Connecting the East Lake community and beyond

Sermon Notes from Pastor Dave

Sermon Notes are brief (typically ½ page) notes that are produced on most weekends to help guide readers/viewers through the preaching text.  Included in them will often be 1) the scripture text (most often the gospel appointed for the day), 2) some commentary re: background to the circumstances/text/culture/history/insight to the words or theology, and finally 3) some thought-provoking questions.  These Notes can be used during worship for notetaking, at home for devotions, shared with others to engage conversation.  Your feedback/input is welcome to shape them for the future.

July 5, 2020:  Want to Change Your Burdens?…..just ‘Yoking’! 

Jesus chides people who find fault with both his ministry and that of John the Baptist. He thanks God that wisdom & intelligence are not needed to receive what God has to offer…. read more here

6 Pentecost A – July 11, 2020: How’s your Soil?

In Matthew’s gospel, both Jesus and his disciples “sow the seed” of God’s word by proclaiming the good news that “the kingdom of heaven is near.” Now, in a memorable parable, Jesus explains why this good news produces different results in those who hear. Read more here

July 18, 2020:  A Moral drilling or Gracious Living

Jesus tells a parable about the coexistence of good and evil in this world. God’s judgment will remove all evildoers and causes of sin, but not until the end of human history. Read more

July 26, 2020: A String of Pearls

Matthew “strings” together several parables/sayings of Jesus in this passage.  In fact, a favorite method of Rabbinic teaching was to share a “String of Pearls.”  Read more

August 2, 2020: A Movement in the Guts, in the Hands and in the World

This is a story of a miracle, but which miracle? The obvious answer is the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, but there is perhaps another miracle here. Matthew places this story in a section of the gospel about training the disciples for their mission, so perhaps Jesus is teaching them about what they can do. Read more

August 9, 2020: When You’re Pushed out of the Boat

This story is in a section on instructing the disciples about their mission. It is a story of miracles – there is no limit to what God can do – and of the power of faith: the disciples can do the seemingly impossible if they have sufficient faith. Read more

August 30, 2020: Where Exactly is that Broccoli in my Teeth?

Jesus has been instructing his disciples about the mission they are to carry out on his behalf, about telling the good news. Now his message to them shifts to teaching them that he, the Messiah, must (per God’s will & purpose), undergo great suffering – something inconceivable to most Jews.  Read more

September 6, 2020: Finding Peace in Fighting

The work of reconciliation is the goal of a Christian community NOT elimination of conflict; conflict just is….it exists. The church community is one of the few places that should teach people how to effectively and constructively fight with each other. Read more:  and more about a Role Renegotiation Model: 

September 13, 2020: Holding on and Letting Go

This is part of Matthew’s fourth great discourse of Jesus (18:1-35), which is devoted to teachings about relations among members in that community, relations between those inside & those outside that community, & the nature of life within that community. To illustrate the point to Peter that no restraints should be set on forgiveness because of repeated need for it, Jesus relates a parable that culminates in forgiveness offered once but ultimately withdrawn. Read more  and more about Role Renegotiation and Forgiveness Model

September 19, 2020: Uncomfortable Generosity

Jesus tells a parable about God’s generosity, challenging the common assumption that God rewards people according to what they have earned or deserve. Read more

September 26/27: You Can Envision a Fight or Fight for a Vision

It is so easy and tempting to build ourselves up at the expense of others. “I can’t imagine ever doing that.” “How can people live like that?” “Who would do such a thing?” At some point we all think or say these sorts of things. Like it or not, we use these words to comfort ourselves at the expense of others. These words are a reminder that all people stand in need of God’s grace. Read more

October 3/4: Changing the AssUmption U Are at the Center

Jesus is now in Jerusalem in his last week alive.  His mission has been to point to God’s way of living and being Present as well as the invitation to others to embrace, enjoy and experience that. Read more

October 9/10: An Experience the Changed my Life

God expresses the invitation to the great banquet of life freely and graciously but not without awareness – understanding that truly enjoying the banquet means that your life WILL by necessity be changed.  So what insights to life have you gained?) Read more

October 17/18: When Did you Stop Cheating on Your Taxes?

During the final week of his life Jesus has entered Jerusalem, overturned the tables of the moneychangers, engaged the crowds with his teachings and moved openly to engaging the religious leaders who are offended, confused and frustrated with who and how Jesus is presenting himself and his ideas. He is upsetting to the ideas, traditions, rituals and authority they hold dear. He questions and refocuses their centering and understandings. Read more

October 24: Brushing your Teeth on Autopilot; Live by Choice

Much of our life is lived on autopilot….we don’t think about how to go about writing and with which hand….we just do; we don’t think about how to brush our teeth and with which hand….we just do; and so on. Unfortunately, much of our autopilot approach flows over into other areas of life that would be helped by more conscious awareness, consideration, thought, reflection and better decision-making. Read more

October 31/November 1: Remembering & Reflecting Goodness

This listing description reveals what this new community looks like and how hope comes to all the people who have the resonance of God pulsating even unknowingly in their spirit as it urges them daily. The beatitudes promise blessing to those who experience various kinds of oppressive life burdens and those who have been targeted because of their pursuit/desire for goodness/righteousness. The blessings take the form of God’s protective promises. Read more

November 7/8: “Who Re-Moved My Oil and Life?!….and where is that Cheese?”

The readings appointed for the Sundays in November deal with the end: the conclusion of the liturgical year, one’s own death, the end of the earth as we know it, and even the “dying” of vegetation around those of us who live in the northern hemisphere. At the end of everything is God, and in the readings, we encounter this God already arriving for us, with the promised feast begun in our meal of bread and wine. Read more 

November 14/15: “Let’s Just Ignore the Good Stuff”

In this second-to-the-last parable in Matthew, despite his anticipation of the coming of the parousia, the evangelist still urges the faithful to realize the importance of their tasks and to meet these responsibilities with care & creativity. Read more

November 21/22: “If You Get It, You Already Have It; and IT MATTERS!”

On this final Sunday of the liturgical year, we receive a parable (3rd of the final 3) from Jesus challenging and inspiring our imaginations to grasp our whole vocation that is celebrated in baptism: to embody Christ in every moment and to engage every part of our world as Christ’s redeemed creation (Creation itself as well as people). Read more

November 28/29: The Sure and Certain Hope and the Unknown

This Sunday marks the beginning of a new church year/cycle.  In Advent, themes and texts are highlighted that show us God “Advancing toward us;” in the past in Creation and the Prophets and Jesus; in the present through the Table Meal, Ministries of God in the world and the love and generosity expressed by God’s children; in the future in the Coming of God promised and the consummation of all things for us personally when we see God face to face and universally when all of the tomorrows become the history of what was and the fulfilment of what God intends. Read more