Redeemer Lutheran Church Ministries

September 26, 2010 
Text: Revelation 12
Title: Angels: Myth & Fact

One time each year, I preach a sermon about angels. Today is that day. September 29th is the date on the church calendar designated to commemorate St. Michael the Archangel. That’s this coming Wednesday, but since we don’t have church on Wednesday, I thought I’d transfer the observance to today.

There is a tremendous interest in angels in our society today. I Googled the word “angel” the other day and got something like 22,795,000 hits, everything from the Anaheim Angels, Charlie’s Angels, City of Angels, angel figurines, Touched By An Angel and much much more.

For a lot of people, their fascination with angels is like their fascination with UFOs, unseen mysterious creatures who may or may not be responsible for those crop circles in Pennsylvania and other unexplained phenomena. In one poll, 55% of American adults say they have been protected from harm by their guardian angel. That’s more than half. Not just that they believe in the existence of angels, but that they have been individually and really helped by one or more actual angels.

But why is this important? What does it matter what we think about angels? Our doctrine of angels is not our most central teaching, but it is nonetheless important for several reasons.

September 19, 2010
Text: Luke 16:1-15
Title: It’s Only Money

How important is money to you? Several years ago, people were asked what they would be willing to do for $10 million. The results were tabulated in a book entitled The Day America Told the Truth. 25% said they would totally abandon their family. 23% said they would become a prostitute for a week. 16% indicated they would leave their spouse. 3% said they would put their children up for adoption.

Money is a touchy subject for the church to talk about publicly. I’m writing a little booklet called, What’s In It for Me? The 8 Top Reasons People Give for Not Going to Church. As part of my research, I asked a lot of you to tell me what reasons you have heard people give and some of you said because the church is always after my money. Whether that’s true or not, that is definitely the perception of some people out there. Or they feel that the Church takes their offerings and then uses it not in the best of ways.

Yes, money is a touchy subject for the Church, but it’s still a subject which cannot and should not be avoided. In today’s lesson, Jesus told a parable about money. This isn’t surprising when you realize that of the 38 parables Jesus told 19 of them dealt with money and possessions and our attitudes toward those things.

September 5, 2010
Luke 14: 25-35
Title: The Benefits Are Worth the Cost.

One fine sunny day, a hog and a hen sharing the same barnyard heard about a church’s program to feed the hungry. The hog and the hen discussed how they could help. The hen said, “I’ve got it! We’ll provide bacon and eggs for the church to feed the hungry.” The hog thought about the suggestion and said, “There’s only thing wrong with your bacon and eggs idea. For you, it only requires a contribution, but from me, it will mean total commitment!” You see, all that the hen had to do was give up a couple of eggs, but the hog was expected to lay down his life.

Today’s sermon is about discipleship. Are you just going to make a contribution, like the hen, or are you going to lay down your life, like the hog? First, let me ask you this: Do you ever think of yourself as a disciple of Jesus Christ? The word “disciple” means “pupil, student, one who learns.” So a disciple of Jesus Christ is not simply someone who generally approves of Jesus and thinks you should have Christmas and Easter off work. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” So a disciple of Jesus Christ is someone who holds to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

September 12, 2010
Text: Luke 15:1-10

I heard about a man driving southbound on the interstate. His cell phone rang and he picked it up to the frantic voice of his wife saying, “Barney! I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on 294. Be careful!"

Barney says, "Hey, it’s not just one car. It’s hundreds of them!"

You see, Barney was the one heading in the wrong direction and he didn’t even know it. I wonder if the same thing could ever be said about us.

One sign that you’re headed in the wrong direction spiritually is that you’re doing stuff that you know is wrong and you don’t care. I know the Bible says that sex outside of marriage is wrong, but I don’t care. Or I know that the Bible says that we are supposed to love our enemies, but my roommate is driving me bonkers!

A second sign that you’re headed in the wrong direction is that you can see the faults of other people, but you can’t see your own. It reminds me of the man who went to the doctor. He said, “I’m worried about my wife. Her hearing is getting worse all the time.”

August 15, 2010 
Luke 1:46-55

By my count, there are 132 shopping days left until Christmas. You’ve still got plenty of time to do your shopping and your planning and baking. But don’t put it all off till the last minute. Today is August 15 and according to the Church calendar, August 15 is the date assigned to commemorate Mary, the mother of Jesus. I want to take a moment and explain why we’re doing this.

There are a lot of Roman Catholics in Elmhurst. Some of you perhaps grew up in the Roman Catholic Church or have relatives who are Roman Catholic. Whenever Lutherans and Roman Catholics get together to talk about religion, the subject of Mary eventually comes up. Many Protestants avoid talking about Mary altogether which can probably be attributed to an overreaction I call Romo-phobia.

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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