Monday, April 27, 2015

My Own Know Me—for There Is No Other

The One who was the Perfect Sacrificial Lamb is now the Good Shepherd—leading us so we can follow where He has gone and come back out on the other side.

And it is a good thing, too. For it is not only that rich young man that had too many possessions to want to follow Jesus. We are all simply too rich to follow where He has gone. By our own thinking, by our own feeling we just have too much to lose.
To follow Jesus means to suffer, die, and be buried. Who wants that?

So Jesus--having gone there, done that and, more than having the souvenir t-shirt but even wearing and bearing the scars in His hands, feet, and side--has risen to be our Good Shepherd leading us by His voice where we fear to go.

To hear and/or read this sermon preached at Christ Lutheran-Elkhart, KS and Faith Lutheran-Hugoton, KS for The Fourth Sunday of Easter, "My Own Know Me—for There Is No Other," click on this link.

Graphic: German Cathedral art, details unknown.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


"The Creation of the Animals," by Raffaello ca. 1518-19, Palazzo Ponteficio- Vaticano.
Psalm 96:1-6 [ESV]
Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!...
2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Genesis 1:26-28 [ESV]
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that cre
eps on the earth.”

"Adam Naming the Animals," medieval panel of anonymous origins in the Monastery of St Nicholas Anapausas, Greece.
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 3: 17-19 [ESV]
And to Adam [the LORD 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;

"God Curses Adam, Eve, and the Serpent," anonymous artist.
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.

19 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.”

2 Peter 3:10-13 [ESV]
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Sistine Chapel fresco of "The Last Judgement," by Michelangelo.
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Isaiah 65:17-18 [ESV]
“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,

Dürer, Albrecht (1471-1528), The Landauer Altarpiece, All Saints Day, 1511 oil on panel (detail), Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;..."

Revelation 21:1-5 [ESV]
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
"The Vision By John of Heaven" by Matthias Gerung, c. 1530.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Job 19:25-27 [ESV]
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
"The Resurrection of Christ," by Peter Paul Rubens, 1611- 12.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Touching God

From the beginning, the relationship of God to man has been one of touching. When God touches man, His touch accompanied by the breath of His Spirit gives life.

The crowning creative work of the Father is accomplished through touch as we see depicted in Michelangelo's breathtaking fresco that graces the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

However, shortly after creation, man makes the decision that God’s touch is not enough and he seeks to touch God. There we see that when man touches, or seeks to touch God, it brings death.

To hear and/or read this sermon preached at Christ Lutheran-Elkhart, KS and Faith Lutheran-Hugoton, KS for The Third Sunday of Easter, "Touching God," click on this link.

Graphic: "The Creation of Adam" is a fresco painting by Michelangelo, which forms part of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, painted circa 1511–1512.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Relevancy of the Word: You are Forgiven

Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." Now when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." John 20:19b-23

This Gospel is for all of you who want your pastor to make the Word of God relevant in your life, in today’s world. This Gospel is for everyone who is looking to find purpose for his life. This Gospel is for everyone who wants their best life now. This Gospel is for anybody and everybody who wants to know how to get to heaven. In this little Gospel we are given the answers to all these questions, concerns, and heartfelt desires.

To hear and/or read this sermon preached at Christ Lutheran-Elkhart, KS and Faith Lutheran-Hugoton, KS for The Second Sunday of Easter, "The Relevancy of the Word: You Are Forgiven," click on this link.

Graphic: “The Incredulity of Thomas” by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn; detail from a 1634 oil on panel (53 × 51 cm) in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow.