St. Mark's Lutheran Church

Aug 28, 2016 - Who is worthy?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost   There is no “us” and “them” in the kingdom of God; what we are trying to live out is the good news that there is only the “us” who are together welcomed by Jesus and encouraged to share what we have and are with one another, in anticipation of the final heavenly banquet. (More...)

Aug 21, 2016 - Just a Cripple?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost   Each of us has been bent over by physical or spiritual ailments, by sin and separation in all of its forms, separated from God and from each other, bearing in our bodies and minds so many cares. But hear God's word of promise; hear the new name he gives, and remember it! (More...)

Aug 14, 2016 - Not an Easy life with Christ  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost   But this dare not disguise the utter seriousness of the event. Families and sponsors are giving up a person, in order to get back a person of promise, whose life will never be the same. (More...)

Aug 6, 2016 - By Faith  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost   Faith is that holding onto God's promise in spite of time, age, and difficult circumstances because the one who makes the promise is trustworthy. (More...)

Jul 31, 2016 - You can't take it with you  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost   With gentle persistence we need to let people in on the news that makes an eternal difference, to fill the only barn that will not burn, and to challenge each other in how best to use the many gifts which God has entrusted to us. (More...)

Jul 25, 2016 - Companions  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Larry Bair Funeral   For in his promise granted once in Holy Baptism and lived out in every Holy Communion, Jesus is not only our Lord and Savior, but also our first and final companion. (More...)

Jul 24, 2016 - Our Father  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Tenth Sunday after Pentecost   There are times when we may not feel like a Christian, much less believe like a Christian, and certainly we do not always act like a Christian. Our relationship as a member of the body of Christ is not based on what we feel, or think, or how we act at a given moment. Rather, we are of his people, because God chose us and named us his in Holy Baptism. (More...)

Jul 18, 2016 - Hospitality  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Mary Ditchfield Funeral   Hospitality. The welcome that we practice is not just our own; it is first the gift of God to us. (More...)

Jul 17, 2016 - Priorities  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Ninth Sunday after Pentecost   May we not only wait, but also watch actively for our Lord's gifts and our Lord's presence in all that we do this week. He is the one in charge, and he is here to work with you and me. (More...)

Jul 11, 2016 - Giving  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Shuman Miller Funeral   Some have imagined that this means that a true Christian will have a good, easy, and fun time in life. Jesus never said anything like that. We can have a victorious life, but there is no guarantee about it being easy. (More...)

Jul 10, 2016 - Giving and receiving mercy  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Eighth Sunday after Pentecost   From a specifically Christian point of view, the test of my sermon is not how well-organized it is, or how entertaining, or even how strictly biblical, but rather the response to the sermon. What happens to us when we are confronted with the same injunction Jesus gave to the lawyer: “Go, and do likewise,” giving and receiving mercy. (More...)

Jul 3, 2016 - Go!  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Seventh Sunday after Pentecost   The task is to announce in words and actions that the kingdom of God is come near. Even the smallest efforts can be part of God's plan. We have and can do much more than we think possible. (More...)

Jun 26, 2016 - With urgency!  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Sixth Sunday after Pentecost   We should never forget that our deepest need is to hear Jesus' call and to give ourselves wholly to it – so completely that nothing is left over – to the Lord Jesus when he says to us as he does in Holy Baptism, and regularly since then, “Follow me!” (More...)

Jun 19, 2016 - Adopted  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fifth Sunday after Pentecost   What has Jesus' cross and resurrection done for us? We who were nobodies became somebodies by adoption. (More...)

Jun 12, 2016 - A Tale of Two Sinners  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourth Sunday after Pentecost   Which kind of sinner are we today? Do we take up the offer of God's love and forgiveness, or do we think we don't need much of it? (More...)

Jun 5, 2016 - The Laughter of Surprise  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Third Sunday after Pentecost   The ability to laugh at life's incongruities, to take God seriously but not ourselves, to embrace the strangeness of our people instead of strangling them with our bare hands, this is great grace. (More...)

May 29, 2016 - By Whose Authority?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Second Sunday after Pentecost   Thanks be to God whose authority Jesus uses to patiently break down our opposition, to overcome our willful disobedience, and at length to return us to full community in relationship with God. (More...)

May 22, 2016 - Why are we here?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Holy Trinity Festival   We are here for an encounter with the Word made flesh, the Triune God revealed in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. (More...)

May 15, 2016 - The Spirit Helps Us  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Pentecost   It is an audacious idea that prayer might be effective, that is, that our will is shaped by the will of God. It is properly with fear and trembling that we even attempt it. But Jesus asks us to pray. (More...)

May 8, 2016 - Free or Bound?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Seventh Sunday of Easter   Here we are, Americans, quite used to talking about being free, by which we often mean that we want to be utterly independent. Are we slaves to an idea that we need neither each other nor God? (More...)

May 1, 2016 - Let All the People Praise You  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Sixth Sunday of Easter   Whichever way God decides to deal with our problems, we can be sure that his continuing intent is to lead us to the ongoing praise of the God who has made us. (More...)

Apr 24, 2016 - A New Thing  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fifth Sunday of Easter   What we Lutherans always find hardest, taking the greatest nerve, is evangelism with someone completely unknown to us. But amazingly good things can happen. (More...)

Apr 17, 2016 - A Great Multitude  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourth Sunday of Easter   Let our speech be "Thank you , Lord, for not making my entrance to your heavenly multitude dependent on the strength of my faith or the great things I was able to do, for they don't amount to much." (More...)

Apr 10, 2016 - Transformed  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Third Sunday of Easter   Here are some questions on which we can work together: What in our lives most needs transforming right now? How will our lives be different today because we realize that Jesus intends to transform us? How can we be speakers for God this week so that transformation can happen in others? (More...)

Apr 3, 2016 - Here and There  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Second Sunday of Easter   We're not just stuck here in Williamsport worrying about sin, death, politicians, and taxes. We are also incorporating persons into the body of Christ in Holy Baptism, and sharing in the appetizer of the heavenly banquet in Holy Communion. (More...)

Mar 27, 2016 - The Hour  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Easter   The ringing of the bell that Christ lives a new and resurrected life was not limited to that first Easter day, but continues each day we gather in his name and under his promise. The Lord's hour is still ringing upon us. (More...)

Mar 26, 2016 - Dark yet?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Easter Vigil   While the rest of the world slept, still sure that things are under their control, Christ is risen, the first witnesses are making their way toward the tomb, and the new creation is already underway.While it is still dark, everything is changed. (More...)

Mar 25, 2016 - The Long Defeat?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Good Friday Tenebrae Service   Jesus does not see the events leading to the crucifixion as a long defeat, but rather the putting into action of a plan long-considered and worked out by God. (More...)

Mar 25, 2016 - Appearances  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Good Friday Afternoon   Only when we see both the evident sadness and the victory that the church has always proclaimed that we begin to understand how the death of Jesus is an event in which God shared the misery of our human existence to the full, and by his very sharing of it, redeemed it into glory. (More...)

Mar 24, 2016 - Is it I?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Holy Thursday   Jesus as the defense attorney says “I will take responsibility for making things right, so for my sake, let this person go free.” And God declares: “Therefore, you are justified; go, and live!” (More...)

Mar 20, 2016 - Bridging the Distance  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Palm Sunday   What wonderful news it is, brought about by this passion story of Jesus, the story of distances we make between ourselves and God, and how the Lord Jesus bridges them. (More...)

Mar 16, 2016 - Singing the Catechism: Holy Communion   The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Sixth Wednesday in Lent   When we come to the subject of Holy Communion, it is with a sense of wonder and awe, not a business-like attitude that we have everything figured out. We hear some wonderful and outrageous promises. (More...)

Mar 13, 2016 - What is important  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fifth Sunday in Lent   The goal is all peoples gathered around the risen Lord Jesus, praising God and serving each other. What is important is that we do things that let everyone know what is the goal and which way we should be running. (More...)

Mar 9, 2016 - Singing the Catechism: Holy Baptism  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fifth Wednesday in Lent   Baptism is an occasion of joy; there will be opposition to face, perhaps even persecution and death. But I am baptized, and if I am baptized, I have the promise that I shall be saved and have eternal life in soul and body. (More...)

Mar 6, 2016 - What did he say?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourth Sunday in Lent   Jesus talked about the love of God, which reaches out in spite of pride, sin, anger, or estrangement, and is determined to put the community back together again. Can God do that in each one of our lives?...or are we going to sulk and say NO? (More...)

Mar 2, 2016 - Singing the Catechism: The Lord's Prayer  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourth Wednesday in Lent   Prayer is a little like a small child trying to participate in a conversation with adults. It is not perfect, but God desires it from us anyway. (More...)

Feb 28, 2016 - Pantocrator  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Third Sunday in Lent   Lord Jesus, Pantocrator, you made us and give us what we need. Judge us and find those places where we have failed and what we lack. Clean us, feed us with word and sacrament, renew in us your blessings. (More...)

Feb 24, 2016 - Singing the Catechism: the Creeds  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Third Wednesday in Lent   There was a slogan in Luther's time that what was important was  was Christum treibt, that is, what brings us Christ. It was the key way to look at and interpret the Scriptures, and the Creeds carry this process forward. (More...)

Feb 21, 2016 - What kind of church, promise, and God?  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Second Sunday in Lent   God's promises will be be fully true and completely realized, in his good time. What good gifts they are! (More...)

Feb 17, 2016 - The Catechism in Song: Ten Commandments  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Second Wednesday in Lent   Will we put the Ten Commandments in the front of our mind, day after day? (More...)

Feb 14, 2016 - Available to All  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   First Sunday in Lent   We are not to grab what is our “rights,” or what we have earned and “deserve”, but to receive what Jesus freely offers to us, sinners, and to learn how to give just as freely as he does in all of our relationships with others. (More...)

Feb 12, 2016 - Home  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Charlotte Hughes Funeral   All manner of things can go wrong, but this one thing is secure; the promise of “home” with the Lord Jesus. (More...)

Feb 10, 2016 - The Catechism in Song: Confession and Forgiveness  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Ash Wednesday   Luther writes "Out of the depths I cry to You; Lord hear my voice." And he ends "We praise him for his mercy." And together, these two ideas and moods span the breadth of God's forgiveness that enlivens our confession. (More...)

Feb 7, 2016 - Befuddled, and that is OK  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Transfiguration Festival   Jesus befuddles us when he ate with sinners, when he died for us sinners, and when he showed us a way that was not our way.. We just cannot comprehend or control him. Thanks be to God! (More...)

Jan 31, 2016 - That We May Speak  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany   He says, “Go, speak; and I will be with you.” So, let's get started. (More...)

Jan 24, 2016 - The Power of the Word  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Third Sunday after the Epiphany   In what ways are you and I listening, planning, speaking, and acting? What Word of God is to be fulfilled in our speaking and our hearing this day?  (More...)

Jan 17, 2016 - Surprised by the Spirit  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Second Sunday after the Epiphany   Again and again the Spirit surprises us. He takes us down the slope in a way we could not guess; He leads us in a way we do not expect. (More...)

Jan 10, 2016 - Exiles  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Baptism of Our Lord   The reality of the Christian life is that we are all exiles. Whatever our exile throws at us, we never face it alone. The God who holds the future has promised that you and I have a future with him — an eternal one. (More...)

Jan 3, 2016 - The Big Picture: our Christmas—Easter faith  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Tenth day of Christmas   We Christians look at Christmas through Easter-colored glasses; we interpret everything about this season in the light of Easter. (More...)

Dec 27, 2015 - Living in God's Peace  The Rev. Kenneth R. Elkin   Remembrance Service   Our sorrows, as real and as painful as they are, will yet be put right. When we light the candles on the Memory tree this afternoon, it is not to represent community broken, but the hope of community restored, with the light of the living join the light of those who are now in the heavenly chorus. (More...)

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