Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On the Eighth Day of Christmas God's First Blood Was Shed

What we learn about our Savior and ourselves from the first shedding of the blood of our Lord in His circumcision is, as Luther writes, “God was not concerned about the circumcision, but about the humiliation of proud nature and reason.” This proud nature and reason is the sin that Jesus bore in His flesh. And the humiliation of that flesh--born of a Virgin in a manger, submitting to the Father in all things that He had commanded His people that they might live and live with Him--is the fulfillment of the Law and the Old Testament for us prideful sinners.

Why does God use this means so distasteful and ridiculous to the unbelieving world? As with all of these bloody celebrations, it is that you may be certain of your salvation. No blood-–no certainty. Just as the people of Israel were marked by the blood of the Passover lamb for their deliverance, so are you.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church of Layton, UT [www.trinitylayton.org] for the Circumcision of Our Lord, "On the Eighth Day of Christmas God’s First Blood Was Shed," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3617

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Fall and Rising of Many

The words with which Simeon blessed both Joseph and Mary, and which held a particularly jarring message for that blessed Virgin, ring in our ears and echo in our hearts of faith today. "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."

Of course, this last referred to the death her precious little Jesus child would die at the hands of Roman soldiers at the request of her own religious leaders. But it wouldn’t take that long for Mary and Joseph to see the tidings of comfort and joy turn to bloodshed. For, just as Simeon prophesied, the birth and life of the Word made flesh, God with us, is not well received by all and comes with pain and suffering. To wit:
• December 26—St. Stephen, martyr
• December 28—The Holy Innocents
• January 1—The Circumcision of our Lord

The last evidences both the heart wrenching scene of the suffering of the Babe born of the Virgin Mary and the fulfillment of an age old promise.

So it is with us. There will plenty of the former—suffering for the faith, for the sake of those nearest and dearest to us, and even because of them. But is often in that very suffering we suffer at the hands, or by the words, of our loved ones that the greatest blessings in our lives are fulfilled.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the First Sunday after Christmas, "The Fall and Rising of Many" click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3612

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Savior of Flesh and Blood

However we want to reorder God’s creation and create our own reality--whether by redefining and reinventing marriage, or by redefining life itself and what makes one viable, or even simply by putting God and His life-giving Word on standby until we have taken care of the more urgent things and grasped the more fleeting moments of our daily needs and fleshly desires—in the end we will come up against the reality that we are part of God’s created world.

That reality is that both this fallen world and our own sinful flesh will surely die and be subject to the will and desires of the God and Father who generated them in the beginning.

Christmas wraps up the will and desires of our God and Father in swaddling cloths and lays them in the manger of Bethlehem--A Savior of Flesh and Blood. For you see, the will and desires of our Father in heaven are none other than those He reveals to us in His Word and that Word made flesh to dwell among us.

To hear or read the entire sermon preached for the Nativity of Our Lord, "A Savior of Flesh and Blood" click on this link.

http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3605

Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Who Are You?"

It seems rather odd—even uncomfortable--that we spend so much time on hearing about John the Baptizer at this time of year doesn’t it? It seems like we’re getting ready for Christmas in every other facet of life except for in the readings w...e hear at church during Advent.

But John the Baptizer is “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” And that is precisely what we need at this time of year—and always. You see, John is the prototype for all pastors and preachers in that he points to the Christ who is the living Word of God that has taken on flesh to dwell among His people [John 1:14]. So John answers the question as to who he is and who you are by pointing to the Son of God.

In so doing, he also helps us understand what Christmas is all about—the coming of the One in whom you live, and move, and have your being.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, "Who Are You?" click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3590

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Poor Evangelism

Once again, [in today's Gospel reading], we are reminded that just as a physician has no business with healthy, robust, physically fit folks. Jesus did “not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32

And since no one... really likes to admit they are sick or weak or anything but righteous and well-meaning, stuff happens. If we refuse to admit our blindness, we are made blind like Paul on the road to Damascus was blinded by God to convert him and evangelize the world through his ministry and writing. If we refuse to admit we are lame, we are crippled by God just as He put Jacob’s hip out of joint in order to bless him and bless all people through the Savior who would come through his bloodline.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Third Sunday in Advent, "Poor Evangelism," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3571

Sunday, December 8, 2013

"Your Redemption Is Drawing Near"

The redemption (buying/winning back) of your soul took place on Calvary. . . .

This redemption was applied to you and made yours as it was poured over your head in Holy Baptism. . . . and even as you continue to hear the Word that is attached to Holy Baptism, your redemption is with you always even to the end of the age.

But there remains the redemption of your body, indeed the redemption of the whole physical world. . . .

It is this redemption of which our Lord Jesus speaks in today’s Gospel text.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Second Sunday in Advent, "Your Redemption Is Drawing Near," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3559

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"Coming to You, Humble"

Life is all about faith from first to last . . . everything from conception in your mother’s womb up to death and the grave.

So it is with the life of Christ, the Son of the Living God. This is what we learn from His entry into Jerusalem ...on Palm Sunday, and why the church begins Advent and our journey to the birth of Jesus on Christmas in the same way we begin our journey to Easter and His resurrection.

The life of Jesus is all about faith—from first to last in His coming humble to the world in the flesh, and coming to you humble in His Church . . . via Word and Sacrament.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the First Sunday in Advent, "Coming to You, Humble," click on this link.

http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3546

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Yet, You Do

You Know Neither the day nor the hour, Yet, You Do. For the day and the hour is at hand. It has been at hand for you ever since you first heard the precious Word of God that your sins are forgiven in Christ Jesus.

The day and hour has cer...tainly been at hand ever since the water was poured over your head in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit however many years ago. For in that hour God opened the kingdom of heaven to you as He gave you His name and declared you to be His forgiven child.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, "Yet, You Do," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3532

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Gathering of Eagles

Dear Baptized Believers in Christ Jesus,

Welcome to a gathering of eagles! You are among the elect of whom Jesus is speaking and to whom He is giving a heads-up lest you be led astray and trade your eternal heritage for the rotting spoils of this world. . . .

. . . The world, and those who deny the bodily presence of Christ at His altars, see us who take Christ’s apostle Paul at His word as vultures gathered around a corpse. . . .

But what the world sees in the negative..., we rejoice in as the most positive of positives. For what others see as vultures gathered around a corpse is actually a gathering of eagles. of which the prophet Isaiah writes:

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-31

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity, "A Gathering of Eagles," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3526
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Will Be Healed


Having been brought to faith, the temptation to think too highly of ourselves remains, and can even be heightened as we experience those good works Christ is doing through us--perhaps even having family and friends looking to us as examples of faith. That is all well and good, that others look to us. But woe to us if we look unto ourselves and brag on ourselves, even if it is our faith of which we are bragging.

. . . Christianity, the faith that saves, is all about Christ—first, last, and always--what He has done for us in His suffering and death; and what He continues to do for us by His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father whence He sends His Holy Spirit to deliver you into the faith by which you too, with the suffering woman can say, “I will be made well.”

Jesus tells the woman, “your faith has made you well.” But if you were to ask Jairus, or the woman, or Jairus’s little daughter they would tell you it was Jesus who made them well, because their faith was in Jesus to do what He does—save.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3517

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Prayer for Humility

Truly God is proclaiming to you in the All Saints’ Day Scripture readings for today that you are His children that you are among those who are blessed. And to be among those who are blessed is to be a saint, to be sanctified—that is, made holy. Blessed are all saints, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

• God has given you new birth and marked you as one of all those saints in Holy Baptism;
• God is proclaiming you to be one of all those saints in the Word I am preaching to you now and wherever the Word of God is preached and taught for the forgiveness of the poor in spirit;
• God enfleshes you with Himself and all those saints when He gives you the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion;
• and God sends you forth into the world as one of all those saints carrying the benediction of His name-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

You who believe these things are indeed all children of our Father in heaven--saints who are blessed because in these things Jesus comes to you and you are made one with Him—the blessed One of whom the beatitudes of Matthew’s Gospel today speak.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for All Saints Sunday, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3508

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Truth Will Set You Free


This is what the Reformation was and still is about today—the Truth setting you free . . .

Here the temptation for us is to echo the proud proclamation of the religious Jews of our text: “We are [American Christians] and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” For us that proud proclamation usually comes in the form of proclaiming ourselves free to do whatever we please, whatever makes us happy, whether in our daily living or in our worship life. After all, as we Americans confess in the Declaration of Independence, it is a “self-evident” truth that we “are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” one of which is the “pursuit of Happiness.” And everybody knows—another one of those self-evident truths--you can worship God wherever and however you want to, right?

Hmmmmm. Let’s see. Maybe it’s time we examine these assumptions we all live under in the light of God’s Word, you know, that truth that “will set you free.”

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Reformation Sunday, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3496

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Perfect Timing

Since the beginning of cinema, the perfect timing of the hero has been a take-it-to-the bank theme. From the damsel in distress tied to the railroad tracks, to the westerns of the “golden age” of the boob tube and the silver screen, to virtually every cop show and adventure movie ever made.

They all are salvation stories of sorts. They take us through the range of emotions, take us to the brink of death, and deliver us to a happy ending.
But what is great for movies isn’t so popular in our churches. The great message of the Gospel is just such a rescue effort of our Lord according to His perfect timing. But nobody wants to wait. And while folks can’t seem to get enough death—the more graphic and the gorier the more we seem to like it--talking about sin and death in our churches is often met with derision and disdain (not to mention dismissal). We want to prevent all that suffering stuff—or at least forget about it. We want our best life now.

The trouble is, we’re just not ready for it. Why? Because our best life comes only when sin has been destroyed. And that takes death.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity, "Perfect Timing,” click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3484

Monday, October 14, 2013

Decision Theology

What false preachers say.
"Decide for Christ and dedicate your life to him already!"

 
What God's Word says.
Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Kingdom of Heaven

 
It is not our going to church or what we do there that saves us. Going to church means that we are going to the place where God is feeding us with the bread of life – “every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God” for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Six days a week you live in a world that is doing its best to convince you that God doesn’t exist -- or if He does that He is a God whom we have to fear and figure out a way to satisfy by doing enough good stuff so... that He isn’t angry with you anymore.

But on the seventh day, God calls you to a day of rest. And this not a day simply to rest from our earthly labors and do nothing but what is fun and entertaining and distracting from your troubles, but a day to rest in the tender loving care of your Lord and your God as He opens the kingdom of heaven to you in His holy Christian Church.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity, "The Kingdom of Heaven,” click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3477

Sunday, October 6, 2013

"Take Heart, Your Sins Are Forgiven”

"The fact of the matter is, dear Christian, that w/o God and His Word of forgiveness we are all paralytics. There is not a good work we can do, nothing that will last or help us, let alone anyone else, get out of this world alive. W/o Chris...t’s forgiveness, paralysis is the best we can hope for and hell is the just reward for the best of our human endeavors.

"But there is blessing even in this curse of paralysis. For in fact, being paralyzed was the best thing that ever happened to the nameless man our dear Lord healed according to Matthew’s Gospel lesson today. For it was his paralysis that prompted his friends to bring him to Jesus. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.'”

To hear the entire sermon preached for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity, "Take Heart, Your Sins Are Forgiven,” click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3471

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"These Little Ones"

 
Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about the loving nickname Jesus has for us--Yeoflittlefaiths? Ολιγο'πιστοι (Oligo'pistoi) is that Greek word coined by Matthew to convey Jesus' nickname--that term of endearment and affection for His disciples then and now--Yeoflittlefaiths.

Here in today's Gospel text for the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, Jesus is again speaking to His disciples--and to us--as His Ολιγο'πιστοι, His Yeoflittlefaiths, ... having been made citizens of heaven as His dear, Baptized children, have the benefit of all the host of heaven including the mighty angels of our Lord under the command of the arch-angel Michael, who having cast Satan and his army of angels out of the heavenly realm, now are employed by God to guard and protect from al harm of body and soul to deliver you safely to the place our Father in heaven has prepared for you.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, "These Little Ones, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3463

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Sabbath Rest"

What is the Sabbath for if not healing?

I guess we are not the first culture to be more considerate of our animals than our fellow man. Look what Jesus is really saying here [in our Gospel text]. “You treat your animals better than your fellow man created in the image of your Father in heaven.”

Not only that, but even more cutting, “you have no idea what worship is all about.”


To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, "Sabbath Healing," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3454

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Man, I Say to You, Arise"

Admit it, when we hear and read of these Biblical miracles, aren’t we thinking where’s mine? That should be my loved? What about healing my cancer, my heart problem, my arthritis, my depression?

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Resurrecti...on, that is nothing to deny or even to be ashamed of, really. God wants us to expect that from Him, OYeofLittleFaiths. :^)

It is, after all, what He sent His beloved and only begotten Son to do. It is, in fact what He has been doing since the beginning and will continue to do until the Last Day.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity, "Man, I Say to You, Arise," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3442
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

"O Me of Little Faith"

O me of little faith. That’s what I see and hear in this passage every time.

And every time it hurts—bad.

But every time it also ends up lifting me up again.
...
That’s the way it is with God’s Word and His love for us in Christ Jesus, the crucified. It takes us to the cross with Him to kill the sinner. But it does so in order to lift us up with Him again to a life that never ends. The only way to live with Him is to first die with Him. And that is what Baptism is all about as we learn to confess with the one holy Christian and apostolic church in answer to the catechism question, “What does such baptizing with water indicate?”

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, "O Me of Little Faith," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3434

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Science & Scripture for Comfort and Hope

Here is a link to an article that reminds me of Mary's visitation of her cousin Elizabeth.
http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2013/08/babies-learn-recognize-words-womb
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.. Luke 1:41-44

What a powerful combination of science echoing Scripture.

Then there is this from the pen of the Apostle Paul: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

Put it all together and what comfort and hope this is for Christian mothers who have miscarried--as well as good reason for pregnant women to attend church.

N'est ce pas?

Your Faith--Your Jesus

Martin Luther introduces our Gospel text for this Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity by saying: “So that those of you who were not in church today may worship our Lord God and not turn into totally irrational animals, let us listen to the Holy Gospel.”

That may seem an odd way to introduce such a wonderful Gospel text and subsequent sermon, but let’s think on it for just a bit. Pastor Luther’s reason for such a brutal introduction to our Holy Gospel for this Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity [is this]: He wants to point out the ultimate factor that differentiates us from the beasts of the earth, as presented by Luke in this account of Jesus’ healing of the ten lepers. 

Simply put, the difference between man and beast, between that which is rational and irrational, is our worship.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, "Your Faith-Your Jesus," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3424

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Wages of Sin and the Cost of Kings


And to Adam [God] said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,  ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:17-19

 
 

Today's Fox News headline read: "Fast-food workers strike nationwide in protest against wages."
[Read more:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/29/fast-food-workers-to-strike-nationwide-over-wages/#ixzz2dQeyWghH]

Personally I appreciate and respect fast food workers and have encouraged my kids at one time and for one reason or another to consider such work with full knowledge it is not a career per se. That said, it used to be taken at face value and considered to be a respectable means to an end and an incentive to move up the career ladder. After all, if such entry level jobs paid like more skilled positions there would be no such thing as a "dollar menu" and "$6" burgers would be $10.


As I understood growing up and taught my own kids, job is not a civil right or an entitlement and businesses do not exist solely or even primarily for the sake of giving anyone an income. A job is a vocation by which one provides some sort of service for others and is paid commensurate with what the consumer is willing and able to pay. And a business has to make some kind of profit to be a) viable, and b) worth the time, effort, and capital investment of the owner(s) and their management.

Once upon a time, our nation recognized this and became prosperous, powerful, and even relatively peaceful and safe by allowing folks the freedom to run their businesses as they deemed best and to encourage and afford the worker the opportunity by the freedom to seek whatever work they chose and advance through their hard work and dedication.

Was/is that system perfect? Of course not. Why? As Christians, and particularly as Lutherans, we understand it is because of sin and that you cannot legislate fairness and equality where folks put themselves and their personal interests and desires above those of their neighbors.

There is not, never was, and never will be a utopia this side of Eden on one end and the Resurrection on the other where every will receive the perfectly just reward for their labors. [See Genesis 3 above.] Some will receive way more and some much less than they truly deserve.

If you want someone, like government, to try to even that all out by legislation backed by the power of fines, imprisonment, and ultimately the sword, be prepared to pay the greater price of slavery to that government as to a god who controls not only your employer, but you and your children as well.

So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 1 Samuel 8:10-18

Sunday, August 25, 2013

LOVE AND THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW IN THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SMARITAN

We are, each of us, like the priest and the Levite who pass by the man dying on the road. It is not until we have our own wounds of guilt for our sin bound up by the forgiveness of Christ and soothed by the oil of the Holy Spirit that we are truly able to be a Good Samaritan to our neighbor.
 
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF CONCORD
THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
APOLOGY OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION
ARTICLE V: LOVE AND THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW

11] Christ was given for this purpose, that forgiveness of sins might be bestowed on us for His sake. He was also given so that the Holy Spirit might bring forth in us new and eternal life and eternal righteousness. Therefore, the Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Spirit is received through faith. So Paul says that the Law is established by faith, and not made useless, because the Law can only be kept when the Holy Spirit is given. 12] Paul teaches, The veil that covered the face of Moses cannot be removed except by faith in Christ, by which the Holy Spirit is received. (See 2 Corinthians 3:14-18.) For he says, “Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:15-17). 13] Paul understands by the “veil” the human opinion about the entire Law, the Ten Commandments and the ceremonies. In other words hypocrites think that outward and civil works satisfy God’s Law, and that sacrifices and observances justify a person before God by the outward act (ex opera operato). 14] But then this veil is removed from us, (i.e., we are freed from this error) when God shows to our hearts our uncleanness and the hatefulness of sin. Then, for the first time, we see that we are far from fulfilling the Law. We learn to know how flesh is self-secure and doesn’t care. It does not fear God and is not completely certain that we are cared for by God. It imagines that people are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when we hear about the Gospel and the forgiveness of sins, we are consoled through faith, we receive the Holy Spirit so that now we are able to think correctly about God, to fear and believe God, and so on. From these facts it is clear that the Law cannot be kept without Christ and the Holy Spirit.

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
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"Which of These Are We?"

Have you ever heard the adage, “He is so heavenly minded that he is of no earthly good”? That could be the moral of today’s Gospel—if the Gospel was about morals.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, "Which of These Are We?", click on this link.
http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3413

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"Our Hands-On God"

The Lord formed you in your mother’s womb even as He formed Adam in the beginnin...g. And even as sin deformed Adam and Eve to the point of death and getting tossed out of the paradise of the Garden, the seed of your sinful father corrupted the clay of your flesh being formed by God so that it would surely die, and the womb in which you were being formed was wobbling to the point of tossing you out into this world as a deformed and useless vessel. As such you were unfit for the kingdom of God.

But God did not toss you onto the scrapheap. No, out of His great love for you--by Baptism and the remission of your sins, by Holy Communion with Christ in His own flesh and blood for the forgiveness of sins--He is taking the fallen, sinful, dying clay that is your flesh and reforming you like a potter reclaiming a work of art that has collapsed and been flung off his wheel.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity, "Our Hands-On God," click on this link.
http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3402

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"The One Who Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted"

...there is no glorifying of God by us humble sinners apart from praising Him as the one who is lifted up on Calvary--as the one who dies for our sins. Any worship that is not centered in that, that does not bring us back to that and delive...r that to us is not true worship, but idolatry.

Whenever we hear the word exalted/lifted up in Scripture, we are meant to see Christ crucified—then risen and ascended to be sure. But always Christ crucified.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity, "The One Who Humbles Himself Will Be Exalted," click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3395
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Time of Your Visitation

Jesus is the ultimate Temple of God—the fulfillment of the Old Testament in human flesh....

... we must be torn down, made fit for God’s visitation, and rebuilt into His temple that is the body of Christ. It’s a painful and even traumatic thing to get torn down. But it is just what we need. Our own money changer attitude and desires, as well as Pharisee in us must be humbled—brought to nothing, destroyed—because God ‘desires mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3388

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Laugh!

Ammo is getting scarce!
This morning I lucked out and was able to buy two boxes of ammo.

 
http://cdn2.armslist.com/sites/armslist/uploads/posts/2013/03/09/1221160_01_pmc_9mm_luger_ammo_2_boxes__640.jpg

I placed the boxes on the front seat and headed back home, but stopped at a gas station where a drop-dead gorgeous blonde in a short skirt was filling up her car at the next pump.

 
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9fkzquIe_Xs/T_zaVNxLDcI/AAAAAAAACTM/xVXlBeoyV_g/s400/kg-pumping-gas.jpg

She glanced at the two boxes of ammo, bent over and leaned in my passenger window, and said in a sexy voice, "I'm a big believer in barter, old fella. Would you be interested in trading sex for ammo?"

 
http://nicholasdraney.com/blog/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/013.jpg

I thought for a few seconds and asked, "What kind of ammo 'ya got?"

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"How Much Do You Owe?"

The parable Jesus presents in our Gospel text today is all about debt. On the face of it, a hired hand is commended for acting dishonestly to save his own hide when he realizes how unmanageable his debt has become....

[But] unless we understand what is going on around this parable we walk away from it thinking it is a lesson on dealing with our finances and investments in this world in order to win friends and influence people, because in doing so we somehow are feathering a heavenly retirement nest. But as always, in reading the Scripture and hearing the Word of God, if all we get out of it is what we have to do to pay off our debt and gain access to our heavenly home, we leave ourselves on the outside of the window looking in.

So, here in today’s parable we have Jesus catechizing His disciples, preparing them for His death on the cross and His subsequent departure, which will leave them in charge of proclaiming and spreading the message of the kingdom of heaven—especially how one comes into it. This He does with a parable so that hearing, the Pharisees will not understand, because they do not recognize Him as the Christ, who by His crucifixion is The Way to heaven and THE key to understanding all of Scripture -- and therefore, also this parable.

To hear the entire sermon preached for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3381

Sunday, July 21, 2013

“The Will of My Father”

[The] rejection, restyling and perversion of the man as head of household along with fatherhood and the father figure (that is to say, this re-creation and playing God we do) is as old as sin itself. In the beginning, the will of God the Fa...ther—through the Word that is His Son who sends forth the Holy Spirit to do His good work—was to create and forever sustain life. The epitome of that life, the crown of His creation, and the focus of His love was and ever will be the man He created in His image and made to be male and female—distinctly different with specific non interchangeable roles and vocations, yet one flesh. Man to be the head of the woman to provide for and take care of her as his own flesh and raise children with her, in their image, that only she could bear and nurse.

The sin of Adam was a rejection of what he was created and given to be by his Father in heaven—thus a rejection of the Father Himself, as well as His Word and Spirit.

“In the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” They did. We do.

You can make fun of “Father Knows Best” all you want. But He does [know best]. So the Word, His only begotten Son, became flesh—human flesh--distinctly male flesh—to do the will of His Father that Adam and every man since has failed to do. And He did it not by man’s will, but by His Father’s. On the way to the cross He prayed, “Not My will but Thy will be done.”

To hear and/or the entire sermon preached for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3374
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Compassion of Christ

 
Christ knows our need before we do. And He supplies it at the proper time.

We, the Baptized children of God, really do get the best of both worlds. We might not get the most. We might not get everything we covet. We might not get it exactly when and where we want it. But the LORD, our Father in heaven truly does “give them their food in due season. [and] open [His] hand [to] satisfy the desire of every living thing [whose] eyes ... look to Him for their daily bread.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3364
 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

"Until All Is Accomplished"

In none of [His own works] did even this man, Jesus, boast even though He was and is the Christ, the very Son of God. Even though He could have done it all by His own work, He became passive and “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8) ”

Herein is righteousness that exceeds the scribes and the Pharisees and the most obedient, holiest, nicest, sweetest, even most helpful, compassionate, and tolerant people among us.

And herein is our entry ...into the kingdom of heaven—not to be excused or exempted or even freed from good works and righteous behavior, but as both Paul and Chrysostom point out, to be “Christ’s workmanship” who fulfill these things “Until All Is Accomplished” on the Last Day when Jesus “shall come to judge the living and the dead.“

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3359

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Foolishness of God

[The Ten Commandments] are the beginning of the words of the cross that lead us to know our sin and our need for a Savior--folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

We don’t like that much and we fight it like stubborn children who know what they want and insist on getting it and doing it.

God’s Word doesn’t change based upon what we like, what we think, what we want. The way of life is the way of life—and the way of death is ...the way of death. And we will find that out one way or another—either now by hearing and listening to and believing the Word Christ preaches and teaches and pours over our heads and places between our lips, or on the Last Day when, [as] it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3350

 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

This My Son Was Dead

What better text to have set before us than Jesus’ parable of The Loving & Faithful Father? Yes, we have come to know it as the parable of the Prodigal Son. But if you really examine it, you can’t help but see the love and faithfulness of the Father throughout the story.

...from start to finish this parable is all about the love and faithfulness of the Father who not only provides in the beginning, but forgives in the end.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Third Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3331

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Taste My Banquet

From the moment “the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word” [SC Explanation to Baptism, Part 1] was poured over your head “in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit,” God has been inviting you to taste of His banquet and partake of His heavenly gifts for everlasting life.
 
To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the Second Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3326

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Two Rich Men

It is not a sin to be rich.

English is a difficult language for the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Any human language is really because God’s Word conveys heavenly things in earthly language. Here the word “rich” in the Hebrew is i...ndeed the sinful kind. But it is not in the sense of having wealth—lots of money and stuff and power—which in itself is a gift of God and the economy of His creation. It’s about the heart of the one who has it and how he is disposed, or predisposed, to use it.

Wealth, the stuff, is not the problem. Otherwise why the commandments about keeping your hands—as well as your hearts and minds—off of other people’s money and property?

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for the First Sunday after Trinity, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3319

Monday, May 27, 2013

Born of Flesh, Born of Spirit

Today is a very special day for the flesh—not only the flesh of believers, but of unbelievers as well. You see, Memorial Day is the day we honor our dead—particularly the dead who served to protect us in the armed services of our nation so ...that we at home might enjoy the freedom to assemble as we do right here, right now, today. Thanks be to God in Christ Jesus our Lord,...

But more importantly—yes, even more important than Memorial Day for all of us, whether believer or unbeliever; Christian, Muslim, & Jew; black, white, yellow or red; North or South American, European, Asian, African, Australian, or Antarctican for that matter—more importantly for all of us today is Holy Trinity Sunday....

 
To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for The Feast of the Holy Trinity, click on this link. http://tinyurl.com/pxqr828

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Helper, the Holy Spirit

You are holy, that is to say, saints, because that is what the Holy Spirit has made you through Holy Baptism, through the preaching and teaching of the Holy Word of God, through the Holy Communion of Christ’s Church. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father [has sent] in [Jesus’] name, [has taught] you all [the] things and [brought] to your remembrance all that [Jesus has] said to you to open your ears and give you the spirit of hearing, to bring you out of the darkness of sin and into His marvelous light of salvation; to break your hearts of stone and turn them into hearts of flesh—that is, the “new heart, and new spirit” [Ezekiel 36:26] of faith.

When we think of a helper, we think of someone who gives us a little boost, or a helping hand to make difficult things easier to and faster to accomplish. But the Holy Spirit is the Helper sent by God to work in you what you cannot do for yourselves--period.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for The Feast of Pentecost, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3314

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Ascension of Our Lord: "He Fills All in All"


Paul tells us the ascended Christ seated at [His Father’s] right hand in the heavenly places,--more than having eyes in the back of His head, [having] all things under his feet … as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. [Ephesians 1:21-23]--has His eyes, ears, and all His members serving and filling the world with His good and gracious work.

This is what it truly means to be a lord—to watch over, serve, and protect the people under your jurisdiction. Having accomplished what only He could do on Calvary, our Lord ascends to the right hand of His Father whence He sends His Holy Spirit to deliver the forgiveness of sins and all of His righteous works through the people of His holy Christian Church to all the people of world.

To hear and or read the entire sermon preached for The Ascension of Our Lord, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3301

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Prayer Is for the Asking

Dear children of God, the spirit is indeed willing, but our flesh is still weak. So we come to our Lord in prayer because prayer is for the asking—the asking of the Father for everything that is good, everything that is true, everything that is lasting, everything that is life. Here today we come together as His beloved baptized children to ask for forgiveness for our lack of prayer and sleeping on the job—among our other sins of what we do and don't do.



To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Rogate Sunday, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3285

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Where Are You Going?

And herein lies the suffering of the disciples and every generation of believer to come. The world doesn't like the forgiveness of sins. Because that means first confessing one is a sinner. Have you ever tried to forgive someone only to have them become angry that you would dare be so high and mighty? That you would dare tell them they had done something wrong, something that needed to be forgiven? How dare you call them a sinner? Yes, this is exactly what got Jesus crucified and what would cause the disciples much suffering, and grief, and even martyrdom themselves.
Then beyond anger and hatred and violence, there is rejection. Remember the rich young man? Jesus invited him to "follow me" as well. To hear the entire sermon preached for Cantate Sunday, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3276

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Little While


Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

Our passions are the very things our Lord warns us against as enemies of life and that from which we must be saved and delivered. Those very things which we have redefined as freedom of choice, alternate lifestyles, consensual sex—i.e. “pursuit of happiness”--Jesus tells us, ”These are what defile a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander." Matthew 15:20, 19

Yes, this is indeed a bitter pill. But it is a necessary one for us. Just as our Lord’s dear disciples had sorrow for a little while when He died and was buried for the sins of the world, so too each of our Lord’s dear baptized believers has sorrow for a little while over his own sins before the comfort and joy of the Gospel of forgiveness is revealed. Then forgiven, we have sorrow for a little while as the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh tempt and even fight with us to return to the very things we have been forgiven and baptized out of and away from.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Jubilate Sunday, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3265

 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Suffering Heart of Our Shepherd

Goodness is miserable work. This Good Shepherd business is not as pretty as the paintings.

The Suffering Heart of Our Shepherd is that he came down amongst the sheep as they go about their lives. Getting lost, tangled in briars, stuck in mud, fallen in ditches, covered with all sorts of filth and vermin, attacked by wolves as they follow their noses and their stomachs and their hearts—that is, their passions. He tends them, feeds them, and thoroughly vets them so they can go about being sheep—wool, lambing, milk. But there is one very notable exception. They fear not being fattened for the sacrificial slaughter or feast. The Good Shepherd suffered that in and from His very heart all the way to His very real and physical death. He was the sacrifice and He is the Feast! To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Misericordias Domini Sunday, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3256

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Spirit Breathes Life

In that day when the first man formed from the dust of the ground ate of that tree with the woman taken out of his own flesh to live as one flesh with him, the holy breath of God was knocked right out of them. And they began to surely die. ... 
 
In the day you are forgiven, you once again receive the very breath of life. And this is what the church, the office of the ministry, and even your Baptism are and do for you. They give you the Spirit who breathes life into you where once there was only death, the death of the sinner.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Quasimodgeniti Sunday, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3249

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Viva Equality!


Besides being at war with the desires of your flesh to separate you from God and blind you to the kingdom of heaven, the world would also play with your mind and would have you think the perfect life is defined by equal rights, equal opportunity, equal pay.

· Equal rights of eating, drinking, and pleasuring yourself to death.

· Equal opportunity to get sick, shot, or blown to kingdom come.

· Equal pay of wages that never seem to be enough and always disappear way too soon.

Yup. We’re all equal all right.... there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. Romans 3:22b ff


Jesus' Resurrection Is Your Resurrection

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!
Alleluia!

Alleluia!
And so are you, dear Baptized. So are You. Jesus’ resurrection is your resurrection.

The resurrected Christ is here with you in His Holy Church. And because He is seated at the right hand of the Father, that means you are with Him in the kingdom of heaven.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of Our Lord, click on this link. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3235

Friday, March 29, 2013

He Bore the Sin of Many

Confession is your Good Friday.

Absolution is your Easter Resurrection.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Good Friday, click on the link provided below. http://lcmssermons.com/index.php?sn=3232