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"Serving Neighbors in Stormy Seas"

Mark 4:37-41

Rev. Kurt Hering

Midweek Pentecost 4
Christ Lutheran-Elkhart, and Faith Lutheran-Hugoton  
Kansas


right-click to download MP3 of this sermon

Wed, Jun 24, 2015 

Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.

Dear people of Christ Lutheran Church, dear friends and neighbors of Elkhart and fellow citizens of Morton County:

We have a glorious opportunity set before us now in the midst of this storm, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is here with us in His Church to see us through it and to give us both the desire and the ability —

• To serve our neighbor out of the abundance of our blessings—be they property or ability.

• To get closer to each other as we serve each other and serve with each other—even those who may have hurt or offended us grievously in the past.

• To extend the Good news of salvation in Christ Jesus through the forgiveness of sins to those who have yet to hear it or who have turned away from it.

To hear this sermon preached at Christ Lutheran-Elkhart, KS for the community of Morton County at the loss of their Care Center, "Serving Neighbors in Stormy Seas," click on the audio link provided above. The audio begins with the Old Testament reading, Lamentations 3:22-33 at 3:38 of the MP3 file.

A servant of the Word and His folk,

Pastor Hering

Graphic: "Christ and the Storm, " Giorgio de Chirico, 1945, oil on canvas.

For those of you who prefer to read or read along while listening, the preaching manuscript follows below.

Nota Bene: Sermons are meant to be heard. Bullet points in the manuscript are explained and filled out during the preaching, so you will need to listen to the audio file to get the full message.

TEXT: Mark 4:37-41 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”

Dear people of Christ Lutheran, dear friends and neighbors of Elkhart and fellow citizens of Morton County:

Little did I know when preaching to the folks here at Christ, Elkhart this past Sunday about Jesus calming the storm that rocked the disciples little fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee how our little community would be rocked with announcement of the impending closure of the Morton County Care Center.

Now, as then, this storm that rocks our world and threatens us just as certainly as the disciples were threatened on the stormy sea that day, is not without purpose. As the prophet Joel writes:

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD,

“return to me with all your heart,

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

Return to the LORD your God,

for he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;

and he relents over disaster. Joel 2:12-13

The sad and honest truth of the matter is, even the most faithful among us occasionally need such a wake-up call. We all do take the daily provision of our Lord for granted at times—to say nothing of the precious and costly gift of forgiveness for that ingratitude by the bitter sufferings and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God through whom the Father created the substance of our daily bread in the first place.

And we all do at times forget, maybe more often than not, that we don’t deserve our daily bread or the forgiveness of sins from God any more than anybody else—even our worst enemies.

Therefore, God is calling us this day, through this storm besetting us here in Elkhart and Morton County, to return to Him:

1) That more might be brought to faith and the kingdom of God increase.

• My kingdom is not of this world.

• The gates of hell will not prevail against it.

• God wants all men to be saved.

2) That we all be thankful that God gives us our daily bread.

• Not based upon our faith, but His goodness

• The just and the unjust

• Would not let one of his little ones starve

• Uses us to supply our neighbor in need—again regardless of faith or unfaith.

When we ask our Father in heaven to “Give us this day our daily bread,” we know that God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, (believers and unbelievers, Christian and unChristian alike). But we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. Furthermore, daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food and drink; clothing and shoes; house and home; land, animals, money, and belongings; family, friends, and neighbors; government and law enforcement officials; good weather, peace, and yes, even health care and the necessary facilities and staff to supply it.

When we ask our Father in heaven to “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” we are asking for the daily bread of the kingdom of heaven itself, for it is the forgiveness of sins in Christ Jesus that is the grace of God that feeds faith for salvation unto eternal life. So, pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much, and surely deserve nothing good from Him at all. So we pray that we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us--especially in times like these.

Dear people of Christ Lutheran, dear friends and neighbors of Elkhart and fellow citizens of Morton County:

We have a glorious opportunity set before us now in the midst of this storm, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is here with us in His Church to see us through it and to give us both the desire and the ability —

• To serve our neighbor out of the abundance of our blessings—be they property or ability.

• To get closer to each other as we serve each other and serve with each other—even those who may have hurt or offended us grievously in the past.

• To extend the Good news of salvation in Christ Jesus through the forgiveness of sins to those who have yet to hear it or who have turned away from it.

God our Father in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, and the grace to give of our daily bread to our neighbors in need for our life together in our little corner of Kansas. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us for our eternal life together in the kingdom of heaven, which begins even now in Your Church with all who are baptized and believe—in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.



Send Rev. Kurt Hering an email.




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