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LCH Sermons—October and November 2009

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Christ the King: Last Sunday after Pentecost—November 22, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Daniel 7:9–10, 13–14; Psalm 93; Revelation 1:4b–8; John 18:33–37
Summary: Historically, most kings hold power through violence. Jesus stands before Pilate and says his kingdom is not of this world. God’s rule is through love. How do we measure this king of love? By deeds done from creation through the cross and beyond. How will we as God’s people be measured? The is no better measure than love.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 33—November 15, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Daniel 12:1–3; Psalm 16; Hebrews 10:11–14; Mark 13:1–8
Summary: In the last few Sundays after Pentecost, our readings turn to apocalyptic literature—a kind of literature that appears during troubled times. In today’s Gospel, Jesus and the disciples are looking at the huge buildings of the Temple, Jesus says they will be destroyed, and talk turns to the end times. Jesus tells them not to be afraid. Every generation goes through times of trouble, but with a longer perspective we can live in hope. Hebrews tells us that we can be confident because we have faith in Jesus, and Jesus is faithful. Hebrews also tells us to provoke one another to love. When disaster is all around, God is faithful.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 32—November 8, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: 1 Kings 17:8–16; Psalm 146; Hebrews 9:24–28; Mark 12:38–44
Summary: I see the woman in today’s Gospel who dropped her two cents in the offering box as a symbol for Christ who will soon give his all on the cross. No amount of riches we may give can compare to the “worthless” gifts of the widow who fed Elijah, or the woman at the offering box, or Christ on the cross.

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All Saints Day—November 1, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Diane Martinson-Koyama
Lessons: Isaiah 25:6–9; Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1–6a; John 11:32–44
Summary: This is a significant weekend in Hawai‘i as a relic of newly-canonized Saint Damien comes back to O‘ahu after visiting Kalaupapa. Lutherans too recognize saints who exemplify Christ, who do ordinary things in extraordinary ways. Damien shows us the stubborn determination not to forget the forgotten people of our world. There are many other saints whose determined spirits, driven by compassion and a fearless trust in God, have led them to live remarkable lives.

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Reformation Sunday—October 25, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Jeremiah 31:31–34 Psalm 46; Romans 3: 19–28; John 8: 31–36
Summary: Luther confronted a church bound tight by the law, a world that seemed filled with devils, one where people lived in fear. But Romans talks about the gift of grace which changes the relationship between God and humans. We are all being re-formed by that grace, like metal when it is forged. But this can be a lengthy and painful process. We are still a church being re-formed and seeking the freedom of the Gospel, but freedom and change are difficult and dangerous. It is easy to celebrate the historical Reformation, but the challenging words of our scriptures are still true, and we are called to be re-formed in God’s grace, to boldly proclaim God’s love, and to be set free.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 29/Children’s Sabbath—October 18, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Isaiah 53:4–12; Psalm 91:9–16; Hebrews 5:1–10; Mark 10:35–45
Summary: We live in a time when being “the greatest” is an all-consuming desire. In today’s Gospel the disciples ask Jesus to let them sit on his right and left, but Jesus replies by asking if they are willing to endure his cross. He wants to change their orientation from power to service. If we want to build our churches, we need to focus not on attendance and budgets but on building up service. Through God’s grace we are transformed into people of service.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 28—October 11, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Amos 5:6–7, 10–15; Psalm 90:12–17; Hebrews 4:12–16; Mark 10:17–31
Summary: In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the rich young man to sell everything and give the money to the poor. The disciples said it was just too hard, and in our modern world, which values prosperity, we would agree. But we miss the last part—follow me. Jesus is pointing to the cross. Of course that is also too hard, but Jesus has borne the cross for us all. The cross changes our perspective. We are freed from distractions and called into God’s grace. With God, nothing is impossible.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 27—October 4, 2009

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Genesis 2:18–24; Psalm 8; Hebrews 1:1–4; 2:5–12; Mark 10:2–16
Summary: At the core of today’s Gospel is a message about what it means to live in life-long relationship. Jesus takes Moses’ teaching about divorce and goes one step farther. Marriage has changed over the years, and when we look at it in the light of this Gospel text—illuminated by Fiddler on the Roof—we see that God draws us together so that two become one. Of course, sometimes that trust is broken; but even then, as church we are called on to love and support each other.

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