“What is This Word?”

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (C)
“What is This Word?”
February 3, 2019

Sermon Text: Luke 4:31-44

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,

Desensitization – We all know what it means… what it entails… namely us or others having, over time, a diminished emotional response to something negative… something aversive.

A very real problem and concern in our society today is how desensitized people have become to murders and killings… to shootings and stabbings. Why? Because it happens all the time. It is seen all of the time on the news to the extent that it no longer elicits a proper response.… where it is just another occurrence and we fail to consider after a while what really happened… that real men, women and children have died… that real family members and friends are grieving, grief stricken, having lost a loved one.

Certainly, this includes the reaction of many… of most… to abortion. By and large the horror is gone… the disdain, disgust, repulsiveness of the same no longer present. We hear the numbers of babies killed in utero and that is all it is… numbers without faces, numbers without little bodies in various stages of development… various stages of being made by the very hand of God.

Continue reading ““What is This Word?””

“Done! Then, Now, Forever!”

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany (Series C)
“Done! Then, Now, Forever!”
January 27, 2019

Sermon Text: Luke 4:16-30

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,

I’d like to begin this message mentioning something that happened this week. And I do so because, as you will see, it fits perfectly into… and is incredibly connected to… today’s Gospel lesson.

Quite frankly, if we as Christians do not hear it from the pulpit, we cannot expect to hear it in public. If the called and ordained servants of the Lord are not saying something… anything… can we expect something… anything different from lay servants of the Lord… from you and all the faithful?

You probably know what took place this week in both the State of Illinois and New York State and the further condoning… the giving of additional rights and provisions for the killing, murdering and dismembering of unborn children… babies in the womb… human beings… in some cases right before their birth.

Continue reading ““Done! Then, Now, Forever!””

“The Heavens Were Opened”

The Baptism of Our Lord (Series C)
“The Heavens Were Opened”
January 13, 2019

Sermon Text: Luke 3:15-22

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,

The holy evangelist, St. Luke, certainly provides an interesting account of the baptism of our Lord. Before getting into this most holy and blessed event, he talks about the work of John the Baptist who made it clear to all that he was not the Christ… that he was not the anointed One… not the Messiah.

He was, instead the forerunner of Christ… the one who prepared the way of the Lord… the voice crying out in the wilderness.

In fact, Luke tells us that as John continued to baptize those who came out to him in the wilderness, there by the river Jordan, that he also made it very clear that the One who would come after him… the One of whom John was not even worthy to do the simplest and most menial of tasks, namely  untying the straps of His sandals… that this One… the true and only Christ… would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and with fire” as He separated the faithful from the unfaithful, the believer from the unbeliever, the repentant from the unrepentant… just as good and wholesome wheat is separated from useless chaff that is destined to be burned in the fire.

Continue reading ““The Heavens Were Opened””

“With Thankfulness in Our Hearts”

The First Sunday after Christmas (C)
“With Thankfulness in Our Hearts”
December 16, 2018

Sermon Text: Colossians 3:16-17, Luke 2:22-40

Today’s Gospel lesson declares, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)  So far, our text.

Peace be unto you from the Savior of the World, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

And this my friends, in light of the great love and mercy God our Father has shown toward us in sending His only begotten Son, our Savior… Jesus… into the world.

In fact, we just celebrated Christ’s holy nativity. We did so on Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day and in reality, it never ends… our celebration, that is… and our thankfulness… they know no end.

Continue reading ““With Thankfulness in Our Hearts””

“Are You the One?”

The Third Sunday in Advent (C)
“Are You the One?”
December 16, 2018
Sermon Text: Luke 7:18-28

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,

“The only thing constant is change.” So, the old adage goes. And I do mean old… really old. It actually dates back some 500 years before Christ and is attributed to the Greek philosopher, Hericlitus of Ephesus. “Panta rhei” is his famous quote in Greek… everything flows… everything is in flux.

And we have certainly seen this in the world around us with all of the constant change… and at warp speed no less. Oh, how our culture has changed… how society has changed.

The time of John the Baptist was a difficult time. Life was hard. Everyday living… hard. Add to that being under the weight of Roman oppression. It was a tough existence… it was literally tough to exist. Many didn’t… not for long that is. And for John, well, his prison days would soon be over as he is martyred for his faith… martyred for speaking the truth.

Continue reading ““Are You the One?””

“The Voice Still Crying in the Wilderness”

The 2nd Sunday of Advent (C)
“The Voice Still Crying in the Wilderness”
December 9, 2018

Sermon Text: Malachi 3:1-7b, Luke 3:1-14

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our Advent King, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

Amazingly, it will still catch people by surprise… the vast majority of men, women, teenagers and children who happen to be living at that time… carrying out their lives… carrying on as if this will all continue on.

It is no overstatement to say that the world will be in shock at the second coming… our victorious King, Christ Jesus, coming down from heaven at the sound of the trumpet… on the last day… with legion upon legion of His angels and all the company of heaven singing and giving glory to God in the highest.

All of this was foretold… spoken about by the voice crying in the wilderness which has resounded throughout time… right up until the end.

Continue reading ““The Voice Still Crying in the Wilderness””

“Bookends and Everything in Between”

The First Sunday in Advent (C)
“Bookends and Everything in Between”
December 2, 2018

Sermon Text: Luke 19:28-40

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our Advent King, Christ Jesus.  Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

Interesting isn’t it? To be at the beginning, and likewise see the end. To stand at the “starting line” but also have the “finish line” in clear view… plain view.

And this, having to do with our Lord’s saving mission here on earth. With a new Church Year… with the beginning of the Advent Season, we are at the start of it all.

As such, for you, me and all of Christendom, it is about the incredibly imperative preparation underway then and now for receiving the long-awaited Christ… the long-awaited Messiah… the Blessed Savior that God promised to send to our first parents covered in sin and, in turn, all who would come after them, including you and me.

Continue reading ““Bookends and Everything in Between””