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Sermons

Click here to view Worship Videos.

For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

October 2019


October 20, 2019  "Money as Means" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 6, 2019  "A New Family" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2019


September 15, 2019  "Sight? Or Insight?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

August 2019


August 25, 2019  "Seeing as God Sees" by Rev. Don Wahlig

August 4, 2019  "Five Lies & the Truth" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

July 2019


July 28, 2019  "Walking Hand in Hand" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

June 2019


June 23, 2019  "The New, True You!" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 16, 2019  "The Fuzzy Logic of Discernment" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 9, 2019  "Speaking of Dreams and Visions" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2, 2019 "Who's the Prisoner?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

May 2019


May 5, 2019 "Vision Correction" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

April 2019


April 21, 2019 "So, Where Is He?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

April 14, 2019 "A Wondrous Love" by Rev. Don Wahlig

April 7, 2019 "For Love, or Money?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

March 2019


March 31 "Grace Forgotten" by Rev. Don Wahlig

March 17, 2019 "The Love that Won't Quit" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

February 2019


February 17, 2019 "The Kingdom Vision" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 10, 2019 "Fishing Tips for Amateur Anglers" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 3, 2019 "Grace Unlimited" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

January 2019


January 13, 2019 "The Promise of Baptism" by Rev. Don Wahlig

January 6, 2019 "The Message of the Magi" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

December 2018


Christmas Eve, 2018 "Self-giving Love" by Rev. Don Wahlig

December 23, 2018 "Sing Along" by Rev. Don Wahlig

December 2, 2018 “Living in Between" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

November 2018


November 18, 2018 “Persistent Witness" by Rev. Don Wahlig

November 11, 2018 “Everyday Foxhole Faith" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

October 2018


October 28, 2018 “True Discipleship" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 21, 2018 “How the Truly Great Get that Way" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 14, 2018 “The Cost of Discipleship" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2018


September 30, 2018 “Holding It All Together" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 23, 2018 “Gentle Wisdom" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 16, 2018 “Finding the Right Words" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 9, 2018 “Jesus: Savior...and Lord?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

Oct. 16, 2016

 

"Unfashionable Faithfulness in a Time of Fashionable Faithlessness" By the Rev. Don Wahlig

Year C / 22nd Sunday after Pentecost – Genesis 32:22-31 and Psalm 121  •  2 Timothy 3:14-4:5  •  Luke 18:1-8

THEME:  Persevere in faithfulness even when it’s out of season, by persisting in prayer.

 

        Does anyone here subscribe to Vogue Magazine?  I’ve never really been a fan of Vogue, but then again I’ve never been a huge fan of high fashion.  And High Fashion – or Haut Couture, as the French say – is what Vogue is really all about.

        What’s interesting to me is how Vogue has documented fashion trends over the decades since it was founded in the 1890s.  Back then, the fashion was for Corsets, full skirts and huge hats.  Then it became loose, shapeless dresses of the Flappers in the ‘20s, and then military-inspired dresses with square shoulders in the 30s and 40s. 

        Then came Christian Dior’s soft, flowing calf-length dresses that Sophia Loren or Grace Kelly wore in the 1950s. Sadly, this “New Look”, as it was called, eventually gave way to the flower power styles of the 60s.  Anyone out there still own a pair of bell-bottom jeans?  Mini-skirts?

        In the 1970s, the fashionable woman was wearing polyester hot pants while the fashionably-dressed man did his best to look like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. 

        In the ‘80s, when fashion was all about MTv, it meant dressing like Madonna or Michael Jackson; or those guys on Miami Vice.  Then came the ‘90s and grunge was in – flannel shirts and torn jeans.

        Since the turn of the century, it’s all become a bit vague and eclectic.  Fashion is wearing recycled styles with futuristic twists. Oh, and skinny jeans – I forgot skinny jeans. 

        This brief stroll through the styles of the last century is a reminder that when it comes to what people find fashionable, the only constant is change.  While some people are content with tried and true classics, many others have an insatiable appetite for anything new and different.

        The same holds true when it come to ideas.  Intellectual fashions go in and out of style almost as quickly as clothing.  The last 200 years have seen Enlightenment, Romanticism, Nationalism, Liberalism, Realism, Idealism, Positivism, Materialism, Modernism and Post-modernism.  Phew – that’s a lot of ‘-ism’s for a couple hundred years.

        As you might expect, people are almost as quick to latch onto new religious fads as they are to new clothing fashions.  By some estimates, over the last two centuries over 250 new and distinct religious movements have been started, most in America.  

        Some are legitimate off-shoots of the world’s primary religious traditions, but many are completely off the reservation:  the Aetherius Society – a UFO-Christian sect; or the Amica Temple of Radiance – a branch of Theosophy, whatever that is.  Then there’s the Church of All Worlds, except the only worlds it seems to encompass are witchcraft and neo-paganism.

        Religious fads also exist within mainstream Christianity.  The next time you listen to Joel Osteen preach you’ll hear one of those fads.   It’s called the prosperity gospel – and it bears very little resemblance to the true message of self-giving and sacrificing for others that Jesus brought us.  

        In addition to being attracted to all manner of religious fads, a growing number of Americans no longer adhere to any religious tradition.  You probably remember the news reports last year about results of research conducted by the Pew Foundation.

        They studied the religious affiliation of Americans from 2007 to 2014.  Over that 7-year span, the percentage of Americans who consider themselves Christians fell from 78% to 71%.  The drop was comprised of lapsed Catholics and Protestants. 

        In all these facts and figures, one thing is abundantly clear:  we are living in an age much like the one Paul warned Timothy about.

        He wrote, “the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires.”  That time is here.  Just as Paul predicted, there are many who’ve wandered away from the truth in pursuit of myths.

        This is a hard reality for those of us in the church.  There was a time that some of us here can recall when this trend was running in the other direction.

        In the 1950s and early 60s, religious and denominational affiliation in this country were at their high points.  More than half the population was in church on any given Sunday morning.  Churches were being built in every suburb and city.  We needed them: not only was the population growing quickly, church membership was growing even faster.

        This was the age of civil religion.  President Eisenhower worshipped at the National Presbyterian Cathedral a short drive north of the White House and became the only President to be baptized in office.

        He began a crusade to involve religious values in public life.  This was when the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of allegiance and “In God we trust” was printed on our currency.  To use Paul’s language, it was a favorable time for the gospel.  You might say it was even fashionable.  

        It’s quite the opposite today.  Believing, teaching and proclaiming the Word – as Paul exhorts Timothy to do – is about as fashionable in this age as wearing a hooped skirt or a zoot suit to go shopping at Wegmans.  Especially among younger Millennials, faithlessness is very much in vogue.

        To be honest, it’s a bit discouraging, isn’t it?  Especially for those of us who experienced the boom times of American Christianity in the 50s and 60s. 

        We need to remind ourselves that those days were not the norm.  They were the exception.  For the entirety of our nation’s history prior to 1900, Christians – or people of any religious faith, for that matter - were in the minority.  That was the norm.  We are simply reverting to it.

        That’s also how it was in the days of the early church when our scripture passages were written.  That’s why Paul’s encouraging words to Timothy and Jesus’ parable are words we need to hear. 

        They boil down to one simple thing:  Don’t lose heart; persist in being faithful.

       It starts by remembering we can rely on scripture. God inspired scripture, so we can trust the promises he makes to us there.  It teaches us, it corrects us.  It trains us in righteousness, which is another way of saying being faithful in God’s eyes.  It also equips us to live out the faith in our daily lives.

       Remember where we first learned that faith.  For most of us here, we learned it from our parents and grandparents. The same was true for Timothy.  That’s important.  Our faith, like his, was transmitted to us by those who also kept the faith through tough times, when it was difficult to remain a believer.

       In my case, my mother and father taught me how to be a Christian.  They were both nurtured in the faith during the depression.  They learned how to follow Jesus by going to church and watching their parents – my grandparents who had also lived through times when Christianity was unfashionable:  the shock and spiritual despair of WWI and then the wealthy malaise of the 20s.

       Now it’s our turn.  You and I need to persist in the faith in these times when people are less and less open to it.  As Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, taught him the faith, so do you and I teach our children and grandchildren the faith by the way we persist in living it, when it’s in fashion or not.

       That’s sometimes where we hit a bump in the road.  The reality is that some of them do embrace the faith – and some don’t.  For many of us, that’s the hardest part of all:  knowing that people we love don’t seem to share the faith that sustains us, despite our example and our prayers.

        So, what then – what do we do?

        What’s left to us is simply to keep on praying.  As Jesus tells his disciples, we are not to lose heart.  We just keep on badgering God with our petitions. 

        We don’t know how or when God will answer them, but Jesus assures us he will.  That doesn’t mean that God will automatically give us what we ask, but rest assured he will give us what we need.

        Many of you know Steve Harvey, the host of several hit radio and TV shows including Family Feud. He describes what it’s like to be the beneficiary of that kind of constant prayer. 

        In his earlier days, he strayed far away from the faith before returning to it in later years.  He says, “My mother was a Sunday school teacher.  So I am a byproduct of prayer.  My mom just kept on praying for her son.”

        Somewhere along the line, someone did that for each of us.  In all likelihood, someone’s praying for us right now. 

        That’s what you and I need to do for those we care about:  Persevere in faith, and persist in prayer. 

        You can’t have one without the other.  As Martin Luther said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”

        Whether it’s fashionable or not, whether it’s in season or out – let’s keep nurturing our faith – and the faith of those around us – by pestering God with prayer.

        May it be so.

Last Published: July 3, 2017 11:24 AM
Sermons

Click here to view Worship Videos.

For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

October 2019


October 20, 2019  "Money as Means" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 6, 2019  "A New Family" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2019


September 15, 2019  "Sight? Or Insight?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

August 2019


August 25, 2019  "Seeing as God Sees" by Rev. Don Wahlig

August 4, 2019  "Five Lies & the Truth" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

July 2019


July 28, 2019  "Walking Hand in Hand" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

June 2019


June 23, 2019  "The New, True You!" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 16, 2019  "The Fuzzy Logic of Discernment" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 9, 2019  "Speaking of Dreams and Visions" by Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2, 2019 "Who's the Prisoner?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

May 2019


May 5, 2019 "Vision Correction" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

April 2019


April 21, 2019 "So, Where Is He?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

April 14, 2019 "A Wondrous Love" by Rev. Don Wahlig

April 7, 2019 "For Love, or Money?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

March 2019


March 31 "Grace Forgotten" by Rev. Don Wahlig

March 17, 2019 "The Love that Won't Quit" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

February 2019


February 17, 2019 "The Kingdom Vision" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 10, 2019 "Fishing Tips for Amateur Anglers" by Rev. Don Wahlig

February 3, 2019 "Grace Unlimited" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

January 2019


January 13, 2019 "The Promise of Baptism" by Rev. Don Wahlig

January 6, 2019 "The Message of the Magi" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

December 2018


Christmas Eve, 2018 "Self-giving Love" by Rev. Don Wahlig

December 23, 2018 "Sing Along" by Rev. Don Wahlig

December 2, 2018 “Living in Between" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

November 2018


November 18, 2018 “Persistent Witness" by Rev. Don Wahlig

November 11, 2018 “Everyday Foxhole Faith" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

October 2018


October 28, 2018 “True Discipleship" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 21, 2018 “How the Truly Great Get that Way" by Rev. Don Wahlig

October 14, 2018 “The Cost of Discipleship" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2018


September 30, 2018 “Holding It All Together" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 23, 2018 “Gentle Wisdom" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 16, 2018 “Finding the Right Words" by Rev. Don Wahlig

September 9, 2018 “Jesus: Savior...and Lord?" by Rev. Don Wahlig

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

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