“What Are You Doing Here?”

The Third Sunday after Pentecost (C)
“What Are You Doing Here?”
June 30, 2019

Sermon Text: 1 Kings 19:9b-21, Luke 9:51-62

 Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

It is the age-old question which man has… in one form or another… always been asking himself … “What am I doing here?”

And one could be more specific, completing the question by asking…

“What am I doing here in this occupation or vocation?”

“What am I doing here in this relationship?”

“What am I doing here in this place, at this time?”

And then there is the grand-daddy of all introspective questions…

“What am I doing here on earth?”

And behind all of these questions is really a person (and let’s be honest with ourselves, that includes you and me) who is searching… hungering… desiring for PURPOSE in their life… some validating REASON for their existence.

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“The Blessing In It”

The Second Sunday after Pentecost (C)
“The Blessing In It”
June 23, 2019

Sermon Text: Isaiah 65:1-9

 Peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? When a project comes together? Or when the plot of a movie comes together, fits nicely together… all of its parts with no loose ends?

Then you gotta love God’s Word… Holy Scripture… that comes together, holds together, fits perfectly together like one beautiful tapestry… so many threads interwoven making one glorious picture of God’s love for us in Christ Jesus.

Such is seen in our first appointed reading for today even though it would first appear that the picture before us is all about God’s wrath being poured out, His judgement meted out upon what the Lord rightly declares to be “a rebellious people.”

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“Loving Jesus”

The Day of Pentecost (C)
“Loving Jesus”
June 9, 2019

Sermon Text: John 14:23-24

 Peace be unto you from our loving God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

It seems so easy that even a child can do it… a baby no less… to “love Jesus,” that is. And our newest brother in Christ does exactly that right now… love Jesus. Now that he has come under the waters of Holy Baptism. Now that the he has been baptized “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

That’s it? Yes. There is nothing that we have to do or can do on our own… nothing that “coming of age” will help… to love Jesus, that is. For you see, it is all what God does… what He has done and Him alone. And because of this, to Him alone be the glory.

It is the divine Words, His Words spoken in, with and under simple water that makes all of the difference. This is true for Oliver and for us.

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“Come Lord Jesus”

The Seventh Sunday of Easter (C)
“Come Lord Jesus”
June 2, 2019

Sermon Text: Revelation 22:12-17, 20

 Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our risen and ascended Lord Jesus. Amen.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This is the last Sunday of the Easter Season and as you probably have noticed, our readings from God’s Holy Word during these past seven weeks have been, well, a little unusual.

First of all, we have had no Old Testament readings. Rather, we have been hearing about the wonderful work of the Lord through the Apostles and the early Christian Church, recorded for us in the Book of Acts.

Also, these past Sundays, we have had a reading from the Book of Revelation providing us with important information about this period… this season… in which we now live.

Many think it is all future stuff, but it is not. Rather, it vividly speaks of the season… the period between Christ’s ascension into heaven (which we celebrated this past Thursday) and Christ’s return in all His glory to judge the living and the dead which we shall likewise celebrate so very soon.

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“A Woman Named Lydia”

The Sixth Sunday of Easter (Series C)
“A Woman Named Lydia”
May 25, 2019

Sermon Text: Acts 16:9-15, Revelation 21:9–14, 21–27

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We have before us today a wonderful account of the Gospel message at work… the power of God’s Word (and His Word alone) to bring people to saving faith… faith in their Savior… our Savior… Jesus Christ in Whom alone and by Whose merits alone we have been saved from eternal destruction, made children of God and are now heirs of His eternal kingdom.

In our text, it is a woman named Lydia who is brought to faith in Jesus as her Savior. She is described as being among the sebo,menoi to.n qeo,n –  that is the “God fearers” … those who revered God… those who believed that there is but one God… unlike the many false gods worshipped by the majority of people of this region and throughout the then civilized world.

We are told that Lydia “just happens to be” with a group of women who had come together it says right by the side of a river where the Apostle Paul and the others had gone to pray on the Sabbath.

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“Do You See What I See”

The Fifth Sunday of Easter (C)
“Do You See What I See”
May 19, 2019

Sermon Text: Revelation 21:1-5

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our risen Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.  Amen.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today… as with all days and certainly on Sundays… we bask in the glory of Easter morning and the greatest of news that our Lord Jesus has conquered sin, death and the devil once… for all!

But this, the greatest of news, is not the only wonderful piece of information which we find recorded in God’s Holy Word.  Indeed, with the resurrection of our Savior, it really has been a case of more good news one right after another… on infinitum… which is exactly what will happen… the good news will never cease. It will continue forever.

And that, my friends, is in spite of some less than positive news that you and I may be told…. some less than positive news which you and I may have to deal with along the way… while we sojourn here on earth for but a little while longer.

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“Shepherds Come and Go, But One Remains”

The Fourth Sunday of Easter (C)
“Shepherds Come and Go, But One Remains”
May 12, 2019

Sermon Text: Acts 20:17-35, John 10:22-30

Peace be unto you from our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

His work there was done. And for one last time, St. Paul speaks to the called and ordained shepherds who have taken over the ministry in Ephesus… the “elders of the church” who were carrying on… continuing on where he left off… providing Word and Sacrament to all of the precious men, women and children who, at great cost, confessed Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior.

St. Paul declares to them, “And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.” (Acts 20:25)

This shepherd… an apostle of the Lord no less… goes on to share with these pastors two important things. He reminds them of what he did during his time there… during his ministry there (for it was Paul who had established the Christian Church in Ephesus under the guidance of the Holy Spirit). And He also warns these pastors of what is coming, what they will face in the months and years to come. Fighting the good fight of faith was tough then… and it would only get tougher. Indeed, such is the life of a Christian at any point in time and certainly in these end times… our lives lived out under the cross of Jesus

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