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LCH Sermons—Easter 2011

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Pentecost—June 12, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Acts 2: 1–21; Psalm 104; I Corinthians 12:3b–13; John 20: 19–23
Summary: Today is Pentecost, and we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit in a new way. Before Jesus ascended, he breathed the Spirit, but the disciples stayed in the room. On Pentecost, the Spirit came in a mighty wind and tongues of fire, and the disciples went out to tell everyone in their own language that God had poured the Spirit on all creation. If we breathe in the Spirit and stay in our pews, we are like a balloon that gradually deflates. We know that physically we cannot keep breathing in; we have to exhale and let the Spirit out through our ministry. What Christ seeks is not the renewal of the church but the renewal of all creation.

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Ascension of Our Lord (transferred)—June 5, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Diane Martinson-Koyama
Lessons: Acts 1:1–11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:15–23; Luke 24:44–53
Summary: Today is Ascension Sunday when we remember Jesus going up into heaven. His time on earth was over, and his ministry passed to the disciples. Acts tells us that they gathered together to wait expectantly for the Spirit. Our lives are full of in-between times like these—significant pauses that lead to life and growth.

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Easter VI—May 29, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Phyllis Hormann
Lessons: Acts 17:22–31; Psalm 66:1–8; I Peter 3:13–22; John 14:15–21
Summary: In today’s Gospel, we hear more of Jesus’s farewell speech, where he says he will go and send the Comforter. The disciples knew there were changes ahead, and they must have been uncomfortable. Outside of God—who never changes—change is the only constant. All of us have experienced change and dislocation. It can help us have empathy for others. The Spirit can work marvelous transformation. Our call as baptized children of God is to allow the Spirit to work in and through us.

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Easter V—May 22, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Phyllis Hormann
Lessons: Acts 7:55–60; Psalm 31:1–5, 15–16; I Peter 2:2–10; John 14:1–14
Summary: In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about our home with God. Given John’s emphasis on the mutual indwelling of Jesus and the Father, this home is more a relationship than a place. Through Jesus we know the God who has created us, is in relationship with us, and puts us on a path to our final home in God’s love. We are on the journey of a lifetime, guided by Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

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Easter IV—May 15, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Acts 2:42–47; Psalm 23; I Peter 2:19–25; John 10:1–10
Summary: In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about a shepherd calling sheep by name. We don’t know much about sheep these days, but we all have names. We know God’s voice because God is trustworthy. In Acts we hear how the disciples responded to that call. We have lots of names that describe part of who we are, but the most important name we have is that of beloved children of God. Do we trust God enough to live lives true to that name?

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Easter III—May 8, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Acts 2:14a, 36–41; Psalm 116:10–17; I Peter 1:17–23; Luke 24:13–35
Summary: In today’s familiar Gospel, the disciples on the road to Emmaus get a Bible lesson from Jesus but still do not recognize him until he breaks the bread. The story describes us. We can listen and not be moved by the story until our eyes are opened by Scripture. It is not enough to take the road; we need to be changed. When we are called back to Christ we truly recognize Jesus.

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Easter II/Earth Day Sunday—May 1, 2011

Preacher: Jim Sullivan
Lessons: Acts 2:14a, 22–32; Psalm 16; I Peter 1:3–9; John 20:19–31
Summary: In today’s Gospel, the risen Christ appears to the disciples, breathes on them, sends them out, and empowers them to send away hurt and sin. We do this by helping others and living lives of thankfulness and respect. My Aunt Fanny taught me about conservation and the environment. On this Earth Day Sunday, we have lots of hurt and sin to send away.

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Easter Sunday—April 24, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Jeremiah 31:1–6; Psalm 118; Acts 10:34–43; Matthew 28:1–10
Summary: Each of today’s lessons talks about how God keeps God’s promises and how people cannot stop sharing this good news. The disciples are afraid when they find the empty tomb, but they meet the risen Christ and are changed. We are called to tell that same story again and again. Go out, full of the resurrection news. Take the good news of hope to a desperate world.

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