John’s disciples and the Pharisees were challenging the fact that Jesus’ disciples did not really “fit in” with the existing religious norms and paradigms. “Why don’t your disciples fast?” Well, Jesus was more than happy to address their question, as our elder Martin Rossol explained in today’s talk.
How can we sleep when there is so much turmoil around us? King David had that challenge 4000+ years ago. Yet he found that his confidence in Jehovah was the solution.
The epistle of St Paul to the Galatians is a favorite of many historical church “giants”. It in the Apostle Paul dispenses with formalities and immediately gets puts his “beefs” on the table: “I can’t believe that you are forsaking the Jesus of the gospel I delivered to you!!” We risk the same admonition if we drift off to one or the other “feel good” idea.
The Pharisees tried to “stay separate” from all that might ‘contaminate’ them. It was their religious activity that they felt would solve their sin problem. Jesus challenged that diagnosis and made it clear that outward religious activity is not what is pleasing to God. We please God when we have the right attitudes in our heart, and then express those in our actions.
As we come to the end of a most unusual year, Pastor Mike reminds us why Christmas, even Christmas this year, should give us pause to be merry.
Robert Knuth’s sermon today from Psalm 29 focused on what God’s voice actually does for, in and to his people. Ultimately God’s voice is our eternal hope.
Pastor Jeff’s main text today was John 21 – Jesus helping his disciples refocus on the mission he had given them after they had slipped back into what was comfortable for them – Fishing. But much of what Jesus was teaching in Chapter 15 is foundational for what comes in Chapter 21. Jesus wants; he expects his followers to bear much fruit. And the way Jesus says this will happen is if the disciples “abide in him”. The same is true for us today, except we usually don’t take this command as seriously as we should.
St Matthew has been bring his story, his argument about Jesus as God’s appointed King ever more detailed in terms of Jesus power and authority. After demonstrating Jesus authority over sickness, disease, nature and demons, St Matthew now turn to address or expose the root cause of all these symptoms, and to show that King Jesus also has authority to solve this root problem.