Archived Sermons

Sermon for Christ the King

Sermon for Christ the King, November 20, 2016
“King of What?”
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal
Scriptures: Luke 23:33-43

High Summer at The HilThen he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

What kind of a king is this? Stripped of all dignity and power, executed in the most shameful possible way, betrayed by one of his own.

Yet, this is not a king who condemns, but one who forgives, even a criminal who is executed alongside of him.

He welcomes a common criminal into paradise.

This is not a king in the sense that we would understand a leader today, especially in the context of our recent election.
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Sermon–Back to Basics

Sermon for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
August 7, 2016
“Back to Basics”
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal
Scripture: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20

Sermon–How Much Is Enough?

Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
July 31, 2016
“How Much Is Enough?”
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal
Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

Sermon — Who’s In Charge Here?

Sermon for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
July 24, 2016
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal
Scriptures: Genesis 18:20-32, Psalm 138, Luke 11:1-13

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Who is My Neighbor?

Sermon for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
July 10th, 2016
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal
Scriptures: Amos 7:7-17; Luke 10:25-37

High Summer at The HilJust then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

God be in my head, in my heart, and upon my lips.

The lawyer here in this morning’s Gospel is one smart fella. He’s studied the scriptures backwards and forwards, knows all the rules and regulations, and can probably quote chapter and verse as to their origin.

We might imagine Sam Waterston as Assistant AG Jack McCoy in Law and Order, arguing at a motion hearing in front of a judge, being able to effortlessly spit out citations of the applicable case law to support his position.

His only desire is to get the decision he wants—not necessarily thinking about its righteousness.

This lawyer guy in our reading is wanting to test Jesus, to see how much Jesus really knows about the law.

Beyond that, however, he probably never really thought about the practical demands that the law requires, so taken up was he in winning his case.

This guy in the story knows all the words of the law; however, his question to Jesus indicates that he really doesn’t understand the personal demands that the law makes upon him individually.
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Sermon — The Whole Enchilada

Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent
February 14th, 2016
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal
Scriptures: Isaiah 58:1-12, Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13

“If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”

God be in my head, in my heart, and upon my lips.

Not a week goes by that I don’t find stuffed in my mailbox, taped to my door, or in some other manner attached, a flyer from one cable company urging me to forsake my relationship with my current provider, and instead form a relationship with them. More channels! Faster download speeds! Lower prices! Well, at least for the first twenty minutes of the contract, if you read the teeny-tiny print at the bottom of the flyer.

And that’s pretty much where Jesus finds himself today. He’s being asked to change sides, tempted by things that every human desires. Jesus is fasting in the wilderness for forty days. Now, in Bible-speak, this just means a good long time–more than a month, but not a year.

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, tell of Jesus in the wilderness contending with the Evil One. While Mark gives us the “Cliffs Notes” version in 1:12:

“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.”

In Mark, Jesus is “Driven” into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, and I don’t think Mark means in stretch limo. Like much of Mark’s narrative, the temptation of Jesus is described to us in short, urgent phrases.

But in Matthew and Luke, Jesus is “Led” by the Spirit into the wilderness where he fasts for forty days. And during that time, Satan comes courting. Both Matthew and Luke provide a lot more detail about the encounter.
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How Much Is Enough…Again?

High Summer at The HilSermon for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost
July 26, 2015
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 11:1-15,
Psalm 14, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21

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The Beast Among Us

High Summer at The Hil

Sermon for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost
June 21, 2015
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 17:1a-7, 32-49; Mark 4:35-41

A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

In the name of God…

I was rather pleased with myself this past week. In anticipation of the Yard Sale on Saturday, I had the bulletin ready to print by Wednesday evening, and my sermon had been largely finished as well.

But then came Thursday, with the news of the terrorist attack on the good people of Mother Emmanuel, African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. I discarded my planned sermon, and started anew.
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Sermon – August 3, 2014

High Summer at The HilStone Soup – Bread for the Journey
Scripture: Matthew 14:13-21
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal

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Sermon – July 13, 2014

High Summer at The HilSeeds for Sowing
Scriptures: Isaiah 55:1013, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Preached by Pastor Gregory Sakal

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