“The Commandment Connection”

The Sixth Sunday of Easter (A)

“The Commandment Connection”

May 21, 2017

Sermon Text: John 14:15-21

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

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

It is a literary device that has been used by many writers for thousands of years which, when one is aware of it, can bring even greater meaning and understanding to what is being said.

It is called a “chiasm” or “chiastic structure” that was employed by both the writers of the Old as well as the New Testament… all under the gracious guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Please turn with me to the Gospel lesson located on the back of today’s bulletin. The first verse… verse fifteen reads, [Jesus said:] “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)  If you would like, you can put a pen or pencil line at the end of the verse.

Then drop down to the last verse… verse twenty-one, and put a line at the start of it where our Savior says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

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“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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