“Always of Good Courage”

“Always of Good Courage”
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
The 4th Sunday after Pentecost (B)  6/17/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

Thanks be to God that we have before us for our consideration this morning a much-needed perspective, a clear perspective, and most importantly, a true one, recorded here in St. Paul’s second letter to the Church at Corinth.

Not that this isn’t the case with the apostle’s other letters or all of Holy Scripture for that matter. In it all, through it all, we are given the one perspective that matters in your life and mine… namely, God’s… that which is perfect and divine… that which is and will be. Guaranteed… sure and certain.

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“Our True Family”

“Our True Family” Mark 3:20-35
Pentecost 3 (B)  6/10/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

One would expect it from the world and those who are of the world… the “worldly” if you will. But it is another thing when the source of opposition in your life and mine… in what we are doing… what we are seeking to do as Christians… comes from one’s own family… from one’s own flesh and blood.

The truth is, every Christian will experience opposition that will literally hit home… emanate from the home or close to home… from one’s own family… loved ones who are blinded by sin and unbelief… whose understanding of God’s Word is marginal twisted and skewed… those who have been spiritually led astray or have led themselves astray.

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“Treasures in Jars of Clay”

The Second Sunday after Pentecost (Series B)
“Treasures in Jars of Clay”
June 3, 2018
Text: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

There is an old Jewish parable about a man who was raising his daughter to place a great deal of importance upon her physical appearance, her beauty and her charms.  Once she even asked her older Rabbi, who had seen better days, “Why would the Lord give such wonderful treasures in such an ugly vessel like you?”

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“How Can These Things Be?”

“How Can These Things Be?” John 3:1-17

The Holy Trinity (B)  5/27/18

Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

A rather unusual but true fact regarding Christians, regardless of what age and era we live here on earth, is that we “marvel” a lot.

And this, in addition to marveling about so many aspects of God’s creation… so many earthly and worldly things that are truly amazing… truly a sight to behold.

No. What the Christian man and woman marvels most is about the divine… things not of this world… things far above and beyond both the world and the worldly mind… our minds.

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“The Spirit’s Power”

“The Spirit’s Power”   John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
The Day of Pentecost (B)  5/20/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

It was one of the most closely guarded and best kept secrets. Not even the Vice President of the United States knew about it. That is, until he suddenly became President after the death of Franklin Roosevelt. I am, of course, referring to President Harry S. Truman and what was known as “the Manhattan Project.”

It “officially” began on December 28, 1942, combining a number of research efforts that were already underway, including those at our own University of Chicago by two scientists, Enrico Fermi (and yes, that is where the Fermi Lab gets its name) and Leo Szilard. The goal – weaponize nuclear energy… and do it quickly. U.S. Intelligence had heard for some time that Adolph Hitler had a team of scientists working on the same.

Two and half years later, on July 16, 1945, in a remote desert location near Alamogordo, New Mexico, the first atomic bomb was successfully detonated. It was ironically known as the “Trinity Test” and it sent an enormous mushroom cloud some 40,000 feet into the sky and released energy equivalent to around 21 kilotons of TNT.

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“It is All They Need”

“It is All They Need” John 17:11b-19
The Seventh Sunday of Easter (B)  5/13/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

One simply does not tire of hearing, reading and considering our Lord’s high priestly prayer to the Father, His Father, Our Father. It says so much, reveals so much, regarding the divine and perfect relationship of the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father. It says so much, reveals so much, regarding the Father and Son’s relationship to us. It says so much, reveals so much about our Lord’s saving mission here on earth… all for us, done for us, accomplished for us and what now takes place in the days that remain until our dear Lord and Savior returns to us on the last day which draws ever so close.

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“It all Comes Down to This”

“It all Comes Down to This”  John 15:9–17
The Sixth Sunday of Easter (B)  5/6/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

If we had just the one verse, we could easily misinterpret… be confused and uncertain as to what our Lord meant… as to what He was referring to when He said… “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

It is pretty amazing and quite shocking what people believe “abiding in Christ’s love” is all about. More than just a few would argue that it is up for self-interpretation… that it is different for everyone because you know what? We are all different and our differences are all good. God simply wants us to abide in love… to be loving and caring. Leave it at that.

That certainly sounds good from a worldly point of view. And it works well with those who seek to have it both ways… to be a Christian… to appear “Godly”…. and to, at the same time, embrace the things of this world.

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