Monday, September 15, 2014

“And who is my neighbor?”

TEXT: And behold, a lawyer stood up to put [Jesus] to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

It’s a great question the lawyer asks, isn’t it? "And Who Is My Neighbor?"

The simple answer is--yes, you guessed it--Jesus. Ah, but unlike the lawyer, we don’t have Jesus standing right in front of us. Or do we?

[Artwork: “Le Bon Samaritain,” by Aimé Morot,1880.]

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, "And Who Is My Neighbor?," click on this link.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Be Opened"

Last week the tax collector showed us how the Lord lifts up the lowly and only the lowly. This is the life of Baptism, the life of repentance and forgiveness of sins that is a daily thing by which “the old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge (come forth—be opened up like a butterfly) and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. As St. Paul writes in Romans, chapter 6: 'We were buried with Him through Baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.'”

Now today, as we approach another anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on our soil, our Gospel not only shows us the healing of one deaf and mute 2000 years ago, but speaks God’s Word to us today so that our sinful Ears, Mouths, Hearts, and even heaven itself “Be opened” to us now.

To hear the entire sermon preached for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity, "Be Opened," click on this link.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

“God, Be Merciful to Me, a Sinner!”

“God, Be Merciful to Me, a Sinner!” is the confession, attitude, and prayer life of the Christian.
It’s not much of a slogan, or mission statement. It doesn’t have a lot of pop and sizzle. It’s not going to fill a football stadium or build a television empire.
But it is the confession, attitude, and prayer life of the Christian and the church of God in Christ Jesus. “God, Be Merciful to Me, a Sinner!”  
...While the world began their long holiday celebration this past week, the Church commemorated the lives of St. Augustine [August 28] and St. Monica [August 27], his mother; as well as the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptizer [August 29]. Each of these are related and help us understand the mercy of our Lord and the working life of the Christian.
To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity, “God, Be Merciful to Me, a Sinner!,” click on this  link.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

"In Whom There Is Nothing False"

Church tradition speaks of St. Bartholomew as an evangelist to the peoples of India and Armenia, and report him to have been flayed alive and beheaded, then crucified upside-down for his trouble. Fittingly, Bartholomew is the patron saint of tanners.

The account of St. Bartholomew being skinned alive is the is often portrayed by artists by posing him with a large knife, holding his own skin—by the face, as in Michelangelo's Last Judgment wherein the artist has turned Bartholomew into a self portrait. One might conclude that Michelangelo aspired to that level of faith and could consider his fresco adorning the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel to be a prayer etched in stone.

And the composite character of Nathanael and Bartholomew of Scripture and Christian tradition gives, along with Michelangelo's rendering of the saint, provides us with a fitting illustration of every Christian...

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for St. Bartholomew, Apostle, click on this link.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

"Ashamed to Beg"

1[Jesus] also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. Luke 16:13

Dear Baptized of God,

“Not strong enough to dig and ashamed to beg,” that is the dilemma of the sinner. And it is the stumbling block that prevents the Pharisees and scribes of 2000 years ago--as well as the false prophets and unbelievers of today--from seeing that this Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah of which the Law and Prophets speak—the very Son of God who is the fulfillment of their Scriptures.

This parable of Jesus, like those that have come before it--The Parable of the Lost Sheep; The Parable of the Lost Coin; The Parable of the Prodigal Son—are about the kingdom of heaven and how He has come to open it up to sinners and bring them with Him into the presence of the Father.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity, "Ashamed to Beg," click on this link.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Beware of False Prophets"

Why does Jesus tell us to “Beware of false prophets?”

Answer: Because these “ravenous wolves,” regardless of their pious appearance and stated intent, are destructive to souls and enemies of salvation. They turn us away from God.

The gre...atest threat to the Church and her people—God’s little lambs--comes from within (or at least what appears to be within)Christ's church,...

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity, "Beware of False Prophets," click on this link.

Monday, August 4, 2014

"Set Before Them"

“And having blessed them, He said that these also should be set before them.” really should come as no surprise when Jesus, by His Word of blessing, takes what was created by God the Father through Him in the first place, and again ...sets it before the people gathered by His Holy Spirit to hear His Word preached.

Furthermore. is not the fact that everything we have today comes from what He created in those first six days of history--every morsel of food, every drop of water, every breath of air—is that not itself miraculous?

With this in mind, do you really think God the Father, who created you, delivered you into this world, had His only begotten Son suffer and die for you, and has born you into the kingdom of heaven by Holy Baptism would then be negligent in seeing to your ongoing needs of body and soul?

To hear the entire sermon preached for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity, "Set Before Them," click on this link.