• Pastor Roy Stetler

Children's Sermon and Sermon March 29, 2020 5th Sunday of Lent

Below are the children's sermon and sermon for today. I'm sending it for those who prefer it written or cannot download the video of today's service.  Peace and good health to you all. 

Sunday, March 29. Children’s sermon / Sermon

Jacob takes a stone and puts it under his head and dreams of a stairway up into heaven with angels coming and going.

Then God speaks to Jacob:  I am the LORD, God of Abraham and Isaac.

-The land on which you lie I will give to you and your children.

-I am with you and will keep you wherever you go.

-I will bring you back to this land.

-I will be with you and keep my promise. 

Jacob says, “This is holy ground!”  He flips the pillow up to become a pillar which he anoints with oil.  “This is God’s house.”   This is Jacob’s first prayer.  He says, “If God brings me back safely to live in the land (with Esau), then God is surely my God.”  Jacob is learning to pray and trust, rather than trick people into getting his way.  (long way to go, yet!)

We too can hear this story for ourselves.  (1) God is with us and is leading us in distant fellowship.   Though we aren’t together, we pray for each other and care for one another, especially you children and your families.  We are praying for you.   God is faithful and will hold us and keep us.  (2) We are all learning to pray and trust—like Jacob.

Sermon:  Ezekiel sees a valley full of very dry bones.  There is no hope in that valley, a sign of physical and spiritual death and separation.  He prophesies and the bones come together and are covered with muscle and skin.  He prophesies again and the wind of God fills them with Spirit breath

The Jews in exile are coming back to faith and God’s Spirit will enter them and bring them back to their own soil.  God has spoken.  God will act. 

We might feel like dry bones scattered.  What can we do?  We can pray.  God’s presence surrounds us, upholds us.

Paul explores God’s presence when he compares flesh versus spirit.  Some have misused Paul’s words to claim that our bodies and the physical are less important than the spirit.  Sure, the physical can be impulsive and obsessive toward self.  Paul is reminding us to trust the Spirit’s presence to lead us in love outward with compassion.

God's presence and abundance provided for Jacob, for David, for the prophets, for Jesus and the apostles and all the saints.  Our fear of not enough forgets the fullness of the Spirit at work today. 

Paul says, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.” 

Jesus raises Lazarus up from the dead.  Besides the miracle of Jesus raising him from the tomb, the thing that stands out in this story is that Jesus isn’t worried about Lazarus.  He weeps over the family's grief. and is sad with them for all of their griefs.  But he is not afraid.  Lazarus is alive whether he walks out of the tomb or not because Jesus is alive.  Because Spirit is life.  Jesus' life is our life.  His death is our death.  In Christ there is enough life to go around.  May we receive of the abundance of creation in the mercy of God.  In Christ, God is holding us and keeping us.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Roy Stetler Pastor, Quickel Evangelical Lutheran Church

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