Tag Archives: Jesus

Sermon Cast – Beauty IN the Beast

Date: August 24, 2014
Preacher: Rev. Ryan Krauss

Scripture: Matthew 7:1-6
Description: Matthew 7 is a deceptively simple command by Jesus: “Do not judge, let you too be judged.” I say deceptively simple because the notion of non-judgment is often manipulated to justify immoral behavior (i.e. just think of the lyrics to a recent Miley Cyrus song in reference to excessive debauchery: “Only God can judge us…”), or, as the text of Matthew 7 expounds on, we often make judgments while forgetting we ourselves are guilty of similar offenses. Drawn to its essence, I think this teaching by Christ invites us to adopt humble–not blind–perspectives so as not to exclude anyone from the Grace of God.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a marvelous case study on proper approaches to non-judgment. Bell, for instance, is the only character wise and humble enough to offer compassion and assistance to the Beast. He has great faults (likeĀ a temper and mistrust); and while Belle does not condone these traits, she nevertheless sees into the person Beast can become. Our spiritual role in avoiding judgment is much the same. God asks us to curb our judgments…especially unfair ones…for the sake of proclaiming to the whole world that EVERYONE can receive the grace and healing of God through Jesus Christ, if only we earnestly and truly repent.

Sermon Cast – Money Fish

Date: July 20, 2014
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Matthew 17:22-27
Description: Matthew 17:24-27 is a very curious story. In it, Jesus and Peter are accosted by tax collectors, appear to resist payment, but then get a miraculous catch of fish to pay for themselves. This is the sort of reading that one my come across during personal devotions, think “Huh, that’s interesting”, and simply move on wondering what the meaning is. Personally, I find this story intriguing because this is the only instance in all of the gospels where Jesus actually makes a charitable donation!

As we consider why Jesus gave to the tax collectors, God’s word continues to invite us to consider why we do–or do not–give to others or to ministries. In my reading, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of Jesus’ motivations for paying the tax was that he believed in or believed in the possibility of life-changing ministry and worship happening at the Jerusalem temple. This sort of motivation is key to meaningful stewardship. God calls us to be generous donors of time, talent and gift. God also asks us to seek out where a difference, where change is being made, and lay our support in that place.

On a side note, below is the recap video we showed about Vacation Bible School from just a few weeks ago. Enjoy!


Sermon Cast – Just Leavin on that Jet Plane

Title: Just Leavin on that Jet Plane
Preacher: Pastor Ryan Krauss

Scripture: Luke 24:44-53
Description: On this last Sunday of the Easter Calendar (as far as the church calendar is concerned), we turn to the Gospel of Luke for an account of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. The Ascension (from Latin meaning “to go up”) is an article of belief found in the Apostles’ Creed. For believers, however, Jesus’ return to heaven could feel like a point of abandonment. Jesus came back to life and is leaving again?!

Jesus’ followers react differently. They are overjoyed at Jesus leaving (24:52-53). For them, and for us, the ascension is a moment of empowerment; in it we are empowered to become God’s children. Of course, this empowerment comes through the Holy Spirit and becomes a reality through Jesus claiming authority as God’s messiah, sitting at God’s right hand.

Sermon Cast – Jesus Positioning System

Title: JPS (Jesus Positioning System)
Preacher: Pastor Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: John 14:1-14
Description: The GPS is a wonderful invention; like maps before them, the device is crucial for the directionally-challenged, getting us where we need to go! Of course, a GPS is only as good as the person who chooses to use it (some refuse!) or as updated as the maps themselves.

Spiritually, Jesus is much like a GPS, point the way toward a full and growing relationship with God the Father (John 14:6). The truth is, by following Jesus, he will always get us where we need to go!


Sermon Cast – Who Are Ewe Calling a Sheep?

Title: Who Are Ewe Calling a Sheep?
Preacher: Pastor Ryan Krauss

Scripture: John 10:1-10
Description: The chapter of John 10 reveals Jesus once again in discussion with some religious leaders. He uses a ‘figure of speech’ (10.6) concerning the accommodations of sheep, their propensity toward flocking to a shepherd, and the comparison between the true shepherd and a thief.

As soon as Jesus’ metaphor ends, the reader likely expects him to draw the connection between Christ and the shepherd. While Jesus does make such a reference, he does not do so until verse 11. The metaphor Jesus explains first is one of being the gate for the sheep (10.7-10). By using this more awkward contrast, Jesus declares his mission to provide both safety and nourishment (spiritually speaking) toward his flock (the Church). This, then, is the promise of Jesus to us: if we listen for Christ’s voice, we can know for certain that he is our protection and our life-giving Savior.