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.

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.


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.

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.