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St Andrew's Messages

Messages from St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Middleton, WI.
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Now displaying: 2022
May 15, 2022

“I like to keep my options open. Something better might come along.” Some people are drawn to new and exciting experiences and relationships, and are reluctant to limit their options. It sounds appealing, but it usually leads to shallow or ruined relationships and careers. Embracing Christianity means limiting options for the sake of following Christ, but it only leads to deeper and more satisfying experiences. Paul taught that to the people of Ephesus. Some could not limit their spiritual pursuit to one god. We call that idolatry. It's an easy trap for pagans and even for Christians. Learn from a mob in a theater in Ephesus about limiting your options to embrace Christ more fully. We’re glad you’re here and pray for the Spirit to bless your worship.

May 8, 2022

The last thing any of us wants to be is an expert on demons and spirits. It's possible to have an unhealthy interest in such realities. On the other hand, none of us wants to be unaware of such things. The apostle Paul frequently refers to demonic spiritual “powers” which inspire false religions and oppose and undermine God’s work and God’s people. We live in the same world. The same demonic spiritual powers are at work today. But the same God who overcame them in Ephesus overcomes them in our day. And he does it through the same means he used in Paul’s day: the message of Jesus. Paul’s time recorded in Acts 19 is testimony for you today: the risen Jesus, your Good Shepherd, will protect you, his sheep, from every evil spirit.

May 1, 2022

What helps you to be patient? How about Easter?  There's something about the risen Christ that can make us the most patient people in the world. Christ is alive, he’s ruling, and he’s for us. That kind of confidence can make us unhurried, patient, and humble people. Two thousand years ago, God changed the world through two followers of Christ, Aquila and Priscilla, who demonstrated patient confidence. We’re glad you’re with us today to hear how Christ’s resurrection changed their lives. It’s still God's plan to change us…and the world.

Apr 24, 2022

Throughout Scripture we see God giving and God taking. In the Garden of Eden, God gave the promise of the Savior to Adam and Eve, and he took away their guilt that they brought on themselves. Or consider David. On the one hand, God gave him the role as the king of the Israelites. On the other hand, after the prophet Nathan rebuked him for his sin with Bathsheba, Nathan said, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die” (2 Samuel 12:13). There is also a divine giving and taking after the resurrection. Today, the apostle John helps us see that Jesus’ triumph over sin, death, and the devil takes away our fear and gives us confidence. 

Apr 17, 2022

Celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection with us from the points of view of those who were there. 

 

Apr 16, 2022

Celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection with us from the points of view of those who were there. 

Apr 14, 2022

A Maundy Thursday devotion by Pastor Randy Hunter

Apr 10, 2022

Movies and plays aren't just about the stars. Bit players sometimes play big roles. Someone who appears to play a minor role on Palm Sunday can help us in a major way. We’re glad you joined God’s people reading the account of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday (Luke 19:28-44) and waving palm branches to celebrate our Savior.

Apr 3, 2022

The big news in the news this past week had to do with billionaire actors slapping each other over golden trophies they hand out once a year. The people who buy tickets to their movies and make them billionaires are more, well, ordinary. Paul met billionaire types in Athens. He met ordinary people in Corinth. This week we'll also meet them in Acts 18. God accomplishes his purposes through ordinary people whose trust in Jesus causes them to change their plans for their lives. Sounds like something we can learn from, since most of us (all of us) are ordinary people.

Mar 30, 2022

A Lenten devotion by Minister for Nurture Mark Kjenstad

Mar 27, 2022

During World War II, Christian author C.S. Lewis delivered a series of informal radio addresses titled "The Case for Christianity." Through these talks he intended to bring hope to an embattled public. He wasn't the first, though, to present the compelling argument for the reasonableness of Christian faith. Two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul faced a skeptical crowd in Athens and reasoned with them. Our times are no less skeptical of the claims of Christ than people were 2,000 years ago, or 70 years ago. You know people who are skeptical of the claims of Christ. Maybe you're one of them. The book of Acts is God's answer. We’re glad you’ve joined us to find hope and confidence in the case for Christ.

Mar 24, 2022

A Lenten devotion by Pastor John Boggs

Mar 20, 2022

Pain is a reality of life. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. We might be very different, though, in how we respond to it. What do you do when you're feeling pain? This weekend, learn from the prophet Jeremiah. His was an exceptionally hard and tragic life. He's even called "The Weeping Prophet!"  We’re glad you’re here with your brothers and sisters feeling pain to receive the same comfort, salvation, and the glory God gave Jeremiah.

 

All rights reserved. Music used by permission under CCLI #1600166, OneLicense #A-709447, Worshipflow.com, and Bensound.com. Pre-service music all rights reserved by Koine (koinemusic.com) & Michael Schroeder.

Mar 16, 2022

A Lenten devotion by Vicar Joel Hopper

Mar 13, 2022

Nobility sounds British, as in dukes and duchesses or barons and baronesses. But in the Book of Acts noble means something else.  The Apostle Paul and his missionary entourage entered a Greek city named Berea where they encountered people whom the author of Acts described as "noble-minded." Even before you know what that word means, you want it. It just sounds that good. May the Spirit inform us of its meaning and then bless our pursuit of being: noble-minded. 

Mar 9, 2022

A Lenten devotion by Pastor Jon Bilitz

Mar 2, 2022

A Lenten devotion by Pastor Randy Hunter

Feb 27, 2022

You hear of it occasionally: the family of the victim of a horrible crime appears in the courtroom at sentencing to speak to the one convicted. But instead of words of hate, they speak words of grace and forgiveness. How can they do that? Where's the justice? At the end of Acts 16, the apostle Paul and his companion Silas do something like that. Instead of seeking revenge on the man who wronged them, they demonstrated powerful grace. Where's the justice? Satisfied on Jesus' cross. Such grace pulls us here to worship. We’re glad you’re with us.

Feb 20, 2022

You know what it's like to groan. When what you feel is beyond words, a groan will have to do. In Romans 8, Paul writes about groaning. Paul, creation, and the Holy Spirit groan. But God not only knows about your groaning, he is eager to encourage you and remind you that you are not alone or empty. You have Jesus as your substitute now, and you have future glory. Through the Word and sacrament you receive today, God removes the heaviness of life and gives you grace, hope, and healing.

 

All rights reserved. Music used by permission under CCLI #1600166, OneLicense #A-709447, Worshipflow.com, and Bensound.com. Pre-service music all rights reserved by Koine (koinemusic.com) & Michael Schroeder.

Feb 13, 2022

Just a few miles into the continent, the apostle Paul and his missionary entourage met a group of God-fearing women near a river, praying, singing, and listening to God's Word. One of the women, Lydia, had a fascinating name, job, and social status. But the most interesting thing about her is how the Good News of Jesus changed her. The joy of the gospel still changes us and always, always, always for the better.

Feb 6, 2022

There's no shortage of advisors, commentators, or people with opinions who would love to "share" them with you. But whose voice do you listen to? You can't listen to all of them. Do you listen only to voices that agree with you? That could be dangerous. Do you listen only to voices that disagree with you? That sounds just as dangerous. We want to listen to the voice that speaks the truth. How do you find it? That was the dilemma for the apostle Paul in Acts 16:6-10. We're not given a litmus test to determine which voice to listen to, but we are given an example of a fellow follower of Christ seeking his voice. Let's learn from him. We’re glad you’re with us to seek God's voice.

Jan 30, 2022

The apostle Paul met a young man named Timothy while traveling in Turkey. The two struck up a close relationship that lasted a lifetime. But it might not have always been easy. Together, they dealt with issues of an interracial marriage, reputation, traveling, and even minor surgery. The result of it all, though, is what we seek, too: strengthening in faith. Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the means by which the Spirit does that: the gospel in Word and sacrament. 

Jan 23, 2022

American League baseball umpire Bill Guthrie was working behind the plate, and the catcher for the visiting team was repeatedly protesting his calls. Guthrie put up with it for a few innings, and then pulled the catcher aside. “Son,” he said softly, “you’ve been a big help to me in calling balls and strikes today, and I appreciate it. But I think I’ve got the hang of it now, so I’m going to ask you to go to the clubhouse and show whoever’s there how to take a shower.” Conflicts are unavoidable; how we handle them is optional. Today, let’s learn from the conflict between Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15:36-41. More than that, let the Spirit guide you to respond to your conflicts in ways that bring glory to God and good to his people.

Jan 16, 2022

Think of all the ways you respond to snail mail or email. Delete, delete, delete.  Or recycle bin, recycle bin, recycle bin.  But then comes a letter that makes you smile. You don't delete or recycle it. You anticipate opening it, savor its message, and smile over it. May the Lord give you more of these kinds of letters than any other! Of course, God’s Word is his letter to us. Today, we’re asking God to teach us and shape our minds through a letter sent from one church to another. A letter contained in his Word, Acts 15:22-35.  It's an old letter, but it's meant for us today.

Jan 10, 2022

There are many decisions we make each day without thinking about them. One question that plays into this decision-making process is, "Is it worth it?" Is it worth it to stay a few extra hours at work? Or is it worth it to go home so you can return the next day refreshed, ready to work? As we enter the season of Epiphany, we learn from the Magi who set out to worship their newborn King. This journey had its detours along the way. So was it worth it for these Magi? This weekend we will dig into the question, "Is it worth it?" We are blessed to be able to gather, just as the Magi did, to worship our newborn King.

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