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LCH Sermons—Lent 2011

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Palm Sunday—April 17, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Matthew 21:1–11; Isaiah 50:4–9a; Psalm 31:9–16; Philippians 2:5–11; Matthew 26:14—27:66
Summary: Every year we hear the Gospel about the first Palm Sunday and then continue on to the Passion Gospel. The story is the same every year, but we are not.  Our lives change, and every year we hear the story differently. We know how the Gospel story turns out, but we don’t know how our stories will turn out.

Sermon audio unavailable because of technical difficulties.

Fifth Sunday in Lent—April 10, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Ezekiel 37: 1–14; Psalm 130; Romans 8: 6–11; John 11: 1–45
Summary: Today’s lessons all talk about animation and resurrection. They give us a foretaste of Easter, but we must remember what happens first. To understand the Ezekiel lesson about the dry bones, we need to know the context. With Jerusalem under siege and people dying, God promises to bring the dry bones to life. Our world is full of dry bones abroad and at home, but how can we prophesy? The miracle of the Lazarus story is that Jesus was showed up at the tomb and called the dead Lazarus to come out. God is present with us, and God calls us to be present with the dry bones of our world.

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Fourth Sunday in Lent—April 3, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: I Samuel 16: 1–13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5: 8–14; John 9: 1–41
Summary: Today’s lessons are all about seeing in a new way. Samuel looks at Jesse’s sons, and God guides him to see them differently. Here you see a bucket, but if I add drum sticks, you see something different. Or I can add a pillow, and it becomes a stool. In the Gospel, when Jesus talks about the man born blind, he leads his audience to see events differently. This new way of seeing begins with our baptisms, and so it is time for a baptismal revival.

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Third Sunday in Lent—March 27, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Steve Jensen
Lessons: Exodus 17: 1–7; Psalm 95: 6–11; Romans 5: 1–11; John 4: 5–42
Summary: In today’s Gospel Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. We don’t know why she came at that hot, dry time, but she seems to have no clue what real love is about. Jesus sees every aspect of her as a person and engages her—acknowledging and not accusing. He identifies her thirst to be recognized as a person of worth and offers special water to quench that thirst. And she goes and tells others in the town. We who have been rescued from abandonment are called to reach out to others and bring them to meet Christ who brings living water.

Sermon audio unavailable because of technical difficulties.

Second Sunday in Lent—March 20, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Genesis 12: 1–4a; Psalm 121; Romans 4: 1–5, 13–17; John 3: 1–17
Summary: In today’s Gospel Jesus gives Nicodemus a great gift in the form of John 3:16. This verse is very familiar, but most do not know the context. Nicodemus asks Jesus a technical question about how God works in the world and is given a spiritual answer. As Paul tells us in Romans, Abraham is given a great gift through God’s grace without having done anything. Jesus explains that God loves all of creation so much that God gave God’s only child to die for us—no matter what we have done or not done. And our response should be to give that same gift to others so the world can truly and fully live.

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First Sunday in Lent—March 13, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Genesis 2: 15–17; 3: 1–7; Psalm 32; Romans 5: 12–19; Matthew 4: 1–11
Summary: When considering today’s first lesson from Genesis, people often focus on who is to blame for the fall. However, the real point of the story is God’s steadfast love. In the Gospel about his temptation by the devil, Jesus does not rely on his own power and ability but on God’s love. We may be tempted, and we may be afraid (as many were during the tsunami). But those fears and any tendency to blame are met with God’s grace.

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Ash Wednesday—March 9, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Joel 2:1–2, 12–17; Psalm 103:8–13; 2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10; Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21
Summary: Lent is all about images. We begin tonight with crosses on our foreheads and the words “Remember that you are dust.” This would be depressing if we didn’t know how the story goes to the cross and ends in resurrection. We enter the disciplines of Lent not as signs for others but as reminders of our mortality, Christ’s sacrifice, and God’s promise. The marks on our foreheads are not permanent, but we cannot change who we are and what God calls us to be.

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