Worship

Sunday of the Transfiguration
March 6, 2011
Text: Matthew 17:1-9

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPLkxCVsDok

In June 1938, two young men, Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, introduced the world to its first comic book superhero, Superman. The thing about Superman that might remember from the comic books or the movies or the television programs about him, is that most of the time, he did not go around with his blue and red suit, with the big letter "S" plastered to his chest, and his cape. Most of the time, he walked around in a business suit and tie seeming as mundane as you or me, under his Clark Kent alter ego. But when he saw someone in danger, or when his services were called for, he would slip into the nearest phone booth and come out as Superman, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall building in a single bound. The key thing is the no one would ever look at the unassuming Clark Kent and think there was anything heroic about him.

In today's Gospel lesson, Jesus reveals a secret identity of sorts. The event is traditionally called the Transfiguration, which is a fancy Latin word that means essentially the same thing as transformation. The Greek version of the word is metamorphosis. Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a mountain one day and there in front of their eyes, he metamorphoses. He changes. "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light." I don't know about you but I find it very difficult to look at the sun without something to shade my eyes. To say that Jesus' face shone like the sun is saying something pretty remarkable. Here was Jesus as He never had appeared before to His disciples - Jesus in all of His glory as the eternal Son of God, standing together with Moses and Elijah. God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

What’s In It for Me?

Why It’s Still a Good Idea to Go to Church.

Nine reasons people give for not going to church and why it’s still a good idea.

  1. I’m spiritual, not religious.
  2. I’ve gotten out of the habit.
  3. The church just wants my money.
  4. I don’t like the pastor (or some other individual or group in the
  5. I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.
  6. I’m too busy and Sundays are my only time to rest.
  7. Church is boring.
  8. Church people are judgmental and hypocritical.
  9. I just don’t need God in my life.

Click here for a handy printable booklet version.

Introduction

You’ve got lots of stuff going on in your life. There is more to do than you have the time to do it in. Fitting in time for church is not easy. Maybe you were dragged to church as a kid and resented it so now as an adult, you are exercising your freedom by sleeping in on Sunday mornings. Maybe you have had a bad experience involving Christianity. Or maybe you just don’t see the point.

Whether or not you go to church is a personal decision. Everybody has his or her reasons. This booklet does not address every possible reason a person might have for not attending church. It is merely intended to be an overview of some of the more common reasons people give for staying away from church. The author has attempted to give an honest and realistic response.

If you haven’t been to church much recently, take a look at the reasons listed in this booklet to see if yours is covered. Read through some of the others too because the responses might give you something worth thinking over. Hopefully, after skimming over these pages, you will see going to church in a new way and feel encouraged to give it another go.

Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany
January 30, 2011
Text: Matthew 5:1-12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH6FXeOtDTw

Doesn't it seem to you that our whole culture is devoted to promoting the idea that our chief goal in life is to be happy?
Advertising sells products based on how much happier we will be if we purchase a particular brand of shampoo or toothpaste or deodorant soap (although that probably affects the happiness of the people around us more than it affects us!). Many of us have bought into the idea that our major purpose in life is to be happy. And we believe we have an inherent right to complain when we're not happy.

The world defines happiness a certain way. But the Bible defines it differently. I think that to the world, happiness means
always getting things your way. But that's a dream. It's not going to happen. It is as hard to grasp as nailing a block of jell-o
to a tree.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reverses the way people usually think of happiness. Everything is the opposite from what
we expect. If His way were the same as the way of the world, Jesus would have said, "Blessed are the rich in spirit…." But
Jesus says the exact opposite. "Blessed are the poor in spirit." He does not say, "Blessed are the Ruthless for they shall inherit
the earth." He says, "Blessed are the meek." Statements like this can be difficult for us to understand.

The section from the Sermon on the Mount which I read to you from Matthew chapter 5 is a familiar passage known as the
Beatitudes. I can't possibly do justice to this section in a single sermon, so I've decided just to focus on one of the verses.

Verse 5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany
February 6, 2011
Text: Matthew 5:13-20

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVupRF2ZkG0

A man had 50 yard-line tickets for the Super Bowl. As he sat down, he noticed that the seat next to him was empty. He asked the man on the other side of the empty seat whether anyone was sitting there. "No," the man replied, "The seat is empty."

"This is incredible," said the first man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world and not use it?"

The second man replied, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This will be the first Super bowl we haven't been together since we got married in 1967."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else -- a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The man shook his head. "No, they're all at the funeral."

January 23, 2011
Text: Matthew 4:12-25
Jesus: Teacher and Healer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meCDRKDQcCA

I saw a Peanuts cartoon one time where Lucy was telling Linus, “I’ve decided that I should become an evangelist. You know that kid that sits behind me at school? I convinced him that my religion is better than his religion!”

“No kidding,” says Linus. “How did you do that?”

And Lucy said, “Easy! I hit him with my lunchbox!”

Hitting someone with your lunchbox is one way to get people to do what you want, but I don’t think it’s the right way to spread the Christian message.

Someone once asked me, “Should we be trying to convert people to Christianity?” And the answer is “yes, of course.” If we are not actively trying to convert people to Christianity, we are not doing what our Lord has commanded us to do. That does not mean that everyone in this room has to become a preacher or hand out pamphlets on busy street corners. But it does mean that, as a church, it is our highest priority to reach, convert and develop disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is our mission statement as a congregation. Like those first disciples, we reach out to others in the name of Christ because in Christ, God has reached out to us. That is evangelism. To know Christ and to make Him known. And that is why we do many of the things we do around here.

Jesus came to make disciples. Today, He tells Peter and Andrew that He will make them fishers of men. And if you will remember, the last thing He said to His followers before He ascended to heaven was: “Now you go make disciples of all nations.”

Obviously, we don’t get people to become followers of Christ by hitting them with our lunchbox. But we do have to spread the Word. Faith comes from the Holy Spirit. Faith is a gift. But it doesn’t just happen out of the blue. Faith comes through hearing the message of Christ. If people don’t hear about what Christ has done for them, they will never believe in Him.

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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