Advent Ball at Union Lutheran Church – Salisbury

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Service of Installation

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Sermon Audio for Advent 1A

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Commissioned to Prepare Jesus – Matthew 21:1-11
Pastor Stéphane Kalonji
Reformation Lutheran Church – New Bern, NC

“An Unexpected Guest” or “Zackleys” – Romans 13:8-14
Pastor Mark Ryman
Grace Lutheran Church, Advance, NC

Any day now…… maybe not today!? – Matthew 24
Pastor Dieter Punt
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church – Troutman, NC

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Sermon Audio/Video for Christ the King Sunday

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Recognizing Christ Our King – Luke 23:25-35
Pastor David Nuottila
Union Lutheran Church – Salisbury, NC

A New Way of Being Victorious – Luke 23:35-43
Pastor Stéphane Kalonji
Reformation Lutheran Church – New Bern, NC

Christ the King Sunday: Exalted Lord – Luke 23
Pastor Dieter Punt
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church – Troutman, NC

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Sermon Audio for Pentecost 26C

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By Standing Firm You Will Gain Life – Luke 21:5-19
Pastor Stéphane Kalonji
Reformation Lutheran Church – New Bern, NC

End Times – When the world gets shaken – Luke 21:5-26
Pastor Dieter Punt
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church – Troutman, NC

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The Daily Lectionary – November 13, 2016

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Today’s readings: Joel 1:1-13; 1 Corinthians 14:1-12; Matthew 20:1-16

How many times in your life have you shouted in your mind, “Not fair”? It is a basic human instinct to want all things in life to be fair. The reality is that many events occur in our lives over which we have little or no control, and when they do not go as we want them to go, we declare them “not fair.” As self-centered, sinful creatures, it is a part of our DNA.

The parable of the laborers in the vineyard illustrates our natural envy and desire for fairness in all things. When we begin to compare our individual contributions to the work of the kingdom to those of our neighbor, we begin to lose sight of the truth, promise, and justice of the gospel. In the actions of the Master, we see that God’s abundant grace and mercy abounds for those whom Jesus calls, no matter how much they have contributed to the work of the kingdom.

Once again, Jesus teaches the crowds that sin is overcome by God’s grace. We may see someone as undeserving, but in the kingdom of heaven, grace and mercy belong to God. It may not be fair, but it is not for us to worry.

Prayer: Lord, free me of my envy of others and my desire for fairness and allow me to see your grace and mercy in all things. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Ernie Sheldon, Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Statesville, NC.

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The Daily Lectionary – November 12, 2016

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Today’s readings: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Revelation 18:1-14; Luke 14:1-11

Once again we find Jesus hanging out with the Pharisees, even going to eat with one of them at his house. By chance a man suffering from dropsy was at the same dining party. Most of the time we marvel at the miracle and discard all else surrounding the incident. Never should we dismiss the miracle, however, it is really secondary to the story.

Jesus knows the Pharisees and their penchant for the law. You see, for the Pharisees the observance of the law was beyond question and one must follow it to the tee. In fact, it was against the law to heal the man on the Sabbath as this would constitute not keeping the Sabbath in the eyes of the Pharisees.

Their silence speaks loudly as they believe Jesus is going to make their case for them against himself and they would not have to lift a finger to discredit Jesus. He would do the dirty work for them.

As usual, Jesus schools the Pharisees and demonstrates their lack of understanding of what is important. The rule and the observance of it are not to overshadow people. God cares for people much more than rules and traditions.

Prayer: Father, help us to put people before our pet peeves and traditions. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Carlin Ours, Pastor of Organ Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC.

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The Daily Lectionary – November 11, 2016

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Today’s readings: Zephaniah 3:8-13; Revelation 17:1-18; Luke 13:31-35

In the time immediately following Jesus’ baptism, Satan directly attempted to cause him to abandon his mission of redemption. Today, the same devil attempts to thwart God’s plan through the efforts of others. Some Pharisees presented Herod as an obstacle along the road to the cross. Jesus paid little attention to their warning, electing to continue the work to which he was called. Such is the example for the mission driven Church today.

The realities of our fallen world are ever present. As we strive to carry out our life given in baptism, the world continues to place obstacles in the path of the faithful. Division, conflict, pride, anger, and envy are a few of Satan’s tools working to lead people away from a life in Christ.

The prophet Zephaniah encourages God’s people to seek mercy through God’s promise of the Redeemer. John the Seer is witness to God’s overcoming the corruption of worldly desires and his conquering of sin once and for all. And the example of our Lord teaches us that, even as the victory is won, we are free to accomplish the mission set before us: preaching the gospel of Christ while ministering to the needs of our neighbor.

Prayer: Holy God, keep us in faith that we may follow your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila, Pastor of Union Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.

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The Daily Lectionary – November 10, 2016

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Zephaniah 3:1-7; Revelation 16:12-21; Luke 13:18-30

A recent, esteemed guest on a national radio program said that it was time for people to grow up by stop believing in God. The prophet has something to say to such people and to those who put them on the public airwaves. “Woe!” When a people will listen to no voice but their own, when they refuse to draw near to God, “Woe!” That people will tear themselves apart.

Yet God will continue to be faithful. With each rising sun, he awaits people’s repentance. It does not come—at least en masse. God’s angels pour out measures of wrath but remarkably, people will still not repent. Yet God in his patience, sees his invisible kingdom is surely and gradually growing year by year throughout the millennia.

While there is still time, let us not occupy ourselves with reports from wise guys. Listen to the voice that matters. God still calls out for people to enter through the narrowing door, for the time is drawing near; the door is closing. Put your hope in Jesus, the door of heaven. Enter his kingdom now before the door is shut.

Prayer: May my focus be you, Lord. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Communications Coordinator for the NALC and Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Advance, NC.

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The Daily Lectionary – November 9, 2016

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Zephaniah 2:1-15; Revelation 16:1-11; Luke 13:10-17

We cannot free ourselves from the spirit that disables us. Our affliction calls for more than a self-help book. We will never straighten up on our own. If we are humble, we will recognize our great need and seek the Lord. In seeking his righteousness, not only is our greatest need satisfied, all of our needs will be met (Matt 6:33).

There is a need far greater than physical affliction, hunger, thirst, clothing, or shelter. We must be straightened out by being loosed from the bondage of sin and death. This only happen for Christ’s sake. Only God sets the faithful free and hides them in his Son when the day of judgment comes.

Prayer: I seek you, O Lord of my righteousness. Amen.

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