“Loving Jesus”

The Day of Pentecost (C)
“Loving Jesus”
June 9, 2019

Sermon Text: John 14:23-24

 Peace be unto you from our loving God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

It seems so easy that even a child can do it… a baby no less… to “love Jesus,” that is. And our newest brother in Christ does exactly that right now… love Jesus. Now that he has come under the waters of Holy Baptism. Now that the he has been baptized “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

That’s it? Yes. There is nothing that we have to do or can do on our own… nothing that “coming of age” will help… to love Jesus, that is. For you see, it is all what God does… what He has done and Him alone. And because of this, to Him alone be the glory.

It is the divine Words, His Words spoken in, with and under simple water that makes all of the difference. This is true for Oliver and for us.

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“Shepherds Come and Go, But One Remains”

The Fourth Sunday of Easter (C)
“Shepherds Come and Go, But One Remains”
May 12, 2019

Sermon Text: Acts 20:17-35, John 10:22-30

Peace be unto you from our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

His work there was done. And for one last time, St. Paul speaks to the called and ordained shepherds who have taken over the ministry in Ephesus… the “elders of the church” who were carrying on… continuing on where he left off… providing Word and Sacrament to all of the precious men, women and children who, at great cost, confessed Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior.

St. Paul declares to them, “And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.” (Acts 20:25)

This shepherd… an apostle of the Lord no less… goes on to share with these pastors two important things. He reminds them of what he did during his time there… during his ministry there (for it was Paul who had established the Christian Church in Ephesus under the guidance of the Holy Spirit). And He also warns these pastors of what is coming, what they will face in the months and years to come. Fighting the good fight of faith was tough then… and it would only get tougher. Indeed, such is the life of a Christian at any point in time and certainly in these end times… our lives lived out under the cross of Jesus

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“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 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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“Preparing Our Hearts and Homes – Our Advent Journey”

“Preparing Our Hearts and Homes – Our Advent Journey”
Midweek Advent Series
“The Lighting of the Candles”
December 5, 2018

Sermon Text: John 8:2-19

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,

There is something about evening time. As darkness comes over the land, so does peace and quiet… at least significantly more so than during the hustle and bustle of the day… the workday or school day.

With the sun now setting very early, we see lights going on much earlier – street lights, car lights, home lights and, of course, Christmas lights. And although much progress has been made in the way of artificial lighting in making it appealing, it simply does not “hold a candle” to natural firelight… candlelight… with its warm glow.

We in the Christian Church certainly know about candlelight. It has been used in worship for thousands of years. And for good reason. Make no mistake about it… the use of candles… the lighting of candles… was not the idea of man. Its importance and symbolitry were not either. They are divinely prescribed and used.

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“Our Living Bread”

“Our Living Bread”  John 6:35-51
The 12th Sunday after Pentecost (B)  8/12/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

It has been said many times that one of the great benefits and blessings of the lectionary of our Lutheran Church, both the three year and the one-year series, is the continuity and connection between and among the readings of Holy Scripture. This is true regarding the readings on any given Sunday as well as the readings many times from Sunday to Sunday.

I say this because once again we see how today’s Gospel text comes on the heals of last Sunday’s and what Pastor Meyer preached about.  Namely, our Lord showing Himself to truly be the Messiah, the Savior of the Word… and this, in Word and deed.

Mighty in Word and deed, including the miraculous feeding of the five thousand and how news spread about this Jesus… how the people followed Him… pursued Him… but many, for the wrong reason.

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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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