“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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“Abide with Me”

“Abide with Me” – John 15:1-8
The Fifth Sunday of Easter (B)  4/29/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

Just when you think you pretty well know and understand something, you realize “O my goodness, there is more here than meets the eye… more here than what I first thought… much more, in fact!”

And if this is true in a worldly sense, it is infinitely more so in a spiritual one. Today’s Gospel text is a perfect example. You know it well, but maybe not all that well.

On the surface, it is easy to understand… the concept of our Lord Jesus Christ being the one true Vine and we the branches. But what we may miss is that there are certainly others out there… vines that is… to which people can and do attach themselves to… seeking to draw spiritual nourishment and strength… having no idea that the connection is anything but good and wholesome, but rather toxic and deadly.

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“The One Who Shepherds Us”

“The One Who Shepherds Us” – John 10:11-18
The Fourth Sunday of Easter (B)  4/22/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

Peace is knowing that a day does not go by… an hour, minute or second… where we are not attended to, closely watched over, cared for, protected and supported.

Peace is knowing that there is never a time or a place that we are defenseless and unequipped… ill-equipped… to make it through that very second, minute, hour or day.

If you and I know the reality of this, believe this, embrace and confess this… we have peace… true peace… peace of body, mind and soul… peace that is not fleeting, but ever present.

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“These Are His Words”

“These Are His Words” – Luke 24:36-49

The Third Sunday of Easter (B)  4/15/18

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

If our Lord’s Passion was a lot for the disciples to take in, so was the Resurrection… and probably even more so. To see their beloved Rabbi, the Master, alive! To go through being startled and frightened by His sudden appearance to them and then troubled by having to process this all and determine if this was real. Was it a ghost or really and truly their Savior?

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“How Can We Know?”

The Second Sunday of Easter (Series B)
“How Can We Know?”
April 8, 2017
Text: John 20:19-31

Peace to you from God our Father and from His Son, our risen Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

During the years between 1618 and 1648 the Thirty Years’ War waged across northern Europe.  It was a horrible war that dragged on and on and involved many nations.  It has been said that this was the worst war that Europe ever experienced, including World Wars 1 and 2, because of the uncertainty that it created for people.  No one knew what was coming next, but it was usually even worse than what had happened before, and on and on it went for 30 long years.

A careful study of our hymnal shows one of the results of this war.  If you study the hymns from the 16th century, the century of the Reformation, when people were discussing and debating the doctrine of the church, you will find that those hymns reflect that emphasis.  Most of our hymns that are loaded with great doctrine, the kinds of hymns that serve as sermons all by themselves, with no help, come from the 16th century.

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“Joyous Trembling”

“Joyous Trembling” – Mark 16:1-8

The Resurrection of Our Lord (B)  4/1/18

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

“Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

It would be safe to say that we have all had close encounters that left us more than a little shaken… trembling even. And this realizing what could have been and by all indications, should have been. Where we are somewhat bewildered and ask ourselves, “Did that just happen?”

What a whirlwind it must have been for Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome who St. Mark speaks about in this Easter text.

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