Oct 20, 2019
Do Not Lose Heart
Series: (All)
October 20, 2019. The message today is on Luke 18:1-8, the Parable of the Unjust Judge. Pastor Tom Schoenherr tells us that we should not lose heart or give up on God, but that we should continue to believe the promise.
 
*** Transcript ***
 
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
Before beginning, I want to say I am not colorblind and I did not wake up this morning just bleary thinking I picked up the wrong stole. This is blue. It is the Advent stole, the Advent color. But the focus of the gospel is on hope. And more and more, we need hope in our world and in our lives. And so the Advent theme being hope, I know it just looks strange to see it in relation to the green of this season, but think not necessarily that we're into the wrong season, but it's hope that's our focus.
 
Grace to you. Peace.
 
On Thursday night, my wife and I joined with a group of a hundred and fifty other people to pack food for Feed My Starving Children. During that whole time, Wednesday night through Sunday today, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, they're going to pack nearly a million meals. On Wednesday night, they finished packing five million meals over a thirteen year period. Every time, at the end of one of those sessions, we pray over all of those meals that are going to be sent. We pray in the face of hunger, and still there is hunger in the world.
 
My wife and I have good friends who want to have a resolution in court for their daughter. It's been going on for three years. They and we keep praying for a miracle, and yet it hasn't happened. And still the problem is going on, and it seems like lawyers and judges and even God are not listening. And that's the way it is sometimes with prayer for us, isn't it? It just seems as though God isn't there, or isn't listening.
 
My wife and I have a list at our kitchen table of all of those people who are loved ones, friends, family for whom we are praying. We keep praying for a miracle. And yet also we wonder when will God show up and do for these people like we are praying for them. And it's difficult. It's so hard because we want so much for them to be healed. And yet it doesn't seem like things change sometimes. We pray for this person that they might be delivered from their disease. We pray for this person that they might be delivered and comforted in their time of grief. We pray for family that they might be connected to God's love for them in the midst of the process that they're going through of grieving.
 
And yet it seems like things go on and problems continue, even though we've prayed. And I wonder if what God is saying to us is that prayer is not a matter of just asking for things, but that prayer has to do with connecting with God's will and God's way of compassion and care. And that we are changed in the process of praying, that we are opened more and more to what God has intended for us and for his world.
 
This widow comes continually wanting to have a resolution of her problem and she doesn't seem to get any response. She comes without anyone standing by her. As Katie mentioned, she doesn't have a husband. She doesn't have another person who's going to come with her and stand there in the court with her. She is alone and she is unfortunately more easily ignored. So she keeps coming and finally, as she does, this unjust judge grants her what she wants, because she's going to give him a black eye. That's what he's concerned about. He's more concerned about his own reputation than he is about what's going on with her. And so in order to prevent her from giving him a black eye in the public eye, he gives her what she wants.
 
I think it's one of those places where Jesus is really wanting us to laugh. It's that sense of humor that Jesus is showing us this woman who, as Katie said, doesn't have much to offer, is pummeling this judge because he doesn't do his job. And it sets up a way in which Jesus is also pointing out that the whole justice system seems to be weighted against widows and against orphans and against immigrants and refugees and all of those who seem to be powerless.
 
In the face of it all it seems as though it's easy for us to lose heart. That's the reason Jesus tells the parable in the first place, that we do not lose heart. But it's easy to lose heart, isn't it? To give up on God? To think that somehow God could be able to do something to resolve all of these issues and everything would be fine with our loved ones and our friends and ourselves. But it isn't.
 
And turning our back on God's promise, turning our back on God and not trusting God, we're left without a prayer and hopeless. So in the face of all of the injustice in the world, in all of the injustice that we are feeling in ourselves, how do we not lose heart? And how do we not give up on God?
 
Jesus points out something to us. He says something: watch this unjust judge. Even though he doesn't respect God and he doesn't respect other people, he does for her give her justice. And then Jesus says that this judge is nowhere like God at all. Then he says, as he has given her justice how much more will God give mercy and compassion and love for the people who cry to him day and night?
 
And we keep crying to God day and night for our loved ones. And God keeps lifting all that injustice, taking all of that injustice, all of that pain, all of that distrust that we have of God's promise and he lays it on Jesus on the cross. And Jesus takes it to the cross and dies there and rises again for us, that we may have a new life, that we might know love and forgiveness, that we might know God's compassion and care for us, now and forever. And that even though things are not working out the way we hoped they would at our time and in our way, that God is still working, that even though we cannot hear or see, God is still there working out his purposes and his way in the world.
 
And now God is no longer the one who is our opponent, but God is the gracious god of love. And we are empowered through God's spirit to be like this widow. We are empowered to continue to come and persevere in prayer. We're empowered to stand with the people who are going through terrible times, who are losing heart, who are giving up on God, that we can stand with them and for them and let them know that there is a God who has not given up on them, but continues to care for them, to reach out to them with compassion and love.
 
And this widow is also a witness to us that prayer is not a passive thing. But a prayer invites us to be passionate about injustice in the world, to be passionate about people who are not experiencing mercy or compassion, to be passionate for all of those people who are struggling in our world and in our lives, people we care about. Not to give up, for God does not give up on us.
 
And he calls us to continue to love and care for the world that he loves so deeply. And to count and to continue to believe the promise, for he says, "Will I find faith on earth when I come again?" That in faith, we continue to believe the promise that love and hope will have the last word over injustice and hopelessness and fear.
 
In Jesus' name, amen.
 
*** Keywords ***
 
2019, Christ Lutheran Church, Webster Groves, sermon, podcast, transcript, Pastor Tom Schoenherr, Parable of the Unjust Judge, Luke 18:1-8
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  • Oct 20, 2019Do Not Lose Heart
    Oct 20, 2019
    Do Not Lose Heart
    Series: (All)
    October 20, 2019. The message today is on Luke 18:1-8, the Parable of the Unjust Judge. Pastor Tom Schoenherr tells us that we should not lose heart or give up on God, but that we should continue to believe the promise.
     
    *** Transcript ***
     
    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
     
    Before beginning, I want to say I am not colorblind and I did not wake up this morning just bleary thinking I picked up the wrong stole. This is blue. It is the Advent stole, the Advent color. But the focus of the gospel is on hope. And more and more, we need hope in our world and in our lives. And so the Advent theme being hope, I know it just looks strange to see it in relation to the green of this season, but think not necessarily that we're into the wrong season, but it's hope that's our focus.
     
    Grace to you. Peace.
     
    On Thursday night, my wife and I joined with a group of a hundred and fifty other people to pack food for Feed My Starving Children. During that whole time, Wednesday night through Sunday today, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, they're going to pack nearly a million meals. On Wednesday night, they finished packing five million meals over a thirteen year period. Every time, at the end of one of those sessions, we pray over all of those meals that are going to be sent. We pray in the face of hunger, and still there is hunger in the world.
     
    My wife and I have good friends who want to have a resolution in court for their daughter. It's been going on for three years. They and we keep praying for a miracle, and yet it hasn't happened. And still the problem is going on, and it seems like lawyers and judges and even God are not listening. And that's the way it is sometimes with prayer for us, isn't it? It just seems as though God isn't there, or isn't listening.
     
    My wife and I have a list at our kitchen table of all of those people who are loved ones, friends, family for whom we are praying. We keep praying for a miracle. And yet also we wonder when will God show up and do for these people like we are praying for them. And it's difficult. It's so hard because we want so much for them to be healed. And yet it doesn't seem like things change sometimes. We pray for this person that they might be delivered from their disease. We pray for this person that they might be delivered and comforted in their time of grief. We pray for family that they might be connected to God's love for them in the midst of the process that they're going through of grieving.
     
    And yet it seems like things go on and problems continue, even though we've prayed. And I wonder if what God is saying to us is that prayer is not a matter of just asking for things, but that prayer has to do with connecting with God's will and God's way of compassion and care. And that we are changed in the process of praying, that we are opened more and more to what God has intended for us and for his world.
     
    This widow comes continually wanting to have a resolution of her problem and she doesn't seem to get any response. She comes without anyone standing by her. As Katie mentioned, she doesn't have a husband. She doesn't have another person who's going to come with her and stand there in the court with her. She is alone and she is unfortunately more easily ignored. So she keeps coming and finally, as she does, this unjust judge grants her what she wants, because she's going to give him a black eye. That's what he's concerned about. He's more concerned about his own reputation than he is about what's going on with her. And so in order to prevent her from giving him a black eye in the public eye, he gives her what she wants.
     
    I think it's one of those places where Jesus is really wanting us to laugh. It's that sense of humor that Jesus is showing us this woman who, as Katie said, doesn't have much to offer, is pummeling this judge because he doesn't do his job. And it sets up a way in which Jesus is also pointing out that the whole justice system seems to be weighted against widows and against orphans and against immigrants and refugees and all of those who seem to be powerless.
     
    In the face of it all it seems as though it's easy for us to lose heart. That's the reason Jesus tells the parable in the first place, that we do not lose heart. But it's easy to lose heart, isn't it? To give up on God? To think that somehow God could be able to do something to resolve all of these issues and everything would be fine with our loved ones and our friends and ourselves. But it isn't.
     
    And turning our back on God's promise, turning our back on God and not trusting God, we're left without a prayer and hopeless. So in the face of all of the injustice in the world, in all of the injustice that we are feeling in ourselves, how do we not lose heart? And how do we not give up on God?
     
    Jesus points out something to us. He says something: watch this unjust judge. Even though he doesn't respect God and he doesn't respect other people, he does for her give her justice. And then Jesus says that this judge is nowhere like God at all. Then he says, as he has given her justice how much more will God give mercy and compassion and love for the people who cry to him day and night?
     
    And we keep crying to God day and night for our loved ones. And God keeps lifting all that injustice, taking all of that injustice, all of that pain, all of that distrust that we have of God's promise and he lays it on Jesus on the cross. And Jesus takes it to the cross and dies there and rises again for us, that we may have a new life, that we might know love and forgiveness, that we might know God's compassion and care for us, now and forever. And that even though things are not working out the way we hoped they would at our time and in our way, that God is still working, that even though we cannot hear or see, God is still there working out his purposes and his way in the world.
     
    And now God is no longer the one who is our opponent, but God is the gracious god of love. And we are empowered through God's spirit to be like this widow. We are empowered to continue to come and persevere in prayer. We're empowered to stand with the people who are going through terrible times, who are losing heart, who are giving up on God, that we can stand with them and for them and let them know that there is a God who has not given up on them, but continues to care for them, to reach out to them with compassion and love.
     
    And this widow is also a witness to us that prayer is not a passive thing. But a prayer invites us to be passionate about injustice in the world, to be passionate about people who are not experiencing mercy or compassion, to be passionate for all of those people who are struggling in our world and in our lives, people we care about. Not to give up, for God does not give up on us.
     
    And he calls us to continue to love and care for the world that he loves so deeply. And to count and to continue to believe the promise, for he says, "Will I find faith on earth when I come again?" That in faith, we continue to believe the promise that love and hope will have the last word over injustice and hopelessness and fear.
     
    In Jesus' name, amen.
     
    *** Keywords ***
     
    2019, Christ Lutheran Church, Webster Groves, sermon, podcast, transcript, Pastor Tom Schoenherr, Parable of the Unjust Judge, Luke 18:1-8
  • Jul 29, 2018God’s Love For All
    Jul 29, 2018
    God’s Love For All
    Series: (All)
    July 29, 2018. The focus of Pastor Tom Schoenherr's sermon today comes from Psalm 145: God's love for all. Sometimes in our society we want to withhold God's grace and mercy for only certain people. But God keeps reminding us that it's for everyone.
     
    *** Transcript ***
     
    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
     
    I need to confess that the reading of the psalm was my idea, in order that we might be able to see that in those short amount of verses, there are 14 mentions of "all." Fourteen times I think -- you want to count them to make sure? Fourteen times that "all" is used in that psalm. And it just spoke to me as an evidence of God's multitude of his giving of his abundance. [Holding a paper] I know you can't see this. This is the Pickles cartoon for this weekend. They're both sitting on easy chairs in the living room. Earl is reading the paper. You know, the Pickles cartoon? It's an older couple. There, okay. And then you hear the phone ring. It looks like it's in his pocket. This is kind of a negative example. And he's still reading the paper, and the recording is going on in his pocket. It says, "Hi, this is Earl. I can't answer the phone right now, even though it's in my shirt pocket. At the tone, you can leave a message if you'd like. But who are we kidding? We both know you'd probably have better luck putting it in a bottle and tossing it in the ocean. Have a nice day." And then she looks at him and says, "You know you're despicable, don't you?"
     
    As I said, a kind of negative example of what this psalm and this gospel lesson for today are about. Some of you may use a portion of the psalm as your meal prayer. "The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." What a wonderful prayer. And it is God's love for all that is the focus of that psalm, and is the focus of Jesus' feeding. It is that gift of God's grace and mercy that we so desperately need in our lives and in our world that we receive from God in this special way.
     
    Our world, including you and me, at times is very anxious. We live in an anxious time. People are kind of upset a lot, and into this world, into this anxiety, God gives a message that he has come to bring grace and mercy to all. And we want to withhold it for only certain ones. Or our society and our world do. But God keeps saying no, it's for all. It's for everyone. The words from the psalm are, "The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down."
     
    Dr. Rachel Remen tells a story about a time when she was on an airplane and she was sitting at the bulkhead. She was on the aisle seat, there was an empty seat, and then there was an older man who was sitting next to the window. And he was just looking out the window. She sat down and she put her purse in that empty seat, and then she opened a book. She was going to read as much as she could on this flight. And then the flight attendants came along and they were giving out a snack to people (this is a long time ago) of a bagel and a pint of yogurt. Well, she went back to reading her book, and then she heard her seat mate gasp. She looked down, and he had spilled all of that yogurt on to the carpeting of the floor, onto his shoe, and onto a small carry-on bag that was under the seat. She waited, thinking that he was going to do something to try to clean it up, but nothing happened.
     
    And so she looked and she noticed that he had a brace that was on his left leg. She thought, his left leg is paralyzed. She turned on her light for the flight attendants to come and help, but they were quite busy with the rest of the plane and plane passengers. And so when the flight attendant came, she was really quite upset with Rachel for asking her to do this little favor. But Rachel Remen said, "All I really need is if you would give me a wet towel, and I'll take care of it myself." Soon the wet towel came, and Rachel had it and he talked to her and said, "You know, eight months ago I had a stroke. And I don't have any feeling from my fingertips to my elbows in either arm. And of course, my left leg is paralyzed." And she said, "You know, I wear an ileostomy bag. And I have bad eyesight, and flying is not the easiest thing for me to do." And so he looked and he saw that she had this wet towel. His right leg was tucked underneath the seat, and he brought it out and she said to him, "May I?" And she proceeded to wipe off his shoes and the floor and the carry-on bag. And then he bent down toward her and he said, "You know, I used to play the violin."
     
    This man was suffering. Bowed down. Broken. A person who was in need at that particular time. And she was there to do the simple thing of wiping up the mess, and cleaning up what needed to be done.
     
    We are all suffering. It is suffering that describes us as human beings. It connects us to one another. None of us goes through life without having some suffering or brokenness of some kind in our lives. If we separate ourselves from one another, and separate ourselves from God and God's ways, we may feel very much alone and in the darkness. It's a very difficult thing.
     
    Many believe we are living in a zero-sum game. That when somebody else gets something good, then we don't and we lose something of our own. That's not the way God works. That is not God's way among us. For God's gift is for all, and everything is given. He gives everything he has for all.
     
    When Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, the disciples would have heard that story as they heard Jesus speaking. And given the division between Jews and Samaritans, they probably would have expected that Jesus would have said that the Samaritan went through the man's pants pockets and took out his billfold and took out his credit cards and took out his money and his keys and walked away. But that isn't what happened. The Samaritan had pity on this man, put him on his own donkey, and took him to an inn where they were both welcomed.
     
    Isn't that God's way, even with those that we don't feel very comfortable with? Jesus calls us to give all. God says give it all away. And yet we know that there are lots of people, or at least some, who would go through the pants pockets and take out the billfold and take out the credit cards and the cash and the keys and walk away. We know that that's true.
     
    So what do we do? How do we live? Do we want to live in that suspicion of everybody who is anybody apart from me? And those who are immediately around me are always going to be suspected of doing those kinds of things? God says that's not a good way to live. And God continues to give and give and give for all, without suspicion of what the person's motives might be or what they might do.
     
    There's an ancient form of Japanese art called Kintsugi. What it does is to take valuable possessions that are cracked and broken, and mend them with gold leaf. So that you see the big crack in the bowl that you normally might throw away in the garbage. But it's valued and honored by the way in which it is repaired. And so you see all of that gold where those cracks and broken parts were, and it's all put back together.
     
    I wonder if that's what God's way is with us. We are cracked and broken people, whom he invites to the table again this morning. We come with all our cracks, all our our foibles, all of our fallenness, all of our brokenness, all of our bowed-down-ness. We bring it all to Jesus. And he takes it and he returns to us our lives -- where it was cracked and broken, filled with the gold leaf of God's abiding love In Jesus Christ. And that gift of forgiveness and healing is ours to share.
     
    There were twelve baskets left over. Were all of those thrown away, all of that food? We live in a society that wastes so much food. No, it was taken and given to others who might need it, so that all might be satisfied, all might know that abundant love of God that has come for all.
     
    The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord. You give us our food in due season. You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing. No longer do we need to live with clenched fists, only thinking about ourselves and those around us that we know. But our hands are open, that we might share the abundance of God's grace and mercy and love with all of God's people, as God has so abundantly shared them with you and me.
     
    In Jesus' name, amen.
     
    *** Keywords ***
     
    2018, Christ Lutheran Church, Webster Groves, sermon, podcast, transcript, Paster Tom Schoenherr, Psalm 145:16-17
  • May 27, 2018Listen To the Voice
    May 27, 2018
    Listen To the Voice
    Series: (All)
    May 27, 2018. Pastors Penny and Keith have retired. Guest pastor Tom Schoenherr preaches today on Psalm 29, and grieving the loss. We don't really know what will happen during this time of transition. But what we do know is that God's voice will continue to lead us.
     
    *** Transcript ***
     
    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
     
    This may be a day of some sadness and grief for you, as you come together this morning. You may have hoped that pastors Keith and Penny might have been here to lead this worship instead of me. I appreciate the relationship that we've had together. But I also recognize that this is a time when people who have been significant in your life, who have led the congregation for fifteen years, are not here because they've retired. There is grieving that happens.
     
    We need to recognize that, as we move forward into this time of transition. You've heard the announcement about what's going to be happening in the future. There is still opportunity for you to grieve for Keith and Penny that they're not here. And I share that grief with you, because I miss their voices, and you probably miss their voices and their presence too.
     
    But as we come together today, we're having the opportunity to grieve, but also to celebrate a new chapter for Keith and Penny, for the Holstes as they move into a new chapter in their lives. And as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit move this congregation into your new chapter. And where that will lead and what that will mean in the future. We don't really know for sure. But what we do have is a promise that as we listen to God's voice that he will continue to lead us in the days and weeks and months to come.
     
    The text for today is Psalm 29, and you read that psalm earlier. If you would like to refer to it and take a look at that in the bulletin, you are welcome. Psalm 29 is a reflection of a terrible storm, a chaotic storm that has taken place. And there are evidences of that storm throughout the psalm. There are certainly earthquakes. There is thunder. There's fire. There's the breaking of cedars. There's flooding. There is the whirling of oaks turning around. It sounds scary to me. It is a scary storm.
     
    And I think about the pictures that we've been seeing about Kilauea in Hawaii. Some of you maybe have been there yourselves. But that storm, that volcanic storm, can be scary because you see that lava, that hot lava, burning and flowing and it surrounds houses and trees and cars and burns them out. You don't want to get too close to lava because it's extremely hot. It can cause all kinds of problems, particularly also from the gases that are emitted out of the Earth. And we recognize that that volcanic storm, and the storm that's being described in the psalm, are evidence of great power. And we're left just looking at it and saying wow, out of an understanding that we don't have that power at all. We don't have any control over those storms. And that God is the one who is in the midst of it all.
     
    How do we worship a God who has that kind of power? Well, maybe we need to be listening to the voice, as we repeated again and again, the voice of the Lord. To hear that voice, that voice may be speaking to us in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty that we may feel as pastors Keith and Penny are no longer here. As we move into the future, we may sense some bit of confusion and uncertainty, and that's normal.
     
    But as we do, we also listen to the voice. Listen to the voice of the Lord. What is God saying to us in the midst of the storm? If you look at the psalm, the first two verses, the word of the Lord or the name "Lord" is repeated four times. In verses 3 through 9, there are seven "voices of the Lord," and there are ten times when the divine name is mentioned. And in the last two verses of the psalm again four times "the Lord" is spoken. So in the midst of the storm the Lord is present, and in the midst of our confusion and chaos that life can bring to us, how do we respond? How do we respond to this storm in our lives?
     
    One of those storms is certainly the retiring of beloved pastors. Another one, maybe those who are sick or dying who are part of our family and our household. A number of you have attended graduations in these days. And as we come to those graduations, there is a certain amount of sadness, as well as joy, as we see children and grandchildren graduating from high school and from college, and what the future may hold for them as well. And as we come to a time in our lives when maybe we need to make some decisions about where we're going to be living so that somebody else may be taking care of us at a time later in our lives, then in the midst of all of that this psalm is saying to us, God has this. We're in the Lord's hand. God will not forsake us. He is in the midst of the storm. He will not let you go.
     
    But we want to try to control it somehow or other, don't we? We want to figure out a way in which we can deal with this chaos with the vacuum that's been formed. And so we have questions and we wonder, why does it take so long to get a new pastor or pastors? Why can't we speed up that process and just have somebody here right away, because that's what we need. We think. Or we may think that we've lost the voice of the Lord as pastors Keith and Penny are no longer here. Where is the Lord's voice now? Does God know or care about our problems and the kinds of things that we're going through? Where is God's presence for us? Life seems somewhat out of control. It seems a little bit chaotic. Things are not certain. Where do we go from here?
     
    But the psalm says the Lord sits above the flood. God's there. He doesn't stop the flood from happening or the earthquake or the thunder or the whirling oaks or the breaking of trees. But God is there in the midst of it all. And the voice of the Lord, where is it? It is where it's always been. The voice of the Lord is with our Lord Jesus Christ who comes and is in the midst of us, who invites us to the table, who continues to speak God's word to us, who sends that Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds that we might receive a word from the voice of the Lord. That is a word that speaks hope and promise in the midst of some chaos and confusion.
     
    Where is the voice of the Lord? The voice of the Lord is also you. You are the voice of the Lord to one another. And as you gather together and have opportunity to be together, you are speaking words of love and hope and care and peace to one another that are so necessary, and you are God's voice to one another. Where is the voice of the Lord? The voice of the Lord is also in the community. People of different religions, of different cultures, of different races. People who are oppressed, people who are broken, people who are looking for hope listen to those voices because the voice of the Lord is also coming through them.
     
    Listen to the voice.
     
    So when the stormy times, when anxiety levels rise, and we feel so uncertain and a bit confused, it's important to continue to gather for worship. The importance of continuing to be here, to listen to the voice of the Lord, to gather at the table in order that you might be strengthened for the work that you are called to do. Continue to care for one another. Continue to reach out with the voice of the Lord to one another in this desperate and difficult time.
     
    Continue to hear that word gathered at the table, so that you may come to receive the forgiving love of God in Jesus Christ, and there be strengthened and connected to one another again, so that your stories and your struggles and your problems and concerns are shared with one another and you can minister to one another with that voice of the Lord that makes so much difference in our lives.
     
    And also continue to reach out in service and care to all of the world that God is calling you to serve. Because you don't need a flashy, exciting pastor to continue to do the work of the Lord in the world. That's you. God speaking to you and moving you into all kinds of ways. Yeah, when a pastor comes that's exciting and wonderful. But you don't need that presence in order to continue to do the work of the Lord in this place.
     
    So, God who's enthroned in the storms of life is also the God who calls you children of God, who loves you and is with you and loves this whole world. There is awesome power in that love. And God is always faithful to us, will never abandon us or forsake us.
     
    Finally God's gift to this congregation is peace to calm the storm. Peace in the midst of the struggle to lead you in ways that can heal a broken and chaotic world. May God bless you and all the people of God say, "Glory." Glory in the name of Jesus.
     
    Amen.
     
    *** Keywords ***
     
    2018, Christ Lutheran Church, Webster Groves, sermon, podcast, transcript, Pastor Tom Schoenherr
  • Feb 4, 2018Rest and Renewal
    Feb 4, 2018
    Rest and Renewal
    Series: (All)
    February 4, 2018. Guest pastor Tom Schoenherr talks today about the importance of rest and renewal. Just as Jesus knew that he couldn't heal everybody all the time and would seek out a quiet place for prayer, so too we need to remember that if we don't step back sometimes we run the risk of losing our connection with God. *** [Keywords: 2018 23 days in January Christ Lutheran Church Christ the Lord God has given us Gospel Jesus is there Jesus knew Lord's Supper Pastor Tom Schoenherr Rest and Renewal all kinds of problems all of them amazed aren't needed all the time autumn be in the presence of God being abused bless your day breaking down brings demon out can't afford to live can't heal everybody caring for other people centrality of sabbath chained to their beds children and women children killing children come for Jesus to heal them come together community of people conflicts conversation between land and water and the moon could have spent entire ministry being in one place death dealing demons deserted place difficult time dormant times draws us close to him draws us together early in the morning everybody come everyone is searching for you exhale face each day feels good fever for us and for all of those who need healing forgive our sin free them gathers us around the meal get a place to sleep gift of rest and renewal give us his body and blood go back and start healing again go out and come in go out to find Jesus goes to Simon Peter's house growing times has broken down he needs sabbath heady thing healed man possessed by demon healing into the night heart rests between each beat heavy hearts heavy thoughts here to care for us home hurting ignore that rhythm to our danger important that we breathe important to step back in our times of need infection inhale jobs keep in mind lifted out of the tomb lifted up on the cross lifts her up listen to God losing most important connection with God's rest and power lot going on lungs makes a difference in our lives man is healed midst of all the struggle mother-in-law is ill need for connection needs to rest neighbors new surprises night moving into morning not always needed for everything not sent offset our sabbath our time our world people who are broken people who come pray to God praying put an end reach out to us receive the healing remember resurrection retired rhythm to life run the risk school shootings seeking that silent place seniors living in vans and cars sent out into the world separate us from community sermon share she is healed sick sleep sleeping social fabric society spring step away still dark stories we have not shared struggles summer synagogue with disciples take the time to go to a place to listen takes her hand talk with God talks to Jesus tempted thinking we really are important tides time for prayer to pray troubles twice wake up waking we come here we don't stand up we had no idea we have forgotten we need to remember we really need you we so desperately need we're not aware whole town is gathered around door winter work your week]
  • Aug 13, 2017This Boat Was Meant To Sail
    Aug 13, 2017
    This Boat Was Meant To Sail
    Series: (All)
    August 13, 2017. Guest Pastor Tom Schoenherr preaches on the Gospel story, from Matthew 14, in which Peter gets out of the boat and walks on water to Jesus. "Come," says Jesus. "Don't be afraid. I am with you." We tend to believe today that Jesus keeps us safe and secure, from fear and all the challenges in ourselves and in the world around us. But we're all in this boat together, and Jesus is bidding us to get out and come, into those places of doubt and danger in our lives. *** [Keywords: 2017 Barb's mother Charlottesville, VA Christ Lutheran Church Christ's love God's children Gospel Greek I am with you I'm with you Jesus Christ is already there Jesus says come Jesus' hand was not there Lord's table Matthew 14 Peter had doubts Peter needed help Sunday morning This Boat Was Meant to Sail Tom Schoenherr accept addictions all my people all of your people all the challenges baptism be safe be the presence of God be there for one another be there to hold her began to understand blood transfusions brothers and sisters but they sink can't avoid them can't go backward care about care for one another children of God choice we've made come come together command me connected connects us with one another cultures dangerous waves deal with didn't know different colors different cultures difficult problems disappear under the water disease doctor's office don't be afraid don't need to be afraid doubting doubts and concerns end of her life even then everything is going to be okay extend your life face facing our Lord faith faith in Jesus fearful follow him followers of Christ forgive forgiving forward gathered here together gift of Holy Spirit go out into deep water going into troubled disturbed places going through good choice good news hard even to get here have to live with he is already there he says come headed healing help us hold onto that promise holding onto us hope in our lives if it is you illness in the waves in these waters in this world into the pain into the storms into the world invites us to come out of the boat involved in mission just a little bit keep us safe and secure keeps holding onto promise kindergarten knowing last months of her life laughter leave you in the water lifestyles lift them up lifted him up lifts him up listing to this side live in this world look at Jesus looking at Jesus loss of loved one love and life we miss deeply loved ones are lost made us his own means ship or boat midst of the storm miracle drugs nave never meant to be tied up to dock next thing to come no happy endings nose above the water not alone not easy answers not fun not pleasant nothing more we can do on the way ourselves out of the water place of danger place where we are gathered places in our lives pray questioning questions races reaches down really religions remember who we are sent sermon share my love sit still slide so alone so many fears standing in the boat starts to sink stay in the boat step out of boat stories storm storms in our lives stormy waters struggle with faith struggles tend to believe the Great I Am the Great Physician those days are past threatens times of need toward Jesus troubled world trust God's promise trusted trusting walk out with you walked into school walking across the water walking on top of waves walking on water water of baptism water of life way it used to be we doubt we feel distant we have doubts we need help we want to come out we're all in this boat together we're in the boat what about those times where are we going where is it sailing where we are going white supremacists work on them world around us]
  • Jul 2, 2017Welcome
    Jul 2, 2017
    Welcome
    Series: (All)
    July 2, 2017. Guest pastor Tom Schoenherr shares with us today a poem he wrote to go along with the Gospel reading from Matthew 10:40. "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me." Sometimes we are not the ones welcoming, but we're the ones being welcomed. How does it feel to be welcomed? *** [Keywords: 2017 Gospel I'm not in charge Jesus Christ Matthew 10:40 Thomas Tom Schoenherr accept people as they are afflict all that keeps me bound in fear all the same to me at your table lord bear with me believe in someone stronger betrayals and regrets bleeding body and blood shed for me breakable breakableness breathe a new spirit in me brittle caress caverns of my mind and heart come to you Jesus comes alongside of us coming up the road community of love complex and complicated than my fears and doubts connect with it connected to Christ could it be cringe crushable cry to be known deep in my being dependence on you lord depending on others depths of my fears and pain difficult time disciples does not rhyme drawn into community draws us to the table embrace facebook page failures are many fear and prejudice fear of rejection fearful heart fears too extensive feel very vulnerable for all of us for all the world for each of us for whoever forgiving fragile frail getting at here give me hope again good enough for welcoming grudges heal me heal my broken life how does it feel is it you again knock know me learned let go let my vulnerability show letting others know like me locked doors locked room of fear long for connection love me made whole midst of being welcomed more than a name no one will know not berated or condemned not even God not so much welcoming not weak but strong oft too deep to be shared okay to feel vulnerable old Russian Orthodox monk out of control pain and death and new life painful peace poem prime minister promise is true promise of eternal life prostitute refreshing drink of cold water in the heat of the day reject me resting and trusting in the promise of God revealing my insides run to save yourself scares me secrets see through my outward confidence strength and smile segregated and apart send me out sermon set me free set the agenda shattered so delicate so many questions someone else is welcoming me speak to me stand at whoever's door stranger those who open their doors too apparent touch your wounds unlock the doors of my life very free verse wait waiting at the door walks through the door with us walls want to be in control ways that relate we are sent to do the same we're the ones being welcomed welcoming God the father welcoming Jesus welcoming others who I really am whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me whoever welcomes you welcomes me wondering]
  • Feb 19, 2017Nevertheless, He Persisted
    Feb 19, 2017
    Nevertheless, He Persisted
    Series: (All)
    February 19, 2017. What is perfection? In Matthew 5:38-48 Jesus says we are to be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect. But what does it mean to be perfect? Pastor Tom Schoenherr discusses this text, and suggests that we are to reach toward the goal of a life in deep and mature relationship with God. It's difficult for us to love those who have hurt us, but Jesus calls us to the struggle. He understands that we can't attain perfection but he calls us to persist. *** [Keywords: Bible Christ-like Janet Jan Roock Jesus July 31 LGBT deal with prejudice Maddy Roock Mark Roock Matthew 5:38-48 Pastor Tom Schoenherr Senator Elizabeth Warren Senator Mitch McConnell Sermon on the Mount abused all the way to the cross amputation as our heavenly Father is perfect at the table beyond our understanding bigger weapons boys and girls of God brokenness carers church combative coming alongside each of us compound fractures legs conflicts continue to move forward deeper relationship difficult doormats drawing us close to himself dreadfully imperfect easier take revenge emotional abuse empty tomb enemy of Christ eye for an eye feeding us flawless follower of Christ forgivers forgiving us give new life grief he persisted heal his own blood his own body holy hospital hurt impossible internal decapitation killed life in deep relationship with God life they have love your enemies lovers loving enemies mature maturity men and women of God mission mourn nevertheless she persisted new way to live and love in the world no matter our struggle outside Kingdom of Heaven pain people deal with racism perfection persisted persistence physical abuse prosthesis pursuing goal reach toward the goal reaching for a goal retribution sadness sexual abuse sisters struggle in persisting terrible accident therapy they persisted took great abuse in his own life took lives tooth for a tooth troubled vengeance was given an explanation was told was warned we are to be perfect we're not alone without sin woman reached out touched Jesus' robe woman spent time to find lost coin woman walked into temple gave everything she had woman wet Jesus' feet with her tears, dried with hair women who deal with sexism]
  • Aug 14, 2016Keep Running the Race
    Aug 14, 2016
    Keep Running the Race
    Series: (All)
    August 14, 2016. Have you ever given up on God? Guest pastor Tom Schoenherr preaches today, during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, on Hebrews 12:1-2 about running the race marked out for us, with our eyes fixed on Jesus who is the pioneer and perfecter of faith. But in the Greek, the word for race also means struggle. Sometimes when bad things happen to us or to our loved ones, we find it difficult to stay in the race, to keep struggling in the faith. We find it hard to keep believing. Why do bad things happen to good people? When they do, turning away from God may seem easier. But then we're struggling alone. We need to know that God doesn't cause bad things to happen. But he is there for us in moments of despair, he weeps with us, and he sends wonderful people to help us, so that we can keep running the race. *** [Keywords: abby abigail accident agony agóna alone battle believe believing cloud crash david despair faith fate grandchildren greek grieving healing hebrews 12:1-2 intervene janet jenny maddy mark maya olympics perfecter pioneer pray prayer prevent protection race recklessness rio roock running schoenherr struggle suffering swimming thoughtlessness tom tragedy travel weep witnesses]
  • May 1, 2016Promise of Peace
    May 1, 2016
    Promise of Peace
    Series: (All)
    May 1, 2016. Guest pastor Tom Schoenherr preaches on Jesus' words from John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (RSV) Where does peace come from? Sometimes we find peace, but it doesn't last. Sometimes it seems that our prayers are not heard, that Jesus has left the room and we're on our own. Or is it that we don't really believe promises that may be difficult to receive? *** [Keywords: 286 years of peace 3600 BC 8000 treaties signed God isn't listening God's people Gospel Holy Spirit Jesus has left the room Jesus is troubled John 14:27 Tom Schoenherr against women anxious better story body and blood bread and wine care for others in world choking back emotion comes from Christ comes from outside of us consecrated Lord's Supper continued violence continues crucifixion cry out into emptiness deeper difficult to receive disappointed disturbed does not end does not last doesn't seem to be responding draw us to table economically empowers end of conflicts end of war feel passed by force forgiveness future given to us from Christ guarantee peace guest pastor gun violence hope within us illnesses in our lifetime inviting us into that peace left the house left to ourselves let not your hearts be troubled life lives in us lost loved ones love one another as I have loved you miss dearly my peace I give to you neither let them be afraid new commandment no peace not as the world gives do I give to you not lasting on our own orphaned over 5600 years pain peacemaking peave I leave with you people of peace and hope in a broken world person of peace power prayers go out into air preparing disciples presidential politics primary season promise of peace put into our hearts and minds questioning racially rapidly changing world really don't believe Jesus' promise receive from someone else receive that confidence recorded history renews our lives resurrection return to Father sends us out sense of calm in midst of storm sense of well being separated and divided shared that presence sharer of that peace society sound of silence spiritually stirred up strengthened struggling sure Jesus easy for you to say too high expectations unsettled upper room very sad vision washed their feet we are sent welcomes us to table welling up with tears wondering about the world]
  • Jan 17, 2016Sharing the Abundance
    Jan 17, 2016
    Sharing the Abundance
    Series: (All)
    January 17, 2016. Guest pastor Tom Schoenherr preaches on the story of the wedding at Cana from the Gospel of John, in which Jesus turns water into wine when the wine gives out, to how we too can share God's abundance with others when health, faith, or trust in God give out.