Sermons by “Rev. Richard Langness”

Reality Realized

Here is the reality of the cross realized in the life of a man.  Here is the reality of the Gospel realized in the life of a man. Here is the reality of life, the very life of Christ, realized in the life of a man.  The herdsmen realized that something amazing had happened and they fled and told everyone. The people who heard what the herdsmen proclaimed realized that a change had taken place in the life of the man.  He was no longer naked. He was no longer being influenced by the demons. He was not the same man who lived like an animal. The one who was the life came to him and set Him free!

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The Spoken Revelation

“But he laid his right hand on me.” Did you catch that? John did not need to touch the hand of God because God laid His right hand on him! This is God revealed. God does not expect us to reach out and touch Him. Rather, God, the God who created the heavens and the earth, reaches down to touch you and me. And He says, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”
Today, you cannot touch the mark of the nails but you can taste the very body of Christ. You cannot put your hand in His side but you can partake of the very blood that flowed from it. No. it doesn’t seem logical or even reasonable but the God who spoke the universe into being says, “Take eat, this is my body.” “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood.” (Matthew 26:26-28) The spoken Revelation declares, “You are forgiven.” Now you can touch it and taste it for yourselves. Amen.

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The All Powerful Word

All too often it is easy for us to focus our attention on the physical rather than upon the very Word of God given to us.  It is easy for us to be amazed at the Word and talk about the Word, but how well do we live our lives connected to that Word?  Instead of speaking about Jesus, do our lives speak Jesus?  Do they speak the Word of God, the all-powerful life giving Word of God now enfleshed within us?  Do people talk about us or do they talk about Jesus?

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Re-formation

Here, then, I want to address a great heresy, a great false teaching that has infected much of Christendom. It is a simple idea, a simple statement that many people make. It is often made to a person who is struggling with guilt and it is usually made with good intentions but it is nonetheless a false statement. It totally misses the truth that fueled the Reformation. It is this statement, “You have to forgive yourself.”

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The Word of Eternal Life

Now I know that it is not easy to wrestle with ourselves and what it is that we truly believe. It is even more difficult when our histories are long and our memories are short. So you can relax a little bit and know that I am not going to dig specifically into your lives. However I do hope that our time together may open some doors for you to consider what it is in your own life that would make Jesus’ teaching hard to accept and embrace.

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The Mission of God

The whole of Scripture points us to who God is, who we are, and our need for forgiveness and a right relationship with God.

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One Flock, One Shepherd

I heard and interesting comment on humanity earlier this week. I was listening to the radio on Tuesday afternoon and the host mentioned a study that he read. It seems that most people see themselves as being morally superior over the average person. This was even true when the study was done among a group of inmates who were sent to prison. So if this is your attitude, you are not alone. I would also put before you the fact that we have so many divisions and denominations in the Church only serves to confirm that this study is correct.

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That Doing He Does

The Word of God reveals and when we speak it faithfully it reveals the gods within our lives that we do not want destroyed. It reveals the love of self over the love of God. There are three means through which we are tempted; the devil, the world, and our own sinful nature. The Word of God attacks all three but it is from our sinful nature that the question arises, “What have you to do with me, Jesus?” And here is the beauty of our Gospel text today.

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It’s a Dog Eat God Life

This Canaanite woman was an outcast from the perspective of an Israelite. But this outcast knows it and has accepted it. She doesn’t fight against the attitude that Jesus has expressed. She doesn’t deny it. She doesn’t try to defend herself in hope of making herself acceptable. She has come to embrace it as the truth. So now she speaks these words of faith. “She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”” (Matthew 15:27) In these simple words she describes the whole of humanity before God.

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Just Thistles While You Work

Thorns and thistles come in various forms. The weeds in the parable are probably one of the easiest forms to recognize. One doesn’t have to be a farmer to understand how weeds can be a nuisance and burden. Just being a home owner and wanting to have a nice yard gives one that perspective of weeds. But thorns and thistles can be found in our everyday life experiences and they are not necessarily in plant form. There are those people who can be rather prickly and irritating in our lives. We can find them at school, at work, and in our recreation. They even exist in congregations.

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