we regard God’s capacity for such wondrous, seemingly impossible blessing?

To put this question into context, Abraham and Sarah’s lack of children was a crisis.  Theirs was a strictly patriarchal culture.  Without a son, there would be no one to inherit Abraham’s estate and carry on his legacy. 

It was also a crisis for Sarah.  She was the object of ridicule and shame because of her inability to fulfill her purpose in life.

For both of them, being childless was the end of the line. A dead-end.  Without new life to carry on, there was no future.

That was their reality.  And yet, for almost 25 years, God had been promising them children, a male heir.  But it hasn’t happened.  So, we can forgive them if they receive the renewal of God’s promise with laughter rather than credibility.

I think we all know that feeling, don’t we?  We yearn for something that is missing in our lives.  We hear Christ promise us fullness of life - the kind of blessed life of total well-being that God promises Abraham and Sarah.  And, yet it doesn’t come. 

We wait.  We pray.  We act as best we can, but still we find ourselves at a dead-end, looking in vain for some sign of the new life that Christ promises us.  Sometimes, in our darkest moments, we fear that God has simply forgotten us. 

Have you ever felt that way?  It’s not a very comfortable feeling.  It feels like you’re sitting alone in the darkness.

But God never forgets us.  He may delay in answering our prayers, but he never forgets his covenantal promise of new life in Christ, not just after death, but now – in this life.  

There are 3 ways to reassure ourselves that God has not forgotten his promise.

First, when God delays in answering our prayers, it does not mean that he has disappeared.  He still walks with us, each and every step of our days.  He never fails to give us reminders of his presence.  We just have to be willing to look for them and recognize them when we see them.

We find those reminders first and foremost in scripture.  To Abraham, God says, “Do not be afraid, I am your shield.”  To Joshua, he says, “Do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’”  Through Jesus, God promises the disciples, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Friends, these are not empty promises.  These are God’s promises. And just as he gave Abraham and Sarah reminders of his promise for years on end, so he continually reminds us. 

His reminders come to us in the beauty and bounty of nature.  In the kind words of a friend, in the compassionate touch of a loved one.  And in the caring action of a complete stranger. 

These are all reminders that where there is love, there is God.  And love is all around.  Which means God is around, too.  He is always with us.

Second, when God delays, more often than not, it is for a time of testing.  The purpose of that testing is always to make us stronger in our faith and more faithful in our discipleship. 

When we experience testing, it is almost always painful, but we should consider that we are in some very good company.  God tests everyone that he uses for his purposes. 

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph – he tested them all.  He tested Moses and Joshua.  He tested Samuel, David and Solomon.  And was there ever a prophet God did not test? 

The same is true of Jesus and his disciples.  All of them were tested.  Only when they endured faithfully, did they fulfill God’s mission.  By that time, their faith was strong enough to do it.

And that’s how it is with you and me.  When God delays, you can be sure he is testing us.  The choice we have is whether to give in to despair, or remain faithful and live in hope, trusting that God is there, even when he allows us to be tested.  

Third, God always has the final say.  Even when it seems like all is at an end, that sin and darkness have overcome the light of love in this world, remember that God always gets the last word.

The ultimate proof of that is the resurrection.  With God, even death is not final.  Only God’s Word and God’s way is final.

There you have it.  God is always with us.  God tests us to make our faith stronger.  And God always gets the final word.  These are the 3 best ways I know to remind ourselves that God has not forgotten his promise of blessing, that he still intends us to have new and abundant life.

Come to think of it, I would add a fourth.  When God’s promise of blessing is delayed, and we find ourselves struggling with a life that is less than whole, the ability to laugh is itself a gift from God and a sure sign of his presence.

The abolitionist and Congregational pastor Henry Ward Beecher famously said, “A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It gets jolted by every pebble on the road.”

So, let’s give Abraham and Sarah some credit.  True, they were sure they were long past God’s promise of new life.  They were wrong, but at least they could laugh about it.

And there is another saying.  He who laughs last, laughs best.  And God definitely got the last laugh.  Sure enough, just as he promised, a year later, Sarah had Isaac.  Whose name in Hebrew means, “He laughed.”

It was as if God had pulled down one of those stars from the nighttime sky and given it to Abraham and Sarah in the form of a miracle baby.  It was proof of God’s faithfulness and the stunning, sometimes miraculous way he keeps his promise of new life when life seems to have hit a dead-end.  

His promise is for you and me, too.  So, let me ask you:

What is missing in your life?  What is keeping you from feeling whole, from having a full life as God intends for us?  

Whatever it is, God knows it.  He has not forgotten you and he has not forgotten his promise of blessing.

I’m not saying that God is going to instantly grant our every plea.  Most times, the answer to our prayer is either wait, or no.  That’s because the timing is not right, OR God has a different blessing in mind.

 Either way, as we wait, let’s remember that God is with us.  He strengthens our faith through testing, and he always has the final word. 

Friends, the next time you look up at the nighttime sky or at one those pictures from deep space, remember God’s promise.  As you see all those little lights twinkling in the distance, each one a promise of blessing and the possibility of life, let it be a reminder:  nothing is too wonderful for God.

Amen.

Last Published: July 15, 2022 11:56 AM
Sermons

Click here to view Worship Videos.

For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

November 2022


November 20, 2020  "Who Is This Jesus?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 13, 2022  "Steady Faith" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

October 2022


October 30, 2022  "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 3: Relationship Redeemers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 23, 2022 "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 2: Generous Givers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 16, 2022   "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 1: Covenant Connectors" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

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

 

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

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