“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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“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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“Where Do You Get that Living Water?”

The Third Sunday in Lent

“Where Do You Get that Living Water?”

March 19, 2017

Sermon Text: John 4:5-26

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,

To say the least, she was intrigued by what this Jew had to say to her. Amazed first that he even spoke to her. A man speaking to a woman who was not his wife or kin and this, out in public. And then there was the fact that Jews did not speak to Samaritans and vice versa.

No surprise really because who we are talking about here is our Savior, Jesus, who out of great love and mercy breaks down, breaks through, ignores and abolishes all barriers that stand in the way between Himself and us and in this case, between Himself and this woman.

A woman that He cares greatly about as is seen in what He does and says here… His concern for her spiritual welfare… her eternal life… and those, all those, who she will speak with and tell about this Jesus… not to mention those, all those, who have heard and will hear this account down through the centuries to the very end of time… that which we are considering right now under the gracious guidance of God the Holy Spirit.

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“Before We Were Born”

The Second Sunday after Epiphany (A)

“Before We Were Born”

January 15, 2017

Sermon Text: Isaiah 49:1-7, John 1:29-42a

Peace be unto you from the One who is God incarnate, our Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Prophet Isaiah declares, “The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away.” (Isaiah 49:1-2)

Isaiah paints the picture of a divine quiver or case strapped to the Lord God Almighty and filled with arrows of His making, people of His making, each one there for a purpose, yet unknown, until the Lord God sends it out… sends him or her out.

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If Anyone Love Me

The Day of Pentecost

Sermon Text: John 14:23-31

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

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

He was speaking to Judas… at the beginning of our Gospel text that is. It says that “Jesus answered him” but the “him” is not the Judas who betrayed our Lord. It is most likely the other disciple Judas, the son of James, who with the other Apostles is listening to our Savior speak of His impending ascension and what that means for them and for the world.

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