Author Archives: Ernie Hess

Humility and Giftedness

After entreating us in vv 1-2 to offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices so that we may resist conformity and begin to live a transformed life, the apostle Paul tells us to think of ourselves with “sober judgment”, with humility.  This involves seeing ourselves from God’s perspective and as part of a larger whole, the Body of Christ in the world.  “Humility is not thinking less of yourself.  It is thinking of yourself less.”  With humility we are set free to use the particular gifts that God has given each of us in the service of Christ and God’s Kingdom.  May God grant each of us this empowering humility!

peace, Ernie

Summer Sermon Series Schedule:

June 6 – Living a Transformed Life (Romans 12:1-2)

June 13 – Humility and Giftedness (Romans 12:3-8)

June 20 – Genuine Love (Romans 12:9-10)

June 27 – Keep the Fire Burning (Romans 12:11)

July 4 – Tools for Tough Times (Romans 12:12)

July 11 – Contribute to the Needs of the Saints (Romans 12:13a)

July 18 – Welcoming Strangers (Romans 12:13b)

July 25 – Blessing our Enemies (Romans 12:14)

Aug 1 – Rejoicing and Weeping Together (Romans 12:15)

Aug 8 – Peace and Harmony, If Possible (Romans 12:16-18)

Aug 15 – Overcoming Evil with Good (Romans 12:19-21)

Living a Transformed Life

 

This Sunday we begin a new sermon series titled Living a Transformed Life.  Over the next eleven weeks guided by Romans, chapter 12, we will explore both the means of transformation God offers us through Christ and what a transformed life looks like.  “Do not be conformed to this world,” the apostle Paul advises, but instead, offer yourselves to God to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12:2).  As we emerge from this time of pandemic, it is important to remind ourselves that God wants more for us than mere survival.  God wants us to thrive to serve as the living body of Christ in the world. Romans chapter 12 gives us some specific guidance on just how to do that.

peace, Ernie

 

Summer Sermon Series Schedule:

June 6 – Living a Transformed Life (Romans 12:1-2)

June 13 – Humility and Giftedness (Romans 12:3-8)

June 20 – Genuine Love (Romans 12:9-10)

June 27 – Keep the Fire Burning (Romans 12:11)

July 4 – Tools for Tough Times (Romans 12:12)

July 11 – Contribute to the Needs of the Saints (Romans 12:13a)

July 18 – Welcoming Strangers (Romans 12:13b)

July 25 – Blessing our Enemies (Romans 12:14)

Aug 1 – Rejoicing and Weeping Together (Romans 12:15)

Aug 8 – Peace and Harmony, If Possible (Romans 12:16-18)

Aug 15 – Overcoming Evil with Good (Romans 12:19-21)

Trinity Sunday – Living Within the Love of God

This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday on the church’s liturgical calendar.  While there are people who don’t think the doctrine of the Trinity is very important, I don’t agree.   While a developed doctrine of the Trinity is not found in the Bible, passages such as John 14:8-21 speak of the special relationship between God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This passage provides us a window into the inner life of God, which is love.  In my message, The Trinity – Living Within the Love of God, I will share with you where the doctrine of the Trinity comes from, and why it is important for our lives and world.  We come from love; we are made for love; and a life of love is our destiny.

peace, Ernie

The Pouring Out of God’s Spirit (Pentecost)

This Sunday, May 23, we remember and celebrate the powerful, life-changing pouring out of God’s Spirit on the followers of Jesus on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1-21).  The apostle Peter interpreted this dramatic  experience as the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.’ God’s Spirit came to liberate, empower and inspire the early Christians and does the same for us today, if we will allow it.  May we be open to the Spirit’s presence and power, today and always.

peace, Ernie

p.s. We will also ordain and install elders to session on this Pentecost Sunday, and wear something red, orange, or yellow.

The REIGNING CHRIST

This week we conclude our Easter sermon series on the resurrection appearances of Jesus with the Apostle Paul’s important discussion of the resurrection and why it matters in 1 Corinthians 15.   My message is titled, The Reigning Christ.  While you are welcome to read and ponder the whole chapter, we will focus on verses 1-14, 19-26, and 51-57.  What difference does the resurrection make in your life?

peace, Ernie

Called and Sent by the Risen Christ

This week we look at the dramatic appearance of the Risen Jesus to Saul on the road to Damascus.  As a result of that life-changing encounter, Saul the persecutor of the Christian church became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.  This story is so important that Luke recounts it three times in the book of Acts (Acts 9, Acts 22, and Acts 26).  We will focus on the version in Acts 22:1-21.  Even though Jesus is no longer with us in his physical body, he still appears as he chooses to guide us in his Way, and to help us live out our personal calling.

peace, Ernie

Jesus’ Final Instructions

This Sunday we continue our study of the resurrection appearances of Jesus with his final appearance and instructions to his disciples in Luke 24:36-53 before ascending into the heavens.  This passage emphasizes important themes that changed his disciples and empowered them to share his good news with the world.  May God grant us knowledge of the divine will for our lives and the power to live it.

peace, Ernie

Recognizing Jesus on the Way

On Easter Sunday, two discouraged disciples were heading home to Emmaus, when they encountered a stranger on the road (see Luke 24:13-35).  They poured out their broken hearts to him as they walked, and listened as he interpreted the scriptures.  Their hearts began to burn with renewed hope as he spoke to them. But it was only when they invited him in, and he broke bread at their table, that they recognized him as their crucified teacher Jesus, alive and present to them in a new way.  Jesus still comes to us on our life’s journey to rekindle our hope and revitalize our life.  May we have eyes that see and hearts that burn with God’s love.  Amen.

peace, Ernie

The Wounded Savior

This week we continue the story of the risen Jesus’ appearances to the disciples on Easter Eve and then a week later.  This story is found in John 20:24-31.  This passage is usually viewed through the lens of ‘doubting Thomas’, but this Sunday we will focus on what it means that the risen Christ still has wounds, and shows them to the disciples.  What does it mean that we have a wounded Savior?  What does it say about our own wounds and scars?

peace, Ernie

Let Go of Fear

On the evening of the first Easter, the disciples of Jesus were still afraid.  That morning some of them had seen the empty tomb. And Mary Magdalene had told them that she had seen the risen Lord in the garden.  But it was not until Jesus appeared to them (see John 20:19-25) that they were able to let go of their fears.  Jesus blessed them with the gift of peace and his Holy Spirit.  They were able to let go of their fears and “face everything and rise!”

peace, Ernie

p.s. It is great to be back worshipping in the sanctuary on Sundays.  Our attendance was 45 on Palm Sunday (3/28) and 60 on Easter (4/4)