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St Andrew's Messages

Messages from St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Middleton, WI.
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Now displaying: 2023
Jul 9, 2023

Ask the people around church to tell you their favorite Bible doctrine and what do you think you'll hear? Heaven? Forgiveness? Prayer? Baptism? Here's one I don't think you'd hear: Judgment Day and fire from heaven. Nope, that's not going to make it into anyone's top ten list of favorite Bible doctrines. But still, Judgement Day isn't just a doctrine to be tolerated. It's a Bible doctrine full of good news and grace. We are concluding a study of Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Today we’re asking the Spirit to give us good news . . . even about Judgement Day. Who knows? It might become your favorite Bible doctrine. Or not.

 

Jul 2, 2023

What do you think about when you're not doing anything else? Where does your mind go? God has given us so much in this world; there's no shortage of options. We don't have to go so far as to say that where our minds go is what we worship, but we can safely say when we come into the presence of God in his Word and sacrament, he pulls us away from our love and affection for those things and puts them on the living God. That's worship. We are here to experience what we are meant to be. And we’re glad you’re with us. If we can serve you in any way, please let us know and may God bless your worship today.

Jun 25, 2023

A long time ago, the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write a letter to a church in a Greek city called Thessaloniki. Even though it was specific to their situation, much of it applies to us, including Paul's closing exhortations. A good summary of these is kindness to everyone. The visible marks of Christianity are not complicated. We’re glad you’re joining us as we review God's words from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 and see how they still apply 2,000 years later, over 5,000 miles away.

Jun 18, 2023

Life has a way of coming at us fast and furious. This crazy life also creates more questions than it does provide answers. Thankfully, we have God's Word to retreat to as not only our "answer guide,” but also to provide encouragement and comfort about why things are the way they are and how our gracious God works everything out for our good and his glory. This week in worship, we travel back to the Garden of Eden and watch sin rear its ugly head. Sin forcefully enters the world . . . but so does God's mercy and love. We worship together today proclaiming, "That explains everything,” marveling as a Savior is promised for the very first time.

Jun 11, 2023

Don’t blame me. Who hasn’t said that? Taking responsibility for a minor faux pas or a major accident is unpleasant at best and devastating at worst. For that and a host of other reasons, the Bible doctrine of Judgment Day is not a popular topic. But it is a prevalent one. When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he was even bold enough to say God’s judgment helps Christians build each other up and encourage each other. We’re glad you’re here to sing, pray, fellowship, greet, welcome, commune, and give thanks . . . for Judgment Day.

Jun 4, 2023

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a French philosopher in the Age of Enlightenment, wrote, "He who pretends to look on death without fear, lies." What words best describe how you look upon death? Paul wrote to a congregation of people in the ancient Greek city of Thessaloniki who had lost loved ones. The Holy Spirit inspired him to give them words of hope and comfort. Now, by God's grace, he gives those same words to us. We are people who have grieved, are grieving, and will grieve but may God the Spirit fill us with the kind of hope only he can give.

May 28, 2023

God’s Word tells us how to live in order to please him. We are pleased to share this opportunity with you to learn from 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 how our daily vocations, including our work, show brotherly love to each other and to people we do not know.

May 21, 2023

The Joy of Sex. Didn't expect that for a title, did you? It is the title of a wildly popular book on sexuality from the 1970s, recently republished. There's no shortage of advice and guidance for sex, and no shortage of people who want to influence our thinking about it. God the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to give us his perfect plan for sex. As you'd expect, it's better than any other source. We’re glad you’re hear to receive from the Spirit, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, and the most accurate information about God's gift of sex. Fear not, this service is suitable for children!

May 14, 2023

Some first-generation GPS units proudly announced when you pulled up to your destination, "You've arrived." Who doesn't like to hear, "You've arrived. You've made it. You've done it." Seldom, though, does it apply to bigger things in life. You're the best golfer you can be—"You've arrived?" Hardly. You've mastered a subject so well there's nothing left for you to learn? Keep dreaming. You're the perfect spouse—"You've arrived." That's funny. What about this one: "Live in order to please God." The Spirit inspired Paul to encourage Christians to do this "more and more." In a way, your Christian life is complete—you've arrived. Christ has accomplished his mission for you. It is finished. But in another way, such a gift moves us to want to thank him more and more. Enjoy the gift of God's grace—because you've arrived. Strive to please him more and more—because you haven't yet arrived. That’s life in the family of God. 

May 7, 2023

Teflon makes for a better omelet, but a worse heart. If you're going to invest in other people, you have to take the Teflon off your heart. When you see someone in trouble but keep your distance, he or she knows it and so do you. But if your joy is bound up in that person, he or she knows that, too, and you know it. You've made an investment. Paul didn't invest personally in the Thessalonians (a town in ancient Greece, but also the title of the book of the Bible we’re currently studying) as some kind of power play or to manipulate them, but because of their identity: brothers and sisters in Christ. We’re glad you’re here and invite you to join us in investing in each other . . . maybe it will help take the Teflon off our hearts.  

Apr 30, 2023

Paul was a great missionary because of his passion for the people he served. Most people are not shepherds in the strict sense of being a pastor of a church (the word pastor means shepherd), but with a general love of people, we can all treat people like family, under the care of one Good Shepherd who does delegate his work to many people for specific times and settings. We’re glad you’re here to learn from Paul’s good shepherding and from his teacher, the Good Shepherd.  

Apr 23, 2023

A famous actress once said, "It's useless to hold a person to anything he says while he's in love, drunk, or running for office." A less punchy way to say the same thing is "integrity matters." Paul discovered that the message, even the message of the gospel, is inextricably tied up in the messenger. Integrity matters. God's grace covers our imperfections, but the same grace moves us to integrity. We're not perfect, but we are redeemed. Today, we gather to learn from Paul's teaching on the subject in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16, to receive grace and to pursue integrity. We’re so glad you’re with us. If we can serve you in any way, please let us know.

Apr 16, 2023

Two distinct elements can combine to create something wonderful. Hershey did that with peanut butter and chocolate; the result is the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. The Lord did that with a man and a woman; the result is marriage. This weekend we combine two distinct elements: the miracle of Jesus' resurrection and the beginning of a new study of Paul's letter to the Thessalonians. The result, should the Spirit grant it, is growth in Christian faith and life. Is that what you seek? We'd love to help you. This is the first of our four-month study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. We invite you to study with us, see the difference Easter made for the Christians in Thessalonica, and savor and give thanks for the difference it makes in us.

Apr 9, 2023

“It was bound to happen.” When have you said that? The phrase applies equally to an unwelcome event (“The way he drove, an accident was bound to happen”) and to a happier experience (“As gifted as she is, the promotion was bound to happen”).

The phrase applies to Jesus, too. Jesus was “cross-bound”—given his love for sinners, his obedience to his Father, and the weight of guilt, he was bound to suffer and die. But Jesus took up his life again; it was bound to happen because he rules over death, and his sacrifice satisfied the justice of God. After Jesus paid the penalty of sin, he was “cross-freed.” His resurrection, too, was bound to happen. May these worship services help you acknowledge Jesus: both cross-bound and cross-freed.

Apr 8, 2023

“It was bound to happen.” When have you said that? The phrase applies equally to an unwelcome event (“The way he drove, an accident was bound to happen”) and to a happier experience (“As gifted as she is, the promotion was bound to happen”).

The phrase applies to Jesus, too. Jesus was “cross-bound”—given his love for sinners, his obedience to his Father, and the weight of guilt, he was bound to suffer and die. But Jesus took up his life again; it was bound to happen because he rules over death, and his sacrifice satisfied the justice of God. After Jesus paid the penalty of sin, he was “cross-freed.” His resurrection, too, was bound to happen. May these worship services help you acknowledge Jesus: both cross-bound and cross-freed.

 

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

Apr 8, 2023

Jesus’ state of humiliation was the time during which he did not make full use of his heavenly power and glory. To many, he looked weak, and he died a criminal’s death. Palm Sunday was a day of humility; Jesus’ triumphal entry was overshadowed by the details of glory that it lacked and by what was coming. Daniel 12 gives answers to those who ask whether their humiliation is part of God’s plan and how long it will endure. Despite Jesus’ humility, he rose, and everyone will eventually acknowledge him as Lord. Vindication was already God’s plan 570 years before Jesus died. Let’s study Daniel 12 and find out what it means for you.

Mar 30, 2023

A Lenten devotion by Pastor John Boggs from Luther Preparatory School

Mar 26, 2023

Have you ever confided in someone about a worry and he or she responded, "That'll never happen. Don't worry." Oh really? Unless that person was God, how can he or she know that a car won't roll off that car-carrier ahead of you and crash into you? Or for you spring-breakers who escaped to a warm beach, that a shark won't venture into shallow waters and gobble you up? Or that your portfolio could shrink to half its current value? Or . . . or . . . or . . . "Don't worry. that will never happen," might be the best response some can offer, but it's shallow. Or how about this: "Sure, that could happen. In fact, most of the things we worry about could happen." Where's the comfort in that? God's message in Daniel 10 is, "Sure it could happen, but redirect your fear to something and someone even more terrifying—and to something and someone even more trustworthy. Welcome to God’s house and God’s people where together we untangle God's beautiful and helpful truth.

Mar 23, 2023

A Lenten devotion by Mr. Mark Kjenstad, Minister for Nurture.

Mar 19, 2023

Ham prayer – As in the pork product? Yes, that ham. Well, not really, but 2500 years ago, a man addressed the God of heaven with seemingly incompatible components. Find out what kind of mnemonic the holiday meat can be to help us pray the way Daniel did.

Mar 15, 2023

A Lenten devotion by Mr. Steve Pelischek from Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel.

Mar 12, 2023

Have you ever dreamed something terrifying but awakened with great relief that it wasn't real? What was scary wasn't real, so really . . . not scary. But what if the terrifying thing is real? Our God doesn't deal in make-believe. He knows the most frightening things that happen, could happen, or will happen to us. And he has some good news that makes it not scary. Confused? So was Daniel when he received the dream we'll study in Daniel 7. But when it was over, oh my, was he relieved. We’re glad you’re here to enjoy that same kind of relief.

Mar 9, 2023

A Lenten devotion by Pastor Clinton Kreuziger.

Mar 5, 2023

The name Daniel means in Hebrew, "God is my judge." The name fits. Read Daniel 6 and learn how Daniel cared little if his friends judged him for his talent, if King Darius judged him for his faithfulness to God, or if the lions judged him as tasty. God was his judge. He knew it and he lived like it. You have names like his. Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, declared you are salt, you are light, and you are blessed when people falsely speak evil about you. Why? You're his. But you're not alone. We’re glad you’ve gathered with us today to revel in our identity, praise God for it, and learn together how to live like it.

Mar 1, 2023

A Lenten devotion by Pastor Jon Bilitz from Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel.

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