[Associate Pastor Newsletter Article for Grace Lutheran Church, September 2021]
Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. – Ephesians 6:18
As a pastor, I have spent much of my ministry helping others to be equipped to share their gifts, as I should (Ephesians 4:11-13). Seeing someone with some sort of grace bestowed on them by God, a pastor’s job becomes one of strengthening the awareness of that gift, and helping that brother or sister in Christ to make full use of all that God has given for the glory of God, and love of neighbor. Lately, for me anyways, that work has been focused on the creation of a Sunday School team, a continuation of the awesomeness of our Youth Ministry team, and the hopes of seeing other teams be formed within our congregation for the sake of the Gospel and the work we have been given to do.
It is weird to think of how God works against our expectations. Most of us can think of times in which we thought God needed to do something and it seemed like nothing happened. We sat in the hospital room and prayed until our eyes were dry of tears and nothing appeared to transpire beyond the inevitable death of our loved one. Other times we have looked upon the world and we see all the violence, the violation of our personal space or property, or life itself, and we begin to pray with the psalmist, "Lord, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1, CSB) Only to find that God was with us the whole time, but He was hidden in suffering in order that He might be the One who raises the dead.
When I was younger we used to watch this collection of short movies called, "Greatest Heroes of the Bible." I know...I grew up in a religious home...leave me alone. I actually really loved them. They would tell the stories that most people who went to Sunday School, Christian Camp, Jewish Day School, etc., would know because they include all the popular main characters - Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua and Jericho, Samson, David and Goliath, Daniel and Esther. You know, all the people we are told to emulate, especially after some theatrical scrubbing, and those whom you could speak of and in many ways remove God from the picture.
Sermon for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost - Mark 5:21-43
Last sermon at Faith Lutheran Church, Staples, MN
Sermon for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost (Mark 4:38)
My last sermon at Bethany Lutheran Church, Cushing, MN - June 20, 2021
Sermon for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost (Mark 4:30)
More like an exegesis of the Sword in the Stone