I’m preaching this weekend for Pastor Chuck. We’ll be looking at Jesus’ appearance to the two people on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13ff. I’m working on the sermon right now and can’t get this verse out of my mind:
But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. (v. 21a)
I guess I’m struck by the fact that these people could spend so much time with Jesus and still not see Him for who He is. It’s a reminder to me how important it is that we spend time regularly with Jesus, not just learning about Jesus. As Pastor said this weekend in the sermon, it’s about following Jesus, not about following a set of teachings.
The weather people were predicting it and it turns out they were right. The heavens did indeed open up Saturday night, dropping snow on the city throughout the evening and most of Sunday. Because of the snow, we had to make a decision about church. Thankfully, just like we tell our youth, we decided well before the storm even started gathering to have services. We don’t cancel church services at First Trinity. We’ve decided that those who can get to church will come and we will celebrate worship together, no matter how many people there are. It’s been an interesting thing in the 2 short years I’ve been here.
During the October storm of 2006, we saw ~125 people at worship on Sunday morning. I remember being crowded into Grace, the only room with a heating source (a natural gas fireplace), and celebrating Communion together. Families were sitting on the couches in the back all squished together so everyone could fit. We even had people out in the halls looking in for the service.
This past weekend, we had a decent crowd again, and again celebrated Communion together. We had a modified form of Sunday School for all ages. We even had visitors at church looking for worship because their churches had canceled. There were also five people who had been to church Saturday night with us and came back Sunday morning. It was a great morning, and I’m thankful we made that decision to have services no matter what happens outside.
In case you weren’t able to get out for church (and we say that’s OK!), you can still hear the sermon on Expectant Hope. Use the audio player below, or download the audio yourself.
…not going to live up to expectations. A few days ago, I asked for advice in coming up with a title for the sermon. The discussion has been entertaining to say the least. I enjoyed all the suggestions and help. Unfortunately, there’s been too much buildup to a great title, so no matter what I choose, it can’t possibly live up to the hype. The problem is, there has to be a title to the sermon. We are Lutheran, after all, and we’ve always done it that way. Which, by the way, is sometimes a bad thing and sometimes a good thing.
So, in absence of a dynamite title, there was only one option left to me. Turn a decent title into a cool graphic to compensate!
In the interest of contributing to the greater good, I’ve uploaded the graphics for others to use. If the snow doesn’t bury you in your house, I HOPE you can make it Sunday to hear God’s Word of Hope to you in the Scriptures!
For those that know me pretty well, you can probably guess my feelings about cutesy acronym phrases like this one. There’s, PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens), FROG (Fully Relying On God), DOG (Depend On God) and this one, HOPE, among others. I understand that they are useful for some people, but to me it’s just a tad ridiculous.
I’m preaching this weekend as Pastor Whited travels to Kansas City to see his new grandchild (hopefully born in the next few days). The theme is about Hope, or hope. One of those… The basic–and I do mean basic–summary is: What is hope, What are we hoping for, and Living a life of hope. It should be really interesting and helpful. You should come this weekend and hear all about it! The problem is, I can’t settle on a good title, so I’m asking for suggestions. I convened an impromptu brain trust with Tim Hartnett, Debbie Ferrante, Jacob, Bob and Deloris Klingibiel, Dan Chamberland, Ron Opferbeck and other passersby. The brainstorming so far:
- Hope to the World
- Hope Springs Eternal
- (Star Wars IV:) A New Hope
- An Old Hope
- An Old Hope Renewed
- Hey Mon, What’s Hopening?
- Hoping Against Hope
- Something to do with despair (as the opposite of hope)
- Something to do with building (especially foundations)
- A pun of some sort
- The word hope contained in another word.
So help me out and submit your ideas by Thursday so I can make Alicia‘s print deadline. I’m Holding On, Praying Expectantly that you’ll come through!