Sunday, July 20, 2014

'They Left Everything"

Peter labors and labors--and finally is given more than he knows what to do with because he is not a fisherman for himself, but for many.

 This is a powerful and comforting lesson to us. The Lord is always near to us. And though it seems by our reckoning that He may delay for a time, finally the nets burst forth. As we continue to let down our nets according to our vocation, abiding in His Word, He will not only give us what we need, but what He wishes to deliver to others through us.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity, "They Left Everything," click on this link.

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Your Father Is Merciful"

"Your Father is merciful." [Luke 6:36]

This is the good news of today's Gospel text for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity.

The fact that you are here reading or listening to this today is evidence of God’s mercy. It tells you that He... has been and is now giving you everything you need for body and soul even though you have done nothing to deserve it and everything to be grounded from it.

Our Father in heaven has every right and would be perfectly fair if He grounded us for life and sent us to bed without our supper. But He doesn’t do that, does He?

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity, "Your Father Is Merciful," click on this link.



Sunday, July 6, 2014

"This Man Receives Sinners"

According to our Gospel of St. Luke for this Third Sunday after Trinity, "the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear [Jesus]. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, 'This man receives sinners and eats with them.'” [15:1-2]

Does this mean that Jesus tolerates your sin, even joins you in your sin? Certainly not!

But this is how the Pharisees and scribes saw it, and why they grumbled,...

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Jesus "the Christ, the Son of the Living God," calls sinners to repentance, strips each sinner of his own self-righteousness and brings them in repentance to dine with Him at His Table alongside other repentant, sinners at a most heavenly feast of His body and blood for forgiveness, life and salvation.

So there’s no need to grumble! There is always room at the table for one more sinner. God the Father is always ready to welcome one more stubborn Pharisee who has finally admitted to being among the lost....

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Third Sunday after Trinity, "This Man Receives Sinners," click on this link.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Rock and the Hard Place

The real life stories of the apostles, Peter and Paul, are real life stories of being chosen out of the world and being hated by it—about being taken out of the hard place of the world and being placed in and built on the Rock of Jesus.

......we remember St. Peter and St. Paul today--because they are us. God takes us flat-nosed Simons and our privileged Saulish attitudes out of the world and makes us Peters and Pauls.

Peter the harsh and lowly in us becomes the rock of the church in the confession of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Paul the high and mighty in us becomes the small one who ceases to be great and, knowing himself to be “chief of sinners” is used by God to bring many to faith.

They show us the love of God that we might believe and have life in His name.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles, "The Rock and the Hard Place," this link.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Lutheran Book of Concord Reading for St. Peter & St. Paul, Apostles Sunday

The One Holy Christian and Apostolic Church is built on nothing but the person and work of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, delivered by the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins in the pure proclamation of the Gospel and administration of the Sacraments.



5] But the Church is not only the fellowship of outward objects and rites, as other governments, but at its core it is a fellowship of faith and of the Holy Spirit in hearts. Yet this fellowship has outward marks so that it can be recognized. These marks are the pure doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments in accordance with the Gospel of Christ. This Church alone is called Christ’s body of Christ, which Christ renews, sanctifies, and governs by His Spirit. Paul testifies about this when he says, “And gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23). 6] Those in whom Christ does not act [through His Spirit] are not the members of Christ. The adversaries admit this too. The wicked are “dead” members of the Church. We wonder why the adversaries have found fault with our description that speaks of living members. 7] Neither have we said anything new. Paul has defined the Church precisely in the same way, that it should be cleansed in order to be holy. He adds the outward marks, the Word and Sacraments. For he says:
Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the Church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)

In the Confession we have presented this sentence almost word for word. The Church is defined by the Third Article of the Creed, which teaches us to believe that there is a holy Catholic Church. 8] The wicked indeed are not a holy Church. The words that follow, namely, “the communion of saints,” seems to be added in order to explain what the Church signifies: the congregation of saints, who have with each other the fellowship of the same Gospel or doctrine and the same Holy Spirit, who renews, sanctifies, and governs their hearts.

Condensed quotations from the Lutheran Confessions from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, copyright 2005, 2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Lord grant you faith in His grace alone
for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Am Lazarus

[Jesus said:] “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side." Luke 16:19-22
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the Word Who became flesh to dwell among us [John 1:14]. In this flesh He did not become like the rich man, but he became like Lazarus. And when He, a lowly Lazarus bearing the sin of the world died and was raised from the grave, He Himself was and remains to this day The Angel of God who bears every Lazarus, every baptized believer, in His flesh to the bosom of God, the Father in heaven.

To hear and/or the entire sermon preached for the First Sunday after Trinity, "I Am Lazarus," click on this link.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Believing Is Seeing

...We like to say, “Seeing is believing.” That may well be true as far as the things of this world. But as for the kingdom of heaven is a different matter altogether. In the kingdom of God, believing is seeing.

...It is a blessed coincidence for us that Father’s Day falls on this Feast Day of the LORD our God. For, as we hear and learn from the holy Gospel for the Feast of the Holy Trinity, everything that is good—including the unveiling of our eyes to life and salvation--begins with the Father and His love that has always been begetting His beloved Son and sending forth His Holy Spirit with you in mind....

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Feast of the Holy Trinity, click on this link.