“Truth Be Told”

The Fifth Sunday of Easter (A)

“Truth Be Told”

May 14, 2017

Sermon Text: Acts 6:1–9; 7:2a, 51–60

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

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

It is refreshing, isn’t it? In this, God’s House… in this, God’s Word… to hear the truth for a change. The truth and nothing but the truth.

And we have the joy of singing, saying and chanting these eternal truths in sacred liturgy and hymnody taken from God’s Word and based upon that Word.

Ah! The joy of not having to sort fact from fiction… what is and what is not… which is what we otherwise spend a good part of our waking hours doing, is it not? Sifting for the truth and many times wondering if we really found it… have it… the truth, that is, about this or that.

We live in a world filled with lies and so-called “half-truths” oftentimes forgetting or not really caring that as such, they are also consequently “half-lies.” A half-lie, by any other name though, is a lie, plain and simple. There is no middle ground. It is either true or false. It is either the truth or it is a lie. There is no in between… no blending. Look at it this way… a drop of poison in a glass of otherwise pure water, poisons the entire glass.

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“The Art of Seeing Without Seeing”

The Third Sunday of Easter

April 30, 2017

“The Art of Seeing Without Seeing”

Sermon Text:  Luke 24:13-35

In the Name of Jesus

Two weeks ago it was John who saw nothing in the tomb, but saw everything to believe Jesus rose again.

Last week it was Thomas; to whom Jesus said “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

And now this week Cleopos and the other disciple need to learn the art of seeing without seeing.

In spite of physically seeing the resurrected Jesus, Cleopos and the other disciple didn’t recognize Him.

You might think they lacked information, like maybe they weren’t around when Jesus prophesied His death and resurrection?

But, when they recited what happened over the past three days, including hearing from the women who saw the empty tomb, we know they saw everything they needed to see in order to believe.

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“Sons and Daughters of the King”

The Second Sunday of Easter (A)

“Sons and Daughters of the King”

April 23, 2017

Sermon Text: 1 Peter 1:3-9

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

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

It really says it all. He says it all in beautiful form and fashion… and this certainly by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in him.

I am referring to St. Peter and his words which make up our appointed Epistle text… perfect words for this, the Second Sunday of Easter… truly comforting words which we now have the joy of considering and taking to heart.

Indeed, one can hardly read this portion of Scripture and not sense that something truly magnificent and wonderful is going on here… that something truly precious and priceless is being held up for us and all the world to marvel at and give unceasing thanks.

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“Without Any Doubt”

The Resurrection of Our Lord

“Without Any Doubt”

April 16, 2017

 Sermon Text: Matthew 28:1-10

Grace to you and peace from our living Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Again, a blessed Easter morning to you. He is Risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

What joy fills our hearts this day as we consider again our Savior’s victory over death and the grave. His victory over sin and Satan.

Or… was He victorious? I know that is an odd question, but there were (and still are) many who wondered… who were skeptical given what they heard and came to believe. The way some heard it, Jesus’ disciples came at night … as the story goes… and stole him away.”  (Matthew 28:13) They took His body away.

St. Matthew records this hastily conceived cover-up campaign on the part of the Jewish leaders in the verses immediately following our glorious Gospel text. The chief priest’s paid some good money to get that story out there… to have it circulated… made public… made known… all for the purpose of… at the very least… placing doubt in people’s minds about Christ’s resurrection.

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“The Passion Perspective”

The Sunday of the Passion

“The Passion Perspective”

April 9, 2017

Sermon Text: Matthew 26 & 27

Peace be unto you from the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

Who doesn’t like a good movie now and then? It is a great source of entertainment. Add some buttered popcorn and a few other goodies and what more do you need?

With some movies, it makes sense just to wait until they can be rented or streamed at home. No big deal. But for cinema spectaculars, they just have to be seen… need to be seen… on the big screen. In some cases, even in an Imax theater. Talk about up-close and bigger than life!

In some of the same ways, my friends, it wouldn’t do it justice if the entire passion of our Lord was seen, viewed, considered via anything less than a way that lets us take it all in… indeed… up-close and true to life… the actual  account of the saving of all mankind as recorded in God’s Word in vividness and detail unsurpassed.

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“This Illness Does Not Lead to Death”

The Fifth Sunday in Lent

“This Illness Does Not Lead to Death”

April 2, 2017

Sermon Text: John 11:1-45

Peace be unto you from the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

How many times have we heard something and realized that it does not make sense. Well, maybe we heard it wrong. But then, upon learning that we had not, we are at a loss as to what to do… how to make sense of it all.

How many times in our dear Lord’s ministry here on earth… in His time here on earth… did He say things, proclaim things that simply did not make sense to those who first heard it… as well as those who still hear it today, but do not have as our Savior said, “ears to hear” … spiritual ears… ears opened and minds enlightened by the Holy Spirt.

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“Blindness and Sight”

The Fourth Sunday in Lent

“Blindness and Sight”

March 26, 2017

Sermon Text: John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39

There is an old story about Sherlock Holmes and Watson camping out overnight.  Somewhere in their journeys they have to sleep out in a field and they rig up one of these old-fashioned tents where you just put a couple of supporting posts in the ground, lay a tarp over them, and then stake the tarp in the corners and you’ve got a tent.  So they do this and they go to sleep.

In the middle of the night Holmes pokes Watson and wakes him up.  Watson asks, “What’s going on?”  Holmes answers, “Watson, look up, what do you see?”  Watson replies, “Oh, it is a beautiful night sky.  I can’t remember the last time I saw so many stars!  And I see a planet over there, and another planet not too far away from it, and on other side of the sky the moon is only half full but it is still so bright!  I can see the outline of the galaxy sweeping across the sky.  And it all reminds me how grand and awesome our universe is, and how insignificant I am in the midst of it all.  I am in awe of its beauty and I am humbled.”

Holmes replies, “Watson, you fool, someone stole our tent!”

Two people can look at exactly the same thing and see totally different things.  Depending on your perspective, you might say that Watson saw what was really important in seeing the big picture and his tiny place in it.  Or you might say that Holmes saw what was really important and focused on the practical, the here and now.  If one of these things is more important to you, you might say that the person who missed that and saw the other thing was blind.

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