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LCH Sermons—Time after Pentecost 2007 (October and November)

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Last Sunday after Pentecost: The Reign of Christ—November 25, 2007

Preacher: Pastor Fritz Fritschel
Lessons: Jeremiah 23:1–6; Psalm 46; Colossians 1:11–20; Luke 23:33–43
Summary: Reign of Christ Sunday is worth celebrating for several reasons. It reminds us of the celebration of the end of the civil year, when around the world people enjoy performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with its “Ode to Joy.” In many ways joy is the basis for existence: it drives everything, and everything seeks joy. The introit and canticle today tell us, “This is the feast of victory for our King” But this is a strange king: “the lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength.” The text from Colossians is an interesting text explaining the significance of Christ being “in the beginning.” We can call it joy or suffering love or creativity, but no matter what we call it, it is worth celebrating.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 33—November 18, 2007

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Malachi 4:1–2a; Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 3:6–13; Luke 21:5–19
Summary: Today’s lesson from Malachi talks about the day of God “coming, burning like an oven, ... and all evildoers will be stubble.... But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.” Many may like this lesson and its us/them dichotomy. However, Paul and Jesus focus on God’s righteousness and want us to get on with the work we are called to. We are not called to be better but to live life fully. We are not called to prepare for a funeral but for a banquet.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 32—November 11, 2007

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Job 19:23–27a; Psalm 17:1–9; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–5, 13–17; Luke 20:27–38
Summary: Today’s gospel lesson, in which Sadducees ask about the woman who was married to seven brothers, is the kind of text that drives us crazy. Jesus uses their own theology to answer them, saying that God is a God of the living and when the Messiah comes, everything will be different. Then Jesus goes on to ask, “What will you do now?” We are not called to ride through the world like a submarine rides through the water, or sail on top of the world, like a boat sails on the water. We are called to dive deeply into the world, like a swimmer diving deeply in the sea. With the whole world aching to hear the message of freedom and love, we need to dive deeply, to give and risk everything for the gospel.

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All Saints Sunday—November 4, 2007

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Daniel 7:1–3, 15–18; Psalm 149; Ephesians 1:11–23; Luke 6:20–31
Summary: Luke’s version of the Beatitudes in today’s gospel is the kind of truth that does not sugarcoat anything. It starts out nice: “Blessed are you...,” but then it goes on “Woe to you....” We should hear this kind of truth-telling in a way that cuts to the core of our souls. Then comes the statement of our whole task in life: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” The gospel calls for us to enfold the world in arms of the love of the saints.

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Reformation Sunday—October 28, 2007

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Jeremiah 31:31–34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19–28; John 8:31–36
Summary: Luther began a movement of faithfulness and joy centered on Christ and the Word. But when a movement stops moving, it becomes a denomination, gets stuck, no longer moves with the Spirit, and eventually dies. We in the Lutheran tradition have an incredible gift to share with the world. Luther helped us understand the gifts of grace, music, truth, and the Word. Christ sends us out into the world to share those gifts. But we cannot share them if we do not move. Move!

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 29—October 21, 2007

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Genesis 32:22–31; Psalm 121; 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5; Luke 18:1–8
Summary: Jesus told the parable of the widow and the unjust judge as an antidote the disciple’s and our impatience. Christianity is a centuries-long religion, but we live in a 30-second world. We must be persistent in prayer, praise, and living out the Gospel. The reign of God does not come crashing down; it is unfolding in time and history. Praying, knocking at the door, and wrestling with God, we help with the unfolding.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 28/Children’s Sabbath—October 14, 2007

Preacher: Thelma Ruffin Thomas
Lessons: 2 Kings 5:1–3, 7–15c; Psalm 111; 2 Timothy 2:8–15; Luke 17:11–19
Summary: Storyteller Thelma Ruffin Thomas told stories—some new, some familiar, and some from her own life experience—that illustrate the theme of gratitude from the Gospel lesson of Jesus healing ten lepers.

Follow this link to see pictures from children’s performances and read more about Thelma Ruffin Thomas.

Listen to this sermon. (Because of technical problems, the sound quality of this week’s sermon is poor.)

Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 27—October 7, 2007

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Habakkuk 1:1–4; 2:1–4; Psalm 37:1–10; 2 Timothy 1:1–14; Luke 17:5–10
Summary: When the disciples ask Jesus, “Increase our faith,” he replies with the parable of the mustard seed and of the slave who is expected to serve the master before eating. This is not the sort of reply a pastor trained in this age of support and self esteem is likely to give. Faith is part of our DNA as Christians. We may grow and change over our lives, and our faith may increase or decrease, but the fundamental nature of faith does not change. Faith is not a matter of intellectual belief but of trusting God who promises always to be with us.

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