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THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT – MARCH 19, 2017 PDF Print E-mail

THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT – MARCH 19, 2017
TEXT: JOHN 4:5-30, 39-42; ROM. 5:1-8; EX. 17:1-7
THE WORSHIP THE FATHER SEEKS IS
JESUS QUENCHING YOUR THIRST FOREVER!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.


“Is the Lord among us or not?” If He is, if we are receiving Him who is the water of life, why are we not perfectly satisfied? Why do we thirst after harmful things? Why are we constantly tempted to drink from the shallow wells of this world?


(Exodus 17:1-7). “Is the Lord among us or not?” That is the question the Israelites asked at Massah and Meribah (meaning “testing” and “rebellion”). Newly freed from bondage to Pharaoh the Lord had sweetened bitter water for them at Marah (Ex. 15). He had rained down manna and quail for them to eat (Ex. 16). There was so much power in what they had witnessed in Egypt. There was so much promise in what God had in store for them. There was so much love and blessing in His daily provision for them through His servant Moses. But, the people of Israel were complaining again, for they were thirsty again. “Is the Lord among us or not?”


They quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Thirst is a powerful desire. It can cause far stronger actions than grumbling. So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And drink they did! Those grumbling, ready-to-stone-Moses people failed the Lord’s testing. It was they who tested Him with their rebellion. Yet He mercifully gave them water to drink. The Lord who spoke to Moses there in the desert was Christ. The spiritual rock who accompanied Israel and from which they drank was Christ (I Cor. 10:1-5).

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THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY – JAN 22, 2017 PDF Print E-mail

THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY – JAN 22, 2017
TEXTS: MATTHEW 4:12-25/ISAIAH 9:1-4/1 COR. 1:10—18
WHAT JESUS BEGAN – TO PREACH - HE CONTINUES!
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ. From that time Jesus began to preach. It was a dark time! John had been handed over. John – whose own coming was foretold - who announced the Mightier One – who participated with Jesus in fulfilling all righteousness – was arrested and imprisoned. It was a dark time. John had been handed over.


It was considered a dark region. He withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was a region on the other side of the Jordan – far away from Jerusalem and the Temple – Galilee of the Gentiles. At the time of Isaiah it was devastated by the Assyrian army. There was delusion and the refusal to acknowledge that their deepest problem was spiritual and not political. Even in Jesus’ day it was considered a region of darkness – in the shadows – a place of no account. It was the Northern end of the Holy Land – bordering pagan nations – influenced heavily by pagan practices. Of that despised region – what the prophet Isaiah had spoken is now fulfilled – “the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those sitting in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”  Why is this true?  Because - from that time Jesus began to preach!

 

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1st Sunday in Advent - November 27th, 2016 PDF Print E-mail

Behold, Your King Comes Humble in Heart!
1st Sunday in Advent - November 27th, 2016
Text: Isaiah 2:1-5, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 21:1-11
Vicar Jonathan P. Jennings


In the name of Jesus, Amen!


Today, we start the beginning of a new church year. Looking at the date, you’ll quickly notice the church year and the calendar year aren’t in sync with one another. In fact, they aren’t even close. Before we hang up our new 2017 calendars, we still have another 35 [34] days to go. If you stop and think about it, how wonderful it is that these two calendars aren’t in line!  This further reveals to us that the church is intended to be set apart from the world. The church year isn’t based off of the orbit of the earth around the sun, but revolves around the Son of God, his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and second coming.


So it is we begin a new year with Matthew’s account of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Have you wondered why?  Why do we begin the year with what’s known as a prominent Passion Week event, an event that occurs toward the end of Christ’s life? Hearing this we would assume the text in the coming weeks would focus on Christ’s passion, not necessarily His conception and birth. Yet today, the first Sunday of the church year, we have Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. So, why?


Advent isn’t a season of Christian make-believe during which we pretend that we’re back in the centuries before Christ, hopefully awaiting and pleading for the Messiah to come as Deliverer and Savior as Israel once waited. Instead during Advent, we remember that Jesus has come and conquered. We look to the end of all time, and pray for the completed accomplishment of his redemptive act. Thus, we begin this season of Advent with eager expectation for behold, your King comes to you, humble and mounted on a donkey.

 

The humbleness of Jesus can’t be defined by modern definitions. While you could certainly use words such as modest, not arrogant or proud to describe His humbleness, this isn’t how the gospels define it. In fact, nowhere in the Gospels is this term used except in reference to Christ Himself and only through Him give as a blessing to others!  He is the humble one who is blessed (Matt. 5:5). He is the one humble in heart in whom you will find rest for your soul (Matt. 11:29). Jesus isn’t humble because He rides a pack animal into Jerusalem. Jesus is humble because He Himself is humble at heart. He is set on doing the will of the Father. The donkey is only a visible manifestation of this humbleness.  

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Advent III PDF Print E-mail

Advent III — 11 December 2016
Matthew 11:2-15
The Rev. Dr. Jason D. Lane


GRACE, MERCY, AND PEACE FROM GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, AND FROM OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.


HE WHO HAS EARS, LET HIM HEAR! God the Father spoke through the Prophet Malachi to His Son before His Son became flesh: BEHOLD, I AM SENDING MY MESSENGER BEFORE YOUR FACE, WHO WILL PAVE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU….God the Father says to His Son: BEHOLD, I WILL SEND YOU ELIJAH THE PROPHET BEFORE THAT GREAT AND AWESOME DAY, WHEN THE LORD COMES. He said: This Elijah WILL TURN THE HEARTS OF FATHERS TO THEIR CHILDREN AND THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN TO THEIR FATHERS, LEST I COME AND STRIKE THE LAND WITH A DECREE OF UTTER DESTRUCTION. That’s how the Old Testament ends. These are the last words of God before 450 years of divine silence. The coming Elijah was the last promise to ring in Israel’s ears. And so, all Israel waited for the one who had been caught up into heaven in a whirlwind to come again and prepare the way of the Lord.










 

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