Memorial Lutheran Church

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it  
 penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the
 thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
 
 
Memorial Sermons Online
Click on the date below to listen to the sermon:
(Please note that not all Sunday sermons are taped.)

2017

April 9: Why The Attitude?

Jesus would have every reason to be frustrated & upset. His entrance into Jerusalem seemed to go well enough, at least if one measures popularity as success. For the most part, people seemed quite happy to have Jesus be with them. But Jesus knew that much more was going on underneath the surface. The fact was that another force was quietly at work that would ultimately (and in a short time) lead to Him being put to death – and quite unfairly so. Could anyone possibly keep their composure under such circumstances?

April 2: The Final Word
Death appears to be our ultimate enemy. For all we can see, death is very final. But the One who has carried our sin on Himself has also made it clear that death is not the final word. Even after raising Lazarus, Jesus would soon die on the cross from the crushing weight of our sin. But His power to raise Lazarus demonstrated the power of God over death, period. We KNOW what awaits us on the other side of the cross . . . and on the other side of the grave!

March 26: Point To The Light
He wasn’t especially seeking all the attention He was getting, but it’s obvious that sooner or later the “spotlight” would be drawn to Jesus. This time He healed a man who was born blind – that really turned people’s eyes toward Him and caused a lot of folks to ask questions. No, He didn’t seek all the personal attention, but at the same time He could hardly help but be seen. He really didn’t even need to “step into the spotlight” for, as He acknowledged, He already is the true Light of the World. He is the Light who brings sight for all who are spiritually blinded by the darkness.

March 19: A Surprising Reach (audio not available)
When it comes to helping someone out, there are some people that seem easy to help. They’re friendly, humble, thankful, and very gracious. They’re not overly demanding. They probably just need a little helping hand and are likely to help themselves out along the way.Sure, I’ll carry their burden for a while. But what about when you run into someone who is just downright mean, nasty, and crude? There doesn’t appear to be any potential for this person to pick himself up in the future. You won’t even hear any mumbled words of thanks. Give an inch and you’ll get taken for a mile. Help him out and you’re likely to get fleeced.
Are you ready to carry this burden? The Sin Carrier is!

March 12: Out of Work - And It's Wonderful
We are God’s children – not because of our ability or strength to present ourselves as good enough before God. We are God’s children who believe and depend on the One who is able to bear our burden and be our “sin-carrier.” As Paul says to the Ephesians, “By grace we have been saved through faith – and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
To add another thought: When it comes to earning the right to be saved, we are “out of work.” It can be uncomfortable to ever say we’re “out of a job,” but in this case, it is best comfort we can get!

March 5: The Blame Game
“It’s not my fault!” – True or not true?
“It’s not HIS fault!” – What if the statement is said about Jesus? Is it true or not true?


February 26: Listen To Him
You have to wonder what the disciples were expecting to hear from Jesus after the Father’s voice called out: “Listen to Him!” Perhaps it was the awesomeness of Jesus’ appearance (His face shining like the sun and his clothes as white as light); – or maybe the surprise of a voice speaking from out of the bright cloud that had surrounded them on the mountain – but, the moment left them face-down on the ground and terrified.
It might be terrifying for us, as well, to hear what God has to say to us. But don’t miss seeing the assuring touch of Jesus as He urges them to move forward and to not be afraid.

February 19: Being Holy
God’s Word places a high calling on His people: “Be holy!”
One might say that to be holy is an impossible task – especially when we hear Jesus call us to walk the extra mile in our love and actions toward other people. But Jesus did much more than teach us about being holy – He showed us what it means to be holy in all we do; and in showing us made it possible for us to be holy as well. We are not holy because of what we have been able to do, but by what we have been given by Him. He’s given us the forgiveness of our sins. He’s given us the gift of His Holy Spirit to live in us (see Epistle lesson). And so, we ARE holy, and live toward one another as His holy people!

February 12: Was It Really Ever A Choice?
Making choices seems to be getting harder and harder to do if for no other reason than because of the sheer numbers of choices that are constantly being presented before us. In many fast food restaurants, for example, just pouring yourself a glass of soda pop means choosing from millions of different combinations of how you can put your drink together.
    A very straightforward and seemingly simple choice is referred to in our Old Testament lesson today. “In front of you every day are choices of life and death,” God says to His people. “Choose life!” He says. It should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, there are factors that complicate the matter, yet one great Choice that has made the matter clear!

February 5: The Day After
      It’s difficult to know the true story if you keep hearing conflicting accounts.
      What story is being told by our lives? Or, if you are ready to take this more personally, what story is being told by your life? Will others who “read” you get a full understanding of the goodness of God? Are there conflicting accounts? What can be done if there are?

January 29: A Really Foolish Plan
   To die a slave’s death on a cross seems like a stupidly crazy plan for dealing with a problem of people who are stubborn, rebellious, nasty, mean (to use a few descriptive words), and need to be straightened out – or, as Paul writes, it appears to be foolishness.
   But God’s ways are not like our ways. The message of the cross is the message of God’s power to change lives for the good!

January 22: Living Wiuth The Lights On
When we can’t clearly see our direction, it’s hard to move forward. When we’re confused about our purpose, it’s hard to live life confidently. When darkness blocks out the light, it’s difficult to take confident steps forward.
        God’s Good News of our Savior Jesus is the Light that breaks through the darkness of old life and opens the way for us to live a new and wonderfully different life. Life is different with the Light on!

January 15: Knowing Why
For what purpose do we exist as Memorial Lutheran Church? For that matter what is my ultimate purpose as a creation of God? Why does God pour so many gifts into our lives? For what purpose are we to use our gifts?
When all things are considered, the ultimate answers to those questions lie in the God-proclaimed truth that He desires to save all people – and that He has chosen you and me to communicate to other people His plan of salvation. What’s our ultimate purpose? Why do we exist?
To share the Good News of Jesus with all people!

Jan 8: A Great Mystery With A Clear Answer
Why did the mysterious star appear? Why did it lead the Magi to a baby? What possible connection could it have to the Apostle Paul? Or to you? 



2016

December 18: Pastor Asmus: "To Life"    
We often hear ourselves say, “I just want to make sure that I live life to the fullest!” A commercial from long ago used to say, “You only go around once in life, and so you’ve got to grab for all the gusto you can get!” – whatever “gusto” is. Jesus actually said something that almost sounds similar. Speaking as the Good Shepherd, He announced, “I have come that they (His sheep) might have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

     The big difference is, Jesus had something much more in mind than simply having a good run while you live on this earth. Let’s listen today for what He means when He promises us His gift of Life “from Heaven Above.”


December 11: Pastor Asmus: "The Gift Beyond Understanding"
 People all over the world are finding peace through the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is not simply a brief rest from a frantic and even war-torn world. It is wholeness that comes from our hearts being made at one with God – and because we are made one with God, we reach out in peace to one another!   

December 4: Pastor Asmus: "Where Love Starts"
God’s steadfast love is revealed for us in the gift of His beloved Son. Once again as we head toward Christmas we will be “unwrapping” this gift of God’s love as we celebrate the coming of our Savior Jesus. We also celebrate by sharing His great gift of love with all those around us.


November 27: Pastor Asmus: "Waiting With Confidence And Purpose"
As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation approaches, let Martin Luther’s beloved hymn “From Heaven Above” speak to you in our special Advent worship series. Each service in the 4 week series focuses on God’s gifts that come down to us through the birth of Jesus. Today’s service looks at how the people of Israel waited in hope for the promised Messiah, and how we now wait in hope for His return on the Last Day.


November 20: Pastor Asmus: “Minions For Christ”
Even as Jesus is declared in the Scriptures to be the mighty King of all who has rescued us, we also are made very aware that He is our compassionate and caring King. His words in our Gospel lesson today call us to share the same compassion and care as servants in His Kingdom.


November 13: Pastor Asmus: “Knowing What He’s Done and Telling What You Know”  
   God uses pictures to help us understand more about who we are in relation to Him. We consider some of the “You Are” statements we find in God’s Word.  “You Are”:
  “A People Belonging to God ..Children of God . .My Friends . The Body of Christ . My Disciples . The Branches . Light and Salt . My Witnesses.”
   A witness is a person who makes a statement about what he or she knows or has seen. Jesus has chosen to use people who know and trust His saving love to tell others about this Good News. Because people all over the world need to learn about Jesus, God uses believers to take the Good News everywhere. This morning we welcome Missionary Herb Burch who serves as a witness for Jesus in the country of Peru.                                     

November 6: Pastor Paul Mehl: "Taste And See - That The Lord Is Good"
God uses pictures to help us understand more about who WE are in relation to Him. We consider some of the “You Are” statements we find in God’s Word.  “You Are”:
“A People Belonging to God . . . Children of God . . . My Friends . . . The Body of Christ . . .
My Disciples . . . The Branches . . . Salt and Light . . . My Witnesses.”
    Salt and Light seem like a strange combination – yet each plays a significant role in providing important benefits for the world – just as our Lord uses you and me to be a blessing for our world, as well. In fact, God has used all believers of all time – saints – to be salt and light for our world with the ultimate purpose of all people trusting God’s saving work in our Savior Jesus.
    Today we welcome Rev. Paul Mehl of Concordia, MO to share insights from God’s Word with us. Pastor Mehl is President of St. Paul Lutheran High School in Concordia; his son, Rev. Silas Mehl, is a pastor in our South Dakota District at Zion, Canistota and St. John, Montrose)


October 30: Pastor Asmus: "Connected And Filled With Fruit"
God uses pictures to help us understand more about who WE are in relation to Him. We consider some of the “You Are” statements we find in God’s Word.  “You Are”:
“A People Belonging to God . . . Children of God . . . My Friends . . . The Body of Christ . . .
My Disciples . . . The Branches . . . Light and Salt . . . My Witnesses.” 
        It’s likely that no one else has ever called you a “branch.” But when Jesus calls us “branches” after He calls Himself the “Vine,” we can begin to understand His desire that we find in Him the nourishment we need to grow as His people and to be a blessing to all. WE DEPEND ON CHRIST!
        Our Reformation and Confirmation Sunday emphasis also points us to the truth that we stand confidently in life on the strength of God. Our confirmation students shared their personal faith statements at a special gathering last evening. Today in our 10:45 worship service, they publicly profess faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. We are blessed to encourage one another in Christ!


October 23: Pastor Asmus: "Lifelong Learners"
       Throughout the Scriptures, God uses pictures to help us understand more about who WE are in relation to Him. Our fall series helps us discover more about ourselves and our relationship to God as we explore some of the “You Are” statements we find in God’s Word.  “You Are”:
“A People Belonging to God . . . Children of God . . . My Friends . . . The Body of Christ . . .
My Disciples . . . The Branches . . . Light and Salt . . . My Witnesses.”
        A disciple is one who is a learner, one who devotes himself or herself to the leading of a teacher. We know that we have the greatest of all teachers – Jesus – for His Words are the very words of God Himself. How excellent that He says to you and me, “You are MY Disciples!” He loves you and cares about you; He wants to teach you what is good and true; you can trust Him!


October 16: Pastor Asmus: " 'You Are' means 'We Are' "
       Throughout the Scriptures, God uses pictures to help us understand more about who WE are in relation to Him. Our fall series helps us discover more about ourselves and our relationship to God as we explore some of the “You Are” statements we find in God’s Word.  “You Are”:
 “A People Belonging to God . . . Children of God . . . My Friends . . . The Body of Christ . . .
My Disciples . . . The Branches . . . Light and Salt . . . My Witnesses.”
      A person’s body is made up of many different parts that function together as a whole. Though each part is different from the other parts, all the parts are interconnected and function together to make one body.
      So it is for you and me and all believers in Jesus! We are united together as one body in Christ, yet we are individually given different gifts so that the whole body can perform many different functions. No one part is greater than the other. Each part is vitally important. You matter to God and we matter to one another. Together we serve one common purpose – to make God’s saving work in Christ known to all!


October 9: Pastor Asmus: "You've Got A Friend"
     Throughout the Scriptures, God uses pictures to help us understand more about who WE are in relation to Him. Our fall series helps us discover more about ourselves and our relationship to God as we explore some of the “You Are” statements we find in God’s Word.  “You Are”:
“A People Belonging to God . . . Children of God . . . My Friends . . . The Body of Christ . . .
My Disciples . . . The Branches . . . Light and Salt . . . My Witnesses.”
     Making friends isn’t always easy to do. We want to be liked by others. We want people around us that we think are fun. We might even have to admit that we sometimes look for friends based on the thought of “what benefit will I get out of this relationship?” Sometimes we’re willing to do whatever it takes to have somebody call us their friend.
     “Wait, . . . what’s this I hear? Jesus calls me His friend? How can that be? God wants to be friends with me?”
     Well, that’s exactly what He says! Let’s talk today about what that means.


October 2: Rev. Pete Sestak: "Children Of God"
    Throughout the Scriptures, God uses pictures to help us understand more about who WE are in relation to Him. Our fall series helps us discover more about ourselves and our relationship to God as we explore some of the “You Are” statements we find in God’s Word.  “You Are”:
“A People Belonging to God . . . Children of God . . . My Friends . . . The Body of Christ . . .
My Disciples . . . The Branches . . . Light and Salt . . . My Witnesses.”
 
    To be called a child of God allows us to humbly celebrate our Heavenly Father’s love – that through Jesus we are called into His family. Carrying the “family name” can sometimes be difficult if others around us are opposed to our Heavenly Father’s will. However, carrying the “family name” through our Savior Jesus brings great blessing as we:
    - understand our loving Father’s forgiveness for us and through us toward others.
    - enjoy the invitation of approaching the Almighty God in prayer as dear children would speak to their dear Father.
    - live with the assurance of our eternal inheritance from our Heavenly Father.


September 25: Pastor Asmus: "Yes, YOU!"
God identifies Himself by a name that is often translated simply “I AM.” Jesus uses that name quite often in referring to Himself, but also adds a number of different pictures to help us more clearly understand His importance to us. Some of His “I AM” statements: “I am . . . the Good Shepherd . . . the Way, the Truth, and the Life . . . the Vine . . . the Light of the World . . . the Resurrection and the Life.”
God also tells us, however, more about who WE are. Our fall series helps us discover more about ourselves and our relationship to God as we explore some of the “You Are” statements we find in God’s Word.  “You Are”:
“A People Belonging to God . . . Children of God . . . My Friends . . . The Body of Christ . . .
My Disciples . . . The Branches . . . Light and Salt . . . My Witnesses.”


September 18: Pastor Asmus: "What Are You Aiming For?"
Jesus’ very surprising – no, shocking – parable seems to hit the Pharisees right in the gut . . . because they loved money. They didn’t have an eternal focus with regard to their wealth and possessions. They got caught up in the trap of serving themselves for the pleasure of the moment. Their goals and aims in life were very short-sighted.
What are you aiming for?


September 11: Pastor Asmus: "Surprise Party!"
Are you kidding? “Repent and Rejoice?” Since when do these two words travel together? In our world today the word “repent” is more likely associated with an image of a wild-eyed street-corner crazy person possessed by hatred and grossly out of touch with reality. That’s hardly a picture of celebration.
Since when do “Repent and Rejoice” travel together? Ever since our Lord’s kindness has lovingly called you and me to repentance!  (see Romans 2:4)
 

September 4: Pastor Asmus: "Caught In The Crosshairs"
Being made a child of God through by what Jesus did on the cross changes everything for us. All that we are and have is shaped by His readiness to give His life away.
       When our identity as a child of God is ridiculed or challenged, what will be our response? How do we respond to Jesus’ shocking statement that we cannot be His disciples if we “do not hate father and mother, wife and children, sisters and brothers – and even our own lives?” What will it mean for us to take up our cross and follow Him?
 



 

Memorial Lutheran Church • Sioux Falls, SD • 605-334-7133  © 2017