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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Your Righteousness Exceeds"

Have you ever gotten into one of those conversations where a friend or neighbor or somebody you’re sitting next to on the plane finds out you are Lutheran and the person says something like, “Oh, yeah? You’re the ones say good works aren’t important and you can do whatever you want and still go to heaven, right?”

Or maybe you’ve even gotten into an argument with a fellow Lutheran—maybe even a be...loved family member or friend--about faith and Jesus meaning that you don’t have to go to church or give offerings; or that we ought to tolerate and even commend and welcome people who openly and willfully live contrary to the Word of God.

Hear again the Word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from our Gospel reading today:
[Jesus said:] “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them...."

To hear and/or read the entire sermon, "Your Righteousness Exceeds," preached for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity, click on this link.

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.