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LCH Sermons—Time after Pentecost 2011 (October and November)

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Christ the King—November 20, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Ezekiel 34:11–16, 20–24 | Psalm 95:1–7a | Ephesians 1:15–23 | Matthew 25:31–46
Summary: In today’s lessons, Ezekiel explains how God will gather together the people pushed aside by their rulers, and Paul in Ephesians tells how God will reclaim people under Christ, who rules from the cross. God reigns not through power but compassion. We are called to go from this place to bring in God’s kingdom of justice.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 33—November 13, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Zephaniah 1:7, 12–18 | Psalm 90:1–12 | 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11 | Matthew 25:14–30
Summary: Today’s Gospel is often misinterpreted as being about prosperity or piety. But Jesus includes this parable in his discussion of the last days, as he is talking about God’s presence in the world coming to fruit. The master lavishes impossible amounts of money as God has lavished on us the richness of grace. When we keep this gift to ourselves, we make it irrelevant. We cannot save God’s grace in our church buildings or even in our hearts. We are called to invest it in the world and in others.

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All Saints Sunday—November 6, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Revelation 7:9–17 | Psalm 34:1–10, 22 | 1 John 3:1–3 | Matthew 5:1–12
Summary: Today we remember all the saints, living and dead. Conventional wisdom says that a church will be successful when people are satisfied and joyous, but today’s Gospel has a different vision. In the Beatitudes, Jesus calls us to die to the world and serve others. Society calls us to different values. And Jesus is talking about being blessed right now and not just in the future. You are all saints of God, and that sainthood is wrapped in Christ on the cross. In weakness, God has brought the kingdom. This may not make us one of the top churches in numbers, but it will bring us to God.

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Reformation Sunday—October 30, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Jeremiah 31:31–34 | Psalm 46 | Romans 3:19–28 | John 8: 31–36
Summary: Today we remember how Martin Luther asked questions almost 500 years ago that energized a movement that is still going on. Luther had tried to be prefect, but it didn’t work. In Romans, he was directed to the cross and realized that in Jesus Christ we are called to freedom. We often look for a God of power, but we are called to the cross where we are set free in weakness. This is a gift we are given in the Word. The Reformation means nothing if we do not continue in the Word.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 30—October 23, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Diane Martinson-Koyama
Lessons: Leviticus 19:1–2, 15–18 | Psalm 1 | 1 Thessalonians 2:1–8 | Matthew 22:34–46
Summary: When I was in Mexico before seminary, someone asked me “Who is Jesus?” and replied with the simple statement “Jesus is love.” Christianity is much more about love than theology. In today’s Gospel, they ask Jesus the greatest commandment, and he says to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus points out that radical love supersedes the law. We know we cannot succeed at loving our neighbor, so we must rely on God’s mercy. When we love God, we open ourselves up to transformation, but we must also ask how we can love our neighbors.

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Children’s Sabbath/Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 29—October 16, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Isaiah 45:1–7 | Psalm 96 | 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10 | Matthew 22:15–22
Summary: In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees try to trap Jesus by asked about paying taxes to the Emperor, and Jesus tells them to give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s. We must understand this in the context of Genesis I, which tells us that all of creation belongs to God and we are simply stewards. Humans try to hold on to what we think is ours, but when we see ourselves as stewards, our hands open up. In baptism we are marked as God’s own. We are God’s currency, and God is spending us for the sake of the world. Live and love as if there is plenty and you are imprinted with the image of God.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 28—October 9, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Isaiah 25:1–9 | Psalm 23 | Philippians 4:1–9 | Matthew 22:1–14
Summary: Today’s parable of the wedding banquet makes us wonder whether we want to be invited to the party of God’s kingdom. Why are fewer and fewer people coming to church? Is it because we are not telling people or because we are serving food people don’t want? Perhaps we are not passing the invitation to the next generation or keeping the party for ourselves and not inviting others. As the psalm says, God has prepared a table before us. We cannot compel people to come, but we must invite them.

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Time after Pentecost • Lectionary 27—October 2, 2011

Preacher: Pastor Jeff Lilley
Lessons: Isaiah 5:1–7 | Psalm 80:7–15 | Philippians 3:4b–14 | Matthew 21:33–46
Summary: The key to understanding today’s familiar parable of the vineyard is to think about the fruit. The owner took care to protect the fruit and only required that the grapes be harvested and shared. We are called to share the fruits of justice and righteousness we receive as gifts from God. Why do we hang on so tightly? Why do we build walls around the Gospel? Let us share the gifts of grace, love, and peace.

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