“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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“In the Sixth Month the Angel Gabriel was Sent”

The Fourth Sunday in Advent (B)
In the Sixth Month the Angel Gabriel was Sent”
December 24, 2017

Sermon Text: Luke 1:26-38

Peace be unto you from the Messiah, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God.” (Luke 1:26)

You know, that is what angels do. They are sent… by God. They do His bidding. And Holy Scripture… both the Old and New Testament… is replete with accounts of the same… of the Lord our God sending His angels to earth… to mankind… to carry out some divine work and many times, to deliver a divine message.

St. Luke tells us this is exactly what the angel Gabriel was sent to do in the

“sixth month”… the sixth month, that is, of Elizabeth’s pregnancy… to bring a message.

No ordinary message, mind you. Which, coming from an angel, couldn’t be ordinary. It had to be extraordinary and it was… it certainly was.

It would be an understatement to say that it was a message that all the world longed to hear… all in the world, that is, who knew of the promise… who knew of the Messiah to come… and believed in the same, had faith, saving faith, that He would come. God said it. They believed it!

They counted on it. And what is more, they clung to it. They clung to the promise of a savior who was their only hope… their only hope of salvation, their only hope of being forgiven of their sins and freed from the eternal consequences of the same, namely death and damnation.

They, the faithful and all of creation, Scripture tells us, longed for the news that was, at first, only for the ears of a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.” The virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1:27)

On the orders, at the command of the Lord our God, the angel Gabriel comes to Mary… sweet Mary, blessed Mary… one of the Lord’s own… one of the Lord’s faithful… one who, yes, knew the promise… knew of the Messiah and believed He would come… but had no idea it would all unfold… that it would all come to be… in this miraculous and marvelous way…

… that she would be the mother of the Savior of the world, for the name she is to call Him, “Jesus,” declares this very thing.

… that she would be the mother of God now coming in the flesh… her flesh… of her own flesh and blood… of ours and all mankind. That this new Adam would have the very same flesh and blood as the first Adam and all of his descendants. That this new Adam, the Son of Man and Son of God, would be everyone’s true brother… yours and mine.

Mary had no idea that she would be the mother of the King of kings and Lord of lords, for as the angel declares to her, the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33)

Mary had no idea of the shepherds who would come with haste to worship the Christ Child, her Child. And after them, awhile later, wise men, bearing gifts for the Christ Child, her Child… gifts suitable for a king. A King who eventually would wear a crown of thorns.

No… for sure… Mary had no idea what was in store for her or her Son. No idea, at that point, of the manger… no idea of the cross… no idea, not a clue, that she would witness both her Son’s birth as well as His death.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God.”

And Gabriel went, because that is what angels do. They go where God sends them, do what God commands of them.

So do the faithful… the faithful man, woman, teenager and child. Those baptized in Christ. Those upon whom the Holy Spirit is working wonderfully and mightily.

They go where God sends them, do what God commands them, dedicating their whole life to the same. As did Mary, sweet Mary, blessed Mary, who upon hearing all that Gabriel said, all that God had chosen her to do… to be… simply responded, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)  Because that is what the faithful do.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God.” And then, so was Mary. And so was the Son of God whose birth we will celebrate in a matter of hours.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son… He sent His only begotten Son… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John. 3:16)

Because that is what the one true God does. Out of love… pure love… for you… for me and all the world. He has mercy upon us. He showers us with His grace. He saves us. He receives us unto Himself and gives us His Kingdom which knows no end.

Rejoice my friends. Be comforted and at peace with all that is yours in Mary’s Son. Amen.

May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, unto life everlasting. Amen.

“In the Sixth Month the Angel Gabriel was Sent”  12/24/17  The Rev. Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

“His Entrance, Our Salvation”

The First Sunday in Advent (B)
“His Entrance, Our Salvation”
December 3, 2017

Sermon Text: Mark 11:1-10, Luke 2:9-14

Peace be unto you from our Advent King, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

“And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke. 2:9-14)

 What? Too soon to read this? The account of our Lord’s birth… His coming to earth… His entry of all places, the little town of Bethlehem?

No… not really. It is not too soon at all and, in fact, this sacred reading parallels the Gospel account before us this morning, the First Sunday in Advent.

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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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Say the Word

The 2nd Sunday after Pentecost (C)

Sermon Text: Luke 7:1-10

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,

One of the true joys of hearing the Word of God, reading and studying the Word of God is the opportunity to marvel at what all you find on each and every page… in each and every chapter. It’s the opportunity to see the Word in action even in the simplest of ways. This includes what can take place after the simplest of transmissions of that Word. It is truly astounding.

By all indications, such is the case involving a certain Roman centurion who name we do not know, but certainly his actions… his faith.

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