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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 30, 2022

“Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 3:  Relationship Redeemers” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, October 30, 2022  -  Year C / 21st Sunday after Pentecost – Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 and Psalm 119:137-144  •  Isaiah 1:10-18 and Psalm 32:1-7  •  2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12  •  Luke 19:1-10

THEME:  Jesus calls us to value relationships and community over wealth. 

 

Today, we conclude our sermon series on the stewardship theme of connection.  You’ll remember that we began on World Communion Sunday.  That day we emphasized our partnership with fellow Presbyterians on the other side of the globe, in Newcastle South Africa.  We even shared YouTube videos with one another.

2 Sundays ago, we discussed technology as a gift from God to connect us with others.  Far from being a tool of the devil, the Internet, we agreed, makes it possible to reach our members who live far away or who travel out of town. 

It also makes it possible for us to reach folks who are local who may be curious to see if this is a faith community where their faith can be nurtured.  Which, of course, it is!

Last week, we focused on another aspect of connection.  We looked at the wisdom of Ben Sira.  He advised us that offering our time, talent and for God’s purposes makes God happy and it makes us happy, as well as those we serve in his name.  Such faithfulness draws us closer to God and to one another.

Today, we are going to zero in on the way that our faithful use of material wealth can restore relationships with God and our neighbors, especially those in need. To help us do that, we are going to take a lesson from Zacchaeus.

Remember Zacchaeus?  Luke tells us Zachaeus is not only a tax collector, but a chief tax collector.  The Roman government has authorized him to oversee a network of Jewish men who have the right to levy a tax on the spot from any Jew they encounter.  Anything could be taxed:  imported goods, exported goods, bridge-tolls, road-tolls, town-dues. 

A quota was assigned to each tax collector.  The tax collector got to keep any amount in excess of that quota.  So, there was a strong incentive to inflate the value of anything to be taxed in order to collect as much as possible.  You could even be taxed twice for the same thing, if you had the bad fortune to run into two different tax collectors, even just minutes apart. 

We can well imagine that tax collectors were loathed by the Jewish people.  They were on a par with thieves and murderers. 

They were considered so dishonest they were not even allowed to offer testimony in court.  They were widely considered a disgrace to their own family.  They may have had wealth, but the way they earned it meant that the only people they could socialize with were fellow tax collectors.  They were outcasts, plain and simple, Jews alienated from their own people. 

I dare say none of us is engaged in such shady business practices.  But there are elements of our own economic system that can push us in that direction.  After 20 years in sales and marketing, I speak from experience.

The necessary emphasis on profit can lead us to overlook those in need.  Customers are only important if they have money to spend.  Clients are only important if they have status or power.  Even in the helping professions, clients who are least able to pay are often denied the best care, even if they desperately need it. 

No matter how we earn our living, wealth can separate us from others, if we’re not careful.  Wealth influences where we live, where we go to school, who our friends are, who we marry, and more.

If we give in to that, the result is often a narrow and lonely life.  That is what Zacchaeus found out.

But that is not what Jesus wants for Zacchaeus – and it’s not what he wants for you and me.  His message is use wealth in a way that benefits our neighbors and restores our relationship with them, especially those who have less. 

The point Jesus makes is this is how we experience redemption.  We know redemption in the restoration of our relationships with the children of God, and with God himself.

Christ calls you and me to use wealth to build bonds of community.

That is what we celebrate today.  Today is Commitment Sunday, when we all bring our pledges and offer them as a commitment to God’s work in and through this community of faith.

In this season of Commitment, we have seen the ways in which we at SSPC are using the material wealth God entrusts to us in the way Jesus commands:  to reaffirm our connections with those in this faith family, with our partners in ministry outside our walls, and with those we serve in the community around us.  We are strengthening old relationships and establishing new ones.

Today is also Reformation Sunday.  It is not a coincidence that we celebrate Reformation and Commitment Sunday together.  This is the day we intentionally connect with all those faithful Reformers down through the years.

For us here at SSPC, those connections go back to the very first time James and Hannah Silver first gathered worshipers here beside the spring in back of our meeting house.

And the first pastor who preached here was Rev. Alexander Craighead.

Let me tell you a little bit about the Reverend Alexander Craighead . . .

SR [Outside the church]:   Why don’t you let me tell ‘em, Pastor!

DW: [pause] What?  Who is that?

SR:  Be careful how you throw my name around, sonny. 

DW: Rev. Craighead, is that you?

SR:  Sure is.  I’ve been keeping an eye on this congregation ever since I left to go upstairs.  Every few decades on Reformation Sunday, I get to make a personal appearance.  Every time I come back, I think of that first time I preached here.

DW: That was almost 300 years ago.

SR:  And it was a morning a lot like this one.  Same time of year, leaves falling all around – just beautiful.  I was a young man then, and a brand new pastor.  Those boffins over in Donegal Presbytery decided that someone needed to go preach on this side of the river. 

DW:  That was kind of dangerous wasn’t it?

SR:  You bet it was.  None of them wanted to do it, but I was up for the challenge.  God called me to preach the gospel, and I knew that if he was calling me, he’d protect me.  And he did.

DW: What was that experience like?

Describe that First Sunday: 

  • It was crazy – it was like the Garden of Gethsemane
  • No meeting House, not even a log cabin. 
  • The characters are suspect – and cheap!


But James and Hannah were different.

James and Hannah were faithful.  They gave of their time, talent and treasure to gather Presbyterians and establish the relationships that have endured for almost 300 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Published: November 11, 2022 10:52 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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