Based on: Jeremiah 18:1-11
Just north of Zhengzhou, China there is a road cut into the side of a cliff. It is less than a mile long and only about twelve feet wide with a wall of rock on one side and a sudden drop of hundreds of feet on the other side. It is called “The road that does not tolerate any mistakes”. It sounds like the title fits, don’t you think? On a road like that you have to constantly watch where you are going. You must always be careful to stay on the road. The Reformation is like that. The Reformation is a constant vigilance concerning God’s Word to make sure we stay on the road. We dare not think of the Reformation as an event in the past. No, the Reformation continues.
Based on: Jeremiah 29:10-14
I have to tell you about the surprise birthday party I planned for my wife. I rented the basement of the church we attended in Milwaukee; I invited her friends; I had a Powerpoint presentation with pictures of her throughout her life. There was cake, decorations and even cardboard cutouts of my parents and her parents so they could be involved even though they lived far away. All of this planning and Sallie didn’t know a thing about it.
Based on: Jeremiah 28:5-9
Perhaps if you are a parent you have had the same experience I have had. Something happens in the house – something breaks, a picture that was on the wall is now on the floor in pieces – and no one seems to know what happened. Or perhaps everyone knows that someone else did it. You get two or more stories about what happened and they all seem to contradict each other. Who do you believe? You may not have any way of knowing the truth, you just have to trust that one of them is telling the truth, but by believing one story you are choosing not to believe the other story.
Based on: Jeremiah 20:7-13
What is it with all these movies about super heroes? Over the past 20 years there have been movies about Superman, Batman, the Incredible Hulk, and Spider-Man, to name just a few. Since 1989 there have been at least five Batman movies and there is another one coming out this summer. Why do we have this fascination with super heroes? Do you think that people recognize the need for something or someone bigger than themselves? Deep within each one of us is that understanding that there is evil in this world and that we on our own cannot overcome it. The world needs a hero. We need a hero.
Based on: Jeremiah 23:2-6
What you think about this land that we live in? Isn’t it great to live under a monarchy? Isn’t it great to have a King ruling over us? "Now wait a minute pastor," you might say "we live in a democracy and in less than a year we are going to vote for a new president." I know there is an election coming and I know it’s already starting to make its way into the news, but our first lesson for today tells us that we live under a king, we live under a monarchy. Jesus Christ is our King. Not only is he king over his church, over believers, but he is also king over all of creation, from the President of the United States to the homeless person who lives under a bridge.
Based on: Jeremiah 26:1-6
Last week we celebrated the Reformation, and we heard the gospel message, which is also the Reformation message, in all three of the readings for last week. Like bells in a carillon they rang clearly and joyfully. We heard that heaven is ours because Jesus rescued us from the pit of hell when he died on the cross. Today in our reading from Jeremiah we do not hear the joyful ringing of bells, but the slow tolling of a bell as we are reminded that one day Christ will return to Judge every single soul that has ever lived on this earth.
Based on: Jeremiah 31:31-34
Today we celebrate the Reformation. Let’s take a look at the word reformation. That word carries with that the idea that you are changing something for the better, and not just that you are changing something, but you are changing it back to what it once was. You are removing the problems that were not there originally. You are removing faults or abuses that came about over time. That is the sense in which the word reform is used when someone talks about reforming a criminal or someone with an addiction.
Based on: Jeremiah 31:3-6
Forever is a long time. Very soon you will make promises to each other. You will promise to love, cherish and remain faithful. You will not put a time limit on these promises. You will not say, "for the next two years I promise to do this." You will not even say 10 years or 20 or 50. No, your promise today is that your love will last for all of the days God blesses you with on this earth. As we look at the Bible verse you chose, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love," we consider first God’s everlasting love for us and then we look at your love for each other and how it flows from God’s love for us.