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Worship for Sunday, September 11, 2022: Time after Pentecost
The grumbling of the religious leaders in today’s gospel reading is actually our holy hope: This Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them. That our God seeks and saves the lost is not only a holy hope, it is our only hope. As the writer of 1 Timothy reminds us, “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Thanks be to God.
Worship for Sunday, September 4, 2022: Time after Pentecost
Called to contemplate the cost of discipleship today, we reflect on how a life of discipleship encompasses all of our life. How is our faith active in the world? How is our faith active in love towards our neighbors? What does it mean to follow Christ with all of our life?
Worship for Sunday, August 28, 2022: Time after Pentecost
Invited and Inviting—that is the nature of the church. By God’s grace in holy baptism we have a place at Christ’s banquet table. When, by the power of that same Spirit, humility and mutual love continue among us, the church can be more inviting still.
Worship for Sunday, August 21, 2022: Time after Pentecost
Remember the sabbath day. Call the sabbath a delight. This is the Lord’s day, and the Lord will do for us what the Lord does: feed us, forgive us, help and heal us. Rejoice at all the wonderful things God is doing.
Worship for Sunday, August 14, 2022: Time after Pentecost
The word of God is a refining fire. Jesus is the great divide in human history. He invites our undivided attention and devotion. Today in worship we are surrounded by a great “cloud of witnesses.” In the word and in the holy communion we are invited yet again to look to Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
Worship for Sunday, August 7, 2022: Time after Pentecost
Jesus says, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” It is God’s promise from the beginning—to Abraham, to the early church, and to the “little flock” of which we are a part in today’s assembly. Faith, God’s baptismal gift, trusts the promises of God. Have no fear.
Worship for Sunday, July 31, 2022: Time after Pentecost
Today’s texts offer instruction and encouragement for all who are occasionally overwhelmed by the “unhappy business” of life. Jesus urges us to take care and be on guard against all kinds of greed. We who have died with Christ in holy baptism have also been raised with him and are encouraged to elevate our thinking, seeing the “things that are above.” To that end we seek the sustenance of the Lord’s supper and the encouragement of God’s word.
Worship for Sunday, July 24, 2022: Time after Pentecost
Persistence in prayer is encouraged by Jesus. The life of the baptized—to be rooted and built up in Christ Jesus—is to be nurtured with prayer. God hears and answers prayer and so strengthens God’s own. “When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.”
Worship for Sunday, July 17, 2022: Time after Pentecost
Perhaps the church, at its best, is “all ears.” God urges the faithful, again and again, to “listen up!”—to heed the word that gives life. So it was with Mary and Martha. So it is today as we join the assembly to hear the word of God, the word of life.
Worship for Sunday, July 10, 2022: Time after Pentecost
To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind is to reflect God’s mercy in responding to one’s neighbor. That mercy found its most profound expression in the “gospel that has come to you”—namely the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That gospel mercy comes to us again today: at the font, at the table, and from the pulpit. It is very near to you.
Worship for Sunday, July 3, 2022: Time after Pentecost
God is the source of nourishment. Jesus’ invitation to “take and eat…take and drink” is a repeated one. In holy communion, in the word read and proclaimed, in the assembly of the people of God, the dominion of God has come near. Rejoice! Your name is written in heaven.
Worship for Sunday, June 26, 2022: Time after Pentecost
We have no good apart from God. That makes Jesus’ call to follow him an invitation to freedom. This is freedom to revel in the Spirit’s fruit: love, joy, peace, and patience. This is freedom to not be imprisoned by anything that would keep us from the fullness of the life God has given us. This the path of life.
Worship for Sunday, June 19, 2022: Time after Pentecost
This Sunday’s texts paint startling pictures of the horrific nature of sin. But, an encounter with Christ shows the healing power of God's love in our lives. Grace is always there to set us free.
Worship for Sunday, June 12, 2022: Holy Trinity Sunday
“O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Today we celebrate the holy Trinity. We celebrate the gracious One-in-Three, eternal Three-in-One, as we worship in community; as we share water and word, bread and wine; and as we bring God’s love and hope to our neighbors.
Worship for Sunday, June 5, 2022: Day of Pentecost
On Pentecost, we celebrate that we have been given an Advocate to accompany us. Poured out in wind, water, wine, and bread, the Holy Spirit abides in and among us. We give thanks that God speaks to each of us, no matter our origins, language, or life path. Filled with the Spirit of truth, we go out from worship to proclaim the saving power of Christ’s love and the freedom of God’s grace with all the world.
Worship for Sunday, May 29, 2022: Ascension of Our Lord
In today’s readings the risen Christ ascends into heaven and his followers are assured that that Spirit will empower them to be witnesses throughout the earth. The disciples are told to not gaze up into heaven to look for Jesus (Acts 1:11); we find his presence among us as we proclaim the word and share the Easter feast. We too long for the Spirit to enliven our faith and invigorate our mission.
Worship for Sunday, May 22, 2022: 6th Sunday of Easter
Visions abound in the readings for the sixth Sunday of Easter. Jesus provides visions of peace that surpasses human understanding and power beyond human imagination.
Worship for Sunday, May 15, 2022: 5th Sunday of Easter
Easter initiates a new day. It anticipates a new heaven and a new earth. The risen Christ is making all things new. In the mystery of holy baptism God has made new people of us. Today Jesus invites us to see everyone in a new light—through the lens of love.
Worship for Sunday, May 8, 2022: 4th Sunday of Easter
The gift of new life, of eternal life, is the gift of the risen Christ. It is true for us and for all the baptized: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Worship for Sunday, May 1, 2022: 3rd Sunday of Easter
The disciples make a big splash and eat breakfast with the risen Jesus. Wading in the water (remembering baptism) and eating with Jesus (celebrating holy communion) is our weekly encounter with the risen Christ. Jesus asks us again and again: Do you love me? And Jesus invites us, again and again, to follow him, bringing the Easter life to others.
Worship for Sunday, April 24, 2022: 2nd Sunday of Easter
In spite of all we have heard and all we have seen, it is often hard to believe. Because it is hard to believe, we will invest ourselves in the Easter mystery for fifty days (a week of weeks). Because it is hard to believe, John the Evangelist will provide sign after sign celebrating Jesus’ victory over death. Because it is hard to believe, the risen Jesus will return to us again and again in the mystery of holy communion, inviting us to touch and taste his presence, and offering us his peace.
Worship for Sunday, April 17, 2022: Resurrection of Our Lord (Easter)
“The last enemy destroyed is death,” Paul writes. Today Christ is risen, and we gather together with astonishment and joy. Christ is risen, and we have been set free from the bonds of death. Christ is risen, and we are forgiven. Christ is risen, and with the women at the tomb and Peter, we are amazed. Let us rejoice: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Worship for Sunday, April 10, 2022: Palm/Passion Sunday
Today we follow Christ from triumphal entry to the cross, each waypoint of the journey marked by Jesus’ compassion for those who would betray, mock, abuse, or do violence to him. Though persecuted and beaten, Jesus the Son of God is not disgraced; instead, he asks forgiveness for those who put him to death. We have walked the Lenten pathway these forty days, each of us invited through baptism to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” We enter this holy week accompanying Jesus to the cross with both grief and thanksgiving in our hearts, trusting in God’s redeeming love.
Worship for Sunday, April 3, 2022: Fifth Sunday in Lent
Our God makes all things new. In the gospel Mary anticipates it, anointing Jesus’ feet with costly perfume in preparation for the day of his burial. In baptism, God’s new person (you!) rises daily from the deadly mire of trespasses and sins.
Worship for Sunday, March 27, 2022: Fourth Sunday in Lent
“Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away!” (Psalm 32) Happy are those who have “become the righteousness of God” in the merits of Christ Jesus. Happy is the father at the return of his prodigal son. Happy are we that our sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake. Rejoice!
Worship for Sunday, March 20, 2022: Third Sunday in Lent
There are warnings all over in today’s readings, calling on us to listen and stop, or face the consequences! But mercy also abounds, as seen in Jesus’ parable of the fig tree. The patient gardener gives the baren fig tree another year, one more year to till it and fill it with love and grace.
Worship for Sunday, March 13, 2022: Second Sunday in Lent
We are reminded today of God’s steadfast presence and faithfulness in our lives. Despite what might try and come between Jesus and his mission of love, he vows to continue, to persist and protect us, just as God has always done for God’s children. Nothing can get in the way of God’s love for us.
Worship for Sunday, March 6, 2022: First Sunday in Lent
After Jesus’ baptism, he is “led by the Spirit” into the wilderness, where he is tempted for 40 days. As Jesus begins his mission, he begins with 40 days to reflect on who he is and his relationship with God. As we enter these 40 days of Lent, we enter into a similar time of self-reflection.
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Hayward Lutheran and Trondhjem Lutheran are congeregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Southeastern Minnesota Synod. For more info on the ELCA or the SE MN Synod, please visit www.elca.org, or www.semnsynod.org.