“The First of Many”

The Second Sunday After the Epiphany (C)
“The First of Many”
January 20, 2019

Sermon Text: John 2:1-11

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our Messiah, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Epiphany Season continues and with it… in it… so do the epiphanies… the revelations and enlightenment… the coming to know… and this more and more… that Jesus of Nazareth is undeniably the Savior of the world… our Messiah… our Lord… our King.

We have seen how the Christ-Child… this Jesus… was revealed to the shepherds tending their flocks by night by means of an angel and all the heavenly host. We have seen how this holy Infant was revealed to the wise men by means of a magnificent guiding star. We have seen how Jesus was revealed to truly be the Son of God by His own Father… God the Father… whose voice proclaimed as our Lord stepped out of the river Jordan, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

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“The Heavens Were Opened”

The Baptism of Our Lord (Series C)
“The Heavens Were Opened”
January 13, 2019

Sermon Text: Luke 3:15-22

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,

The holy evangelist, St. Luke, certainly provides an interesting account of the baptism of our Lord. Before getting into this most holy and blessed event, he talks about the work of John the Baptist who made it clear to all that he was not the Christ… that he was not the anointed One… not the Messiah.

He was, instead the forerunner of Christ… the one who prepared the way of the Lord… the voice crying out in the wilderness.

In fact, Luke tells us that as John continued to baptize those who came out to him in the wilderness, there by the river Jordan, that he also made it very clear that the One who would come after him… the One of whom John was not even worthy to do the simplest and most menial of tasks, namely  untying the straps of His sandals… that this One… the true and only Christ… would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and with fire” as He separated the faithful from the unfaithful, the believer from the unbeliever, the repentant from the unrepentant… just as good and wholesome wheat is separated from useless chaff that is destined to be burned in the fire.

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“Guided by a Star”

The Epiphany of Our Lord
“Guided by a Star”
January 6, 2019

Sermon Text: Matthew 2:1-12

Peace be unto you from our revealed Messiah, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

I think we have all been in the situation where… out of a fairly large group of people… we were the last to know something… the last to be aware of something… to be privy to some information.  And when we eventually find out and share the same with others declaring “Who knew?” … all of a sudden people start raising their hands or otherwise acknowledging… admitting… that they did… that they already knew.

Thankfully, in most cases, what counts is knowing, whenever that may take place. Earlier for some… later for others… but still knowing. This certainly holds true in regard to the Christian faith. It holds true in our knowing Jesus.

Today we celebrate one of the major festivals of the church year – The Epiphany of Our Lord – where the revelation, manifestation and attestation begin in earnest.

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“With Thankfulness in Our Hearts”

The First Sunday after Christmas (C)
“With Thankfulness in Our Hearts”
December 16, 2018

Sermon Text: Colossians 3:16-17, Luke 2:22-40

Today’s Gospel lesson declares, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)  So far, our text.

Peace be unto you from the Savior of the World, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

And this my friends, in light of the great love and mercy God our Father has shown toward us in sending His only begotten Son, our Savior… Jesus… into the world.

In fact, we just celebrated Christ’s holy nativity. We did so on Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day and in reality, it never ends… our celebration, that is… and our thankfulness… they know no end.

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“The Glory of the Lord”

The Nativity of our Lord – Christmas Day
“The Glory of the Lord
December 25, 2018

Sermon Text: John 1:1-14

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from the Prince of Peace, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

Another day. Another service. Same occasion. Same celebration. And for those reasons as well as countless others, the number of people in church on Christmas Day is low. Look around you.

Why come in the day… early in the day no less… when we were here last night… worshipping the Christ Child… beholding the glory of the Lord… beholding the Savior of the World and our salvation as it beautifully unfolds?

Another day. Another service. Same occasion. Same celebration and yet were we to be in church every hour of the day for all of the days of our life, we could not begin to exhaust our considering the magnitude of this event… the intricacies of the event… and the implications of the same.

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“Es Ist Ein’ Ros’ Entsprungen”

The Nativity of our Lord – Christmas Eve
Es Ist Ein’ Ros’ Entsprungen”
December 24, 2018

Sermon Text: Isaiah 11:1-2

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from the Prince of Peace, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

A blessed Christmas Eve to you all! The Prophet Isaiah foretold,

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)

And so it came to be on a starry night… that first Christmas night… in the little town of Bethlehem that all this came to be. The shoot… the branch that shall bear fruit and flower now appeared. A beautiful, delicate flower… so pure in the midst of so much ugliness and the filth of sin which clung to all mankind… covered all mankind.

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“Are You the One?”

The Third Sunday in Advent (C)
“Are You the One?”
December 16, 2018
Sermon Text: Luke 7:18-28

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,

“The only thing constant is change.” So, the old adage goes. And I do mean old… really old. It actually dates back some 500 years before Christ and is attributed to the Greek philosopher, Hericlitus of Ephesus. “Panta rhei” is his famous quote in Greek… everything flows… everything is in flux.

And we have certainly seen this in the world around us with all of the constant change… and at warp speed no less. Oh, how our culture has changed… how society has changed.

The time of John the Baptist was a difficult time. Life was hard. Everyday living… hard. Add to that being under the weight of Roman oppression. It was a tough existence… it was literally tough to exist. Many didn’t… not for long that is. And for John, well, his prison days would soon be over as he is martyred for his faith… martyred for speaking the truth.

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