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LCH Sermons—June and July 2009

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 17—July 26, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: 2 Kings 4:42–44; Psalm 145:10–19; Ephesians 3:114–21; John 6:1–21
Summary: I am a cook, and I can cook anything, but baking is something else. Baking requires love; you have to love baking to be successful. Today’s Gospel about the feeding of the 5,000 is really a story about love. Jesus breaks the bread and distributes God’s abundant love to the people. In communion, we are all fed so we can go out into the world. We can be thankful for a God who feeds the world to satisfaction with the love of Christ.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 16—July 19, 2009

Preacher: Pastor David Kieffer
Lessons: Jeremiah 23:1–6; Psalm 23; Ephesians 4:1–7,11–13; Mark 6:30–34, 53–29
Summary: I used to enjoy the board game Life, but the rules have become more complicated, just as our lives are tougher these days. Here in our Hukilau Conference, diversity is both a strength and a weakness. Paul tells us in Ephesians that we share in one body and one spirit. God’s grace enables us to celebrate this unity, and many gifts of the spirit build up the body of Christ, so we can welcome others in. Life gets tougher, but through the grace of God, we can live together in unity.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 15—July 12, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Amos 7:7–10; Psalm 85:8–13; Ephesians 1:3–14; Mark 6:14–29
Summary: Each of us is measured against a variety of scales every day. Amos tells the people of Israel that their measure has been taken and they have failed. One problem with measuring is that the scales can be off kilter. Part of Herod’s problem in the Gospel is that he used two different standards. We use many different scales in our lives: patriotism, religiosity, wealth, and so on. Ephesians shows us a different scale: no matter how you have been measured, God has adopted you in Christ. God holds the plumb line of Christ up against us. Imagine a world where we measured each other that way.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 14—July 5, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Ezekiel 2:1–5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:2–10; Mark 6:1–13
Summary: Today’s Gospel story about Jesus’ visit to his hometown tells us more about the people of the town than about Jesus. it’s not that he couldn’t do deeds of power because they didn’t believe. It’s that their knowledge of Jesus from his childhood kept them from asking. Similarly, if people these days do not expect anything from church, they will never come. Jesus did not chastise the people of his hometown. He sent the disciples out. We know that Jesus’ love transforms us, and then we are sent out to take that message to the world so all can be transformed.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 13—June 28, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Lamentations 3:22–33; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8:7–15; Mark 5:21–43
Summary: In today’s Gospel, two desperate people come to Jesus for healing. Jesus puts aside convention and heals. This reminds us that God chooses to be in our lives, but what does it say about those who pray for healing but not receive it? The absence of healing does not mean the absence of God. We may not understand it, but we know that God chooses life, God lays aside convention, and God chooses you.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 12—June 21, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Job 38:1–11; Psalm 107:1–3, 23–32; 2 Corinthians 6:1–13 Mark 4:35–41
Summary: We often interpret today’s Gospel about Jesus calming the storm as an example of God’s control over the world. However, it is better understood as a foreshadowing of the post-resurrection Jesus who appears to the frightened disciples on Easter even, saying “Peace.” It is an example of the power Jesus has over our lives and our fears. We live among storms we cannot paddle out of, but we also live in the presence of God and with each other. We may fail God and each other, but can also share the words of Christ, “Peace. Be still.” Then we can rest in God’s peace.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 11—June 14, 2009

Preacher: Seminarian Jacob Burkman
Lessons: Ezekiel 17:22–24; Psalm 92:1–4, 11–14; 2 Corinthians 5:6–17; Mark 4:26–34
Summary: A few weeks ago, I sowed some seeds, and now I’m waiting. Like the sower in the parable, I’m clueless about what will happen, but I know grow will happen naturally. In the same way, we don’t know how faith develops, only that it happens through the work of God. In reality, scattering seeds and letting them grow as they will is no way to get a good harvest, but it works for the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God grows as God wills.

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Trinity Sunday—June 7, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Isaiah 6:1–8; Psalm 29; Romans 8:12–17; John 3:1–17
Summary: In today’s Gospel, Nicodemus comes wanting to know who Jesus is, and Jesus says he must be born of the Spirit. He comes with a child-like faith, but he cannot take the next step. One reasons people leave the church is that they no longer believe the faith of their childhood. This is no surprise. We need to grow into a more mature faith that comes from reading scripture and serious dialog and debate about what we believe. We need to get passed the stories of our childhood and become the stories of Christ enfleshed in the world.

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