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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

 

 

October 16, 2022

“Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 1:  Covenant Connectors” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, October 16, 2022  -  Year C / 19th Sunday of Pentecost - Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Psalm 119:97-104  •  Genesis 32:22-31 and Psalm 121  •  2 Timothy 3:14-4:5  •  Luke 18:1-8

THEME:  Use technology as a tool to share the Good News.

 

When I was in Scotland last June for my Doctor of Ministry courses at the University of Edinburgh, we would go each day to a noon worship service at St. Giles Cathedral.  St. Giles is located on the High Street that connects Holyrood Palace at one end and Edinburgh Castle at the other. 

It’s a major tourist hub.  But right next to St. Giles I noticed a strange stone platform.  It it’s 14-feet tall, with an octagonal base.  It’s made entirely of stone.  If you’re a chess player, it looks like a giant rook.  I was curious what it was for.  So, I asked one of my Scottish classmates.

He told me it’s called a Mercat Cross, which in the Scots dialect means market cross.  Going back at least 700 years, it marks the very center of the town’s life.  Market stalls were arranged around it and merchants gathered there to talk about business.  It was also the place where public shaming and punishments happened. 

Most important of all, it was the place from which public pronouncements were made.  The town crier would walk up the steps and read civic and royal announcements.  That’s how the people learned the big news of the day.

To this very day, royal proclamations are still read in public at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh.  You may have seen this just last month when the Lord Lyon, King of Arms and Lord Provost of Edinburgh, read aloud the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s death and the succession of Prince Charles as England’s new monarch.

When I thought about our scripture today, it struck me that God was using Jeremiah in exactly the same way. 

God has anointed Jeremiah to be his prophet.  He is to speak God’s message to the people of Judah and its capital, Jerusalem.  The message God gives Jeremiah to relay to the people is not a happy one.

Jeremiah speaks God’s wrath to his chosen people who have gone astray.  They have disobeyed his law.  They have broken his covenant.  That’s why God has allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed and its leadership deported to exile in Babylon.

But now God gives Jeremiah a far happier message.  God promises the return of his people.  Just as Moses led their ancestors out of slavery in Egypt, so will God lead his people out of exile in Babylon.  They will return to the Promised Land.  Once again, they will thrive there. Their lives will be restored.  Their relationship with God will be renewed. 

To make that possible, God will make a new covenant with his people.  This one won’t be written on stone tablets like the first one.  This new covenant will be written on the people’s hearts. 

Even better, God promises a future time when this covenant will be written on everyone’s hearts.  There will be no more need to teach it or proclaim it.  Everyone will know it and everyone will live by it. 

This is God’s covenant of grace, grounded in his law of love.  As Christians, you and I see this New Covenant embodied in Jesus Christ.  And, through him, we are heirs of God’s new covenant – it’s our covenant, too.

And, until that day when he returns, Jesus calls us to share the good news of God’s covenant of love and the new life it offers. 

But the question that’s been on my mind this week is how should we share that good news?  What does it look to share the good news faithfully?

What we’re talking about is evangelism.  When it comes to sharing the good news of the gospel, the church has a remarkable history of innovation in finding new ways to share the gospel. 

Let me take you back 300 years.  The year is 1729.  At Oxford University, a group of young men have formed what you and I would call a small group.  Back then this was a radical idea.  These young Christians got together to help each other examine their living in order to be more faithful disciples.  They fasted.  They studied scripture together.  They cared for the poor and created a new prison ministry.  

As you might expect, they were ridiculed by those in the established Church of England.  They were called “Bible moths” and the “Holy Club”.  Others called them Methodists.  And you probably know their names:  John and Charles Wesley, and George Whitefield.  They are the founders of Methodism.

George Whitefield took this innovation even further.  Instead of confining his preaching to a church sanctuary, Whitefield went out into a field.  There he preached to crowds, much as Jesus did. 

The established church frowned on this.  They rejected this tactic.  They called it a “profane” innovation.

But was it, really?  In reality, this was one of the first mass evangelism events in modern times.

When the Wesley Brothers and Whitefield came over to the American colonies, the movement caught fire.  Whitefield’s emotional preaching out in the open air was the spark that lit the powder keg of the First Great Awakening in America. 

He was the first one to use print media to get the word out.  He had his sermons published.  He sent messengers ahead of him to put up advertising notices in public places.  They invited people of all kinds, slaves and free, the churched and the unchurched, to come and hear him share the Word of God.

The gospel message was so important that Whitefield felt compelled to use any and all means to get the Word out.  The message stayed the same.  It was the delivery mechanism that changed.  Christianity spread like wildfire. 

Fast forward to the 20th century and the advent of radio.  In 1922, the Mayor of Chicago had a radio transmitter built on top of City Hall.  He invited a young Chicago preacher named Paul Rader to fill the airtime on Saturday afternoons.

Rader immediately saw the opportunity to spread the gospel through this new medium.  In his words, radio evangelism "can push out the walls of the biggest church and reach the unsaved." 

As you might imagine, there were many Christians who frowned on this.  They viewed radio as the tool of the devil.  Rader disagreed.  He said, “"There's nothing in the Bible that tells the world to come to the Church; but there is everything in the Bible that tells the Church to go to the world!  Radio takes the Gospel to the unchurched. That's why I'm using it!'"

Let’s move forward to the 1950s, when television became popular.  As you might guess, there was a chorus of critics.  They claimed that TV would destroy the sense of community, discourage reading, shorten attention spans, and even promote violence.  None other than the great theologian Reinhold Niebuhr predicted in 1949 that, because of TV, “much of what is still wholesome in our lives will perish.”

But some Christian evangelists saw it differently.  By the early 1950s, radio evangelists began using television.  One of them was someone you know:  Billy Graham.  In 1957, Billy Graham broadcast his first rally live from Madison Square Garden.  

In an interview with a reporter from the New York Times, he famously said that, if the second coming of Christ were to occur that very day, Jesus would go on television.  And why?  Because scripture says when Jesus returns every eye shall see him.

If Billy Graham were alive today, he would say that Christ would go on the Internet.  It may not surprise you that at age 75, Billy Graham was one of the first evangelists to experiment with the Internet.  Today, his legacy includes a robust online ministry that reaches millions across the globe.

Friends, that is where we are headed.  We are making plans right now to share the Gospel both in person and online.  We will join the power of small groups with the vast communication potential of the Internet.  The medium is new.  The message is not. 

We don’t know yet what that connection between small groups and the Internet will look like, but we are going to find out.  We are going to be innovators, because that is what Christ demands of us.

This is how we fulfil our values.  It’s how we glorify God, by making more faithful disciples.  It’s how we invite others to join us on our journey of faith.  It is yet another important way that we fulfil our vision of becoming a grace-filled family of faith sharing Christ’ s love with all.

During this Season of Commitment, I join Bill and all the members of our Session and our Commitment and Legacy Committee to invite you to examine yourself and your own discipleship.  Let’s all ask ourselves “how can my family and I be more faithful through our commitment of time and talent and treasure to God’s work here at SSPC?”  

Maybe it means seriously considering the call to walk the road to Tithing by increasing our pledge by 1% of our income this coming year.  That’s what I’ve committed to. 

Maybe it means joining one of our new small groups.  Maybe it means becoming a small group leader.  If that’s your interest, contact Lisa or me and we will help you explore that.

Whatever it means for you, please know this.  You are a covenant connector. 

Your faithfulness is not only strengthening your connection to God’s covenant of love in Jesus Christ.  You are helping to connect others to his covenant as well.

May it be so.

 

Last Published: October 21, 2022 11:58 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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