Sunday, February 24, 2013

Your Faith Is Great!

After another week (or more) of trying and testing your faith, God is answering you saying, “Great is your faith!” After another week of letting you wrestle with Him, God is bestowing His blessing on you by calling you, “Israel,” which means you too have wrestled with God and have not been defeated. Like Jacob and the Canaanite woman, you have encountered “God face to face, and yet [your] life has been delivered.” Genesis 32:30

It’s a done deal, just as it was for Jacob and... the Canaanite woman. No one can take it away from you. Only with you, your face to face encounter with God is right here in His Church, in His Word and His Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion by which He delivers you out of this world of sin and into His house of faith—the house that is built on the Rock of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Reminisere, the Second Sunday in Lent, click on this link.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Led Up By the Spirit

Never forget, first and foremost Jesus ministry is a ministry-- that is, service—of spiritual warfare. Jesus primary purpose is to defeat the evil one and the sin and death he introduced into the world by his temptation of the first Adam, as we heard in our OT lesson this morning.

And neither let us not forget how that evil one worked. He was crafty. The original Hebrew word might be better understood by that outdated English word, "beguiling." Temptation cloaks deceit in beauty—appealing to the senses and desires of eyes, ears, and hearts not turned to God and His Word. But rather turned inward to what we think is God talking and what we want to hear.

So Jesus is led, even driven out into the wilderness to do spiritual battle with the evil one and fulfill His Father's promise to Adam and Eve to bruise, even crush the head of that evil tempter.

To hear and'or read the entire sermon preached for Invocavit, the First Sunday in Lent, click on this link.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Of Ashes and Cross

The ashes rubbed on foreheads in the shape of a cross on Ash Wednesday are a stark reminder of the ultimate passing away of the things of this world, including our very own flesh, as well as a sign warning us that our own righteousness is no cleaner nor longer lasting than the ashes. So we receive these ashes together and begin the season of Lent not to impress anybody with how holy we are, but rather to impress upon each one of us the dire consequences of our own sin and point us to the only way to be saved from those consequences.
To hear or read the entire sermon, "Of Ashes and Cross," click on this link.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Never Ends

Gimme is dead. At least that what my parents used to tell my brother and sister and me. Saying, "Gimme this," or "Gimme that," was not only a sure way not to get whatever we were "gimmeeing" about, if we didn't take the "Gimme is dead" hint and continued being so selfish and impolite, "Gimme" was also quite likely to get something he really didn't want at all—a scolding, a time-out (we called it grounding), or even a spanking.

Yes, dear children—and by children I mean everyone of us here—"Gimme is dead." At least he is dying. Gimme is that sinful beast in all of us that can never get enough of anything and is always concerned that we will be missing out on something somebody else has that we deserve more. Gimme is what we have been screaming ever since we were born—even since we were conceived and carried in our mother's womb.

But our Lord has something different to show and even, yes, to give us Gimme monsters. In our Epistle lesson His Apostle (sent one) Paul writes to the Christians at Corinth and to us today:" I will show you a still more excellent way." 1 Corinthians 12:31

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Quinquagesima Sunday, click on this link.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Rooted in Good Soil

If anyone is to be rooted in good soil holding the seed of life that is the Word of God, He must be with, even in Christ the Son of God Himself and abide and be held fast by Him.

And that, dear people of God, is where Holy Baptism comes in....

To hear and/or read the entire sermon preached for Sexagesima Sunday, February 3, click on this link.