Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Word From Pastor Mike - Patchwork of Sermons

I am so far behind on typing out Mike's sermons for you, I decided to do a medley of some to catch you up...

One sermon was about the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus from Luke 16.  Mike reminded us that it began with a certain rich man dressed in fine clothes and feasting lavishly.  A poor man, Lazarus was cast down at his gate. Lazarus was full of sores.  Lazarus was longing for even just the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table but he got none.

A great reversal occurs as both men die.  Lazarus is carried to Abraham by angels.  The rich man endured agony.

This sermon was about being a neighbor.  The rich man failed to be a good neighbor to Lazarus. He failed to care, feed or shelter him.  The point?  Be a good neighbor now. It will be too late to be a good neighbor later on.

Another parable sermon was from Luke 14:15-24, the Parable of the Great Banquet. In this parable a man was throwing a banquet and many were invited, but they all had excuses.  They were busy.  One just bought a field, another had to deal with oxen and yet another just got married.  When the man throwing the banquet heard of all these excuses he was angry.  Instead of cancelling the banquet, he sent out invitations to people who appreciated the invitation... the poor, crippled, blind, lame, etc.  He also sent out his people to bring in travelers, whoever would accept the invitation.  He then stated that none of the original invitees would taste of his banquet.

Lesson to be learned?  Respond to God's gracious invitation. Don't let excuses and busyness keep you from your relationship with God.

In another sermon, titled "Jesus the Gutsy", Mike told about Jesus' courage as he lived his last days before his death.  He knew what was coming but he went anyway.  He celebrated the Passover with his disciples.  He washed their feet and reminded them that they were called to be servants in this world.  He gave his disciples a new commandment to LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. He taught them about communion, so that we can always have him with us. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He was given a death sentence. On the cross he forgave his enemies, converted a thief and gave him the good news of eternal life.

When Jesus died a Roman Centurion gave the first confession after the death of Jesus, "Truly this was the Son of God."

Jesus' death was summed up by John the Baptist, who pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

Easter Sunday Mike talked about Jesus' life as a story.  That story included being conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, baptized by John the Baptist, tempted in the wilderness, teaching and doing ministry.  He was crucified, died, buried and resurrected...victory over death!

Mike spoke of our lives as stories as well. The question being, what kind of story will we each live? He spoke of how our stories bump into one another, and our stories bump into the Jesus story as well.  Our stories may include tragedy, all include struggle at some point.  We may be living stories of rags to riches, satire, thriller, or fairy tale (he told the congregation that was my story because I was married to him).

Mike stated that he wanted to leave a good legacy with his story, one that says that faith is important. He stated that he wanted to be a life long learner, immersed in God's Word, prayer, repentance and service.  He also wants to have some fun at times, to be a comedy.

                Mission accomplished.

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