5/31/2020 “One Spirit, One Body, Many Gifts”

Good morning. Thank you for joining us online for worship at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
Today is Pentecost, the third great festival in the Christian year. On Pentecost we give thanks for
gift of the Holy Spirit, who enlivens the church and every believer, in every language, and in every
culture. On Pentecost we celebrate and give thanks for one Spirit. There are not separate Holy
Spirits for different groups: one for North Americans, one for Africans, one for Asians, one for
Europeans. As Paul writes, “For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or
Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” There is one Spirit, one body,
and many gifts. The one Holy Spirit is given to everyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord. The
one Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christ’s mission in the world.

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5/24/2020 “That They May Be One”

Good morning. Thank you for joining us online for worship at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. In
today’s gospel, Jesus prays “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that
they may be one, as we are one.” In verse 23 Jesus repeats these words: “so that they may be one, as
we are one.” These words are part of what is often called Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer.” This prayer
is concerned with the unity of Jesus’ followers with Jesus and the Father and the promised Holy
Spirit. Jesus’ prayer anticipates Pentecost

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5/17/2020 “Hope for Living”

Good morning. Thank you for joining us online for worship at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
Wherever you are I am glad you are worshiping with us. The good news that Jesus speaks to us
today is that he will not leave his people orphaned. This means Christ Jesus will not abandon us in
our isolation, in our suffering, in our distance from one another; rather, Christ comes to us wherever
we are. Because Christ lives, we shall live also. This may sound simple, but it is perhaps the most
profound message we will ever hear. Jesus’ real presence gives us hope for living each and every
day wherever we are.

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5/10/2020 “My times are in your hand”

Good morning. Thank you for joining us online for worship at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. We
continue to live in extraordinary times. The global pandemic that has altered daily life and its
patterns may also be shaping us in ways that we cannot as yet fully appreciate. Wanting to return to
normal is a sign that we want life to continue in the patterns we are used to, but at the same time it
is perhaps also a sign that we are afraid of change. Daily change in our lives usually comes so
slowly that we don’t always notice it, allowing us to adapt easily and comfortably.

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5/3/2020 “An Abundant Life”

Good morning. Thank you for joining us online for worship at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter, and today is often called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” As the
Good Shepherd, Jesus reveals his care and love for his flock who are always in danger of being
killed by the one Jesus calls “the thief.” Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and
destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

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4/26/2020 “What Shall I Render To The Lord”

Good morning. A number of people have told me how hard it is for them not to be able to gather at
church during this time. Some people have talked about how much strength they receive at church.
Others have told me that during times of crisis and challenge, going to church really helps give
them perspective about life. These thoughts and feelings probably speak for many of us.

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4/19/2020 “The Gift Of Faith”

Good morning. Thank you for joining us online for worship on this second Sunday of Easter! During the Easter season we celebrate and give thanks for the gift of faith. It is through the gift of faith that we experience the Easter reality of Christ Jesus alive for us each and everyday.

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4/12/2020 Easter “Do Not Be Afraid”

Good morning. Thank you for joining us online for the festival of the Resurrection of Our Lord on this Easter Day! On Easter Day, the risen Christ comes to us in the midst of fear and uncertainty, and gives us true certainty of hope and peace. Just two months ago, none of us would have imagined that we would not be in church together on Easter, and we probably would not have imagined that we would be gathering online to celebrate Easter!

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4/10/2020 Good Friday “It Is Finished”

Good Evening. Thank you for joining us online for Good Friday worship this evening. During this fearful and anxious time we gather this evening to hear again that in the cross of Jesus Christ, God suffers with us, giving us peace. We are not alone in our fears and anxieties. The prophet Isaiah reminds us tonight that the Suffering Servant brings us peace through his suffering, pain, and death.

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4/9/2020 Maundy Thursday “Christ, the Sacrament”

Good Evening. Thank you for joining us online for Maundy Thursday worship. Our Music Director and organist Les, along with John on cello, are leading our music this evening. During this anxious and tragic period in our global, national, and local community life, we continue to stream worship live on Facebook from this empty sanctuary. Tomorrow evening we will stream a Good Friday service at 7 pm, and Easter morning, Sunday at 9:30 am. Please join me as we continue to journey to Jesus’ cross and resurrection.

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4/5/2020 Palm Sunday “The Suffering Servant”

Good morning. Thank you for joining me online for worship today. Our Music Director and
organist Les is accompanying us today, along with John on cello. Thank you both very much! Each
week as long as we need to, we plan to stream Sunday worship live on Facebook from this empty
sanctuary. This week we will also stream Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Holy Week services,
both at 7 pm.

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3/29/2020 Lent 5 “Lord, if you had been here”

Thank you for joining us this morning online for the Service of the Word. Our Music Director and organist Les Ackerman is accompanying us today, and we are thankful for the addition of music to our service. Each week as long as we need to, we plan to continue to stream Sunday worship live on Facebook from this empty sanctuary. It is a surreal and strange feeling to speak into a camera in St. Mark’s empty sanctuary. I look forward to the day when we can be together again in person as the body of Christ.

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3/22/2020 Lent 4 “Now I see”

Today, I bring you good news of Christ’s presence in a suffering world, yet I am speaking
from an empty sanctuary. Just two weeks ago this sanctuary was filled with people and today it is empty.
Just two weeks ago we gathered with music and prayer around God’s word and sacrament. Today, most churches in this community are also empty.

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3/15/2020 Lent 3 “Living Water”

All of us need water. Water is essential for all living things, but imagine if water was hard to
come by, or if one’s water source had become contaminated. Nothing can really take the place of
water. This simple but profound realization came to me a number of years ago when we were
missionaries in Japan during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant meltdown.

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