Worship

July 18, 2010
Text: Luke 10:38-42

The title for today’s message is: “Don’t Just Do Something! Sit There!”

I was standing in the Detroit airport a couple of years ago when a man came up to me and asked me if I had the time. I
read my watch and said, “It’s 3:42.” And the other pastor who was my traveling companion, chuckled and remarked
that it used to be that when someone asked you the time, a person would say, “Oh, it’s a quarter till blank or a half past
such and so.” But now, we say, “It is 3:42” or “8:51.” With the advent of the digital watch, our measurement of time has
become so precise. We ration out our minutes one by one.

In Africa, I heard a saying. They say that Africans have time, but they have no watches, while Americans have watches,
but have no time.

Do you ever feel that way, like you have no time? Or like you’re short on time? Or there’s never enough time? Of
course, that’s not really true, is it? You have exactly the same amount of time today as you had yesterday. You have
exactly the same amount of time as I do or anyone else. In fact, you have all the time there is. No one could possibly
have more time than you have. My point is that the problem really is not that there’s not enough time in the day. The
problem is what we choose to do with the time we have.

July 11, 2010
Text: Luke 10:25-37

Nine days ago, around 7 a.m., here in Elmhurst, a prominent local doctor shot his wife in the face and then turned the gun on
himself
. The couple had four children, two of whom were at home at the time of the shootings. It’s been all over the local news but I first heard about it from my son because one of the daughters goes to his school.

You have to have ask yourself, how does something like this happen? This man appeared to have everything. He was 52
years old with a beautiful family, four children, a highly respectable career as a pediatric heart surgeon. He was teaching at a
medical school in Wisconsin and living in an affluent neighborhood. As a pediatric heart surgeon, there is no doubt that he was
responsible for saving the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of children.

From the outside looking in, I would say that this man had a perfect life. But things are seldom as they seem.
Now, I’m not recounting this story so that we can feel ourselves superior to these poor people. I am not here to pass judgment.

June 20, 2010
Text: Luke 8:26–39


Demon Possession.  That’s what today’s Gospel lesson is about.  Some of you might find my sermon today a little bit weird, but I ask you to bear with me.  

In 1973, when the movie “The Exorcist” came out, there was a rise of interest in the idea of demon possession.  Since that time, there have been lots of imitations and remakes and other movies made about the Satan and Satanism.  Many moviegoers are quite desensitized nowadays to the subject, but as recently as the 1970s, this was pretty provocative stuff.  There were reports of people running out of movie theaters to the nearest church, people fainting in the aisles or losing their lunch.  It is said that there was a burst of applications to the Catholic priesthood as a result of the movie. 

A recent Gallup poll of 1,200 adults revealed 55% of Americans believe in a personal devil and 49% of Americans believe a person can be “possessed” by the devil or demons.  I think it’s interesting that only 55% of Americans believe in the Devil whereas about 90% believe in the existence of God.  Certainly, believing in God is more important than believing in the Devil but I wonder why there is such a great disparity.  Just as I can look around me and see evidence that there is a Creator, I can also see a lot of evidence that there is a Destroyer too.

What do you think?  Do you think the devil is real and that people can become demon-possessed?  I do.

July 4, 2010
Text:
Luke 10: 1-20

First of all, happy Fourth of July!  Happy Independence Day!  Families and individuals from Maine to Hawaii, from Nome, Alaska to the Florida Keys will celebrate today the United States Declaration of Independence from England.  When I let Lucy, our dog, out for her morning constitutional, I thought, “aaaah, ‘tis the season for the smell of sulfur dioxide.”

Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays.  After all, I was born in a town called Independence, MO.  When I grew up in the 1970s and 80s, kids could buy fireworks at the corner stand and had the freedom to blow their fingers off all day long, if they wanted to.

I know there are some war veterans in our congregation.  If you have served in the military, Thank You for your courage and sacrifice.

I’m sure many of you will be observing the holiday with the traditional backyard cookouts with family and friends, maybe catch a parade and then go somewhere to watch fireworks.

The United States of America is founded on the values of liberty and justice for all.  Those are noble ideals and we should all give thanks to God for the freedoms and opportunities which we enjoy as Americans.

June 6, 2010
Text: Luke 7:11-17

Luke chapter 7 records the time when Jesus was walking on a road and he encountered a funeral procession passing by.  They were coming from a town called Nain, which was just five miles from where Jesus grew up.  The funeral was for a young man who was the only son of a widow.  Sometimes mourners in those days would smear ashes on their faces and you can picture this woman with her tears making tracks in the black soot on her cheeks.

The text says that Jesus had compassion on the woman.  The Greek word there in the original says literally that he felt it in His intestines.  The ancient Hebrews believed that the bowels were the source of the emotions.  Today, we might say He felt it in His gut.  And it was His love that motivated Him to act on her behalf that day.

So Jesus touched the mat they were carrying the dead boy on and told him, “Young man, arise.”  Here is an example of Jesus going on the offensive, attacking our enemy, Death.  Jesus kills death and the boy is restored to life.

Jesus is killing your death as well.  It’s a work He began in you at your baptism and He continues it through the Word and through Holy Communion.  And it will be completed for you on the Last Day when you rise from your grave, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Redeemer Mission

Proclaiming to our community in word and deed the empowering love of God as demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Redeemer Lutheran Church

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