“Our True Family”

“Our True Family” Mark 3:20-35
Pentecost 3 (B)  6/10/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

One would expect it from the world and those who are of the world… the “worldly” if you will. But it is another thing when the source of opposition in your life and mine… in what we are doing… what we are seeking to do as Christians… comes from one’s own family… from one’s own flesh and blood.

The truth is, every Christian will experience opposition that will literally hit home… emanate from the home or close to home… from one’s own family… loved ones who are blinded by sin and unbelief… whose understanding of God’s Word is marginal twisted and skewed… those who have been spiritually led astray or have led themselves astray.

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“Joyous Trembling”

“Joyous Trembling” – Mark 16:1-8

The Resurrection of Our Lord (B)  4/1/18

Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

“Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

It would be safe to say that we have all had close encounters that left us more than a little shaken… trembling even. And this realizing what could have been and by all indications, should have been. Where we are somewhat bewildered and ask ourselves, “Did that just happen?”

What a whirlwind it must have been for Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome who St. Mark speaks about in this Easter text.

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“He Wouldn’t Come Down”

“He Wouldn’t Come Down”Mark 15:1-47

Sermon Notes – Palm Sunday (B)  3/25/18

Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

“If I only knew” How many times have we said, thought this? And most times having to do with averting that which caused us heartaches, headaches, pain, problems, and even very serious consequences of our actions. In contrast to this…

The Son of God… the Second Person of the Holy Trinity… knew. Jesus, our Lord and Savior… knew… perfectly. And not just from the beginning… at this, the start of Holy Week… what will happen as He makes His way into Jerusalem.

Not just from then, but always. The eternal Godhead knew… has always known… what would happen in the minutes, hours and days we are about to observe.

Jesus knew. And still He came not only to Jerusalem now, but to earth, then! He left the heavenly, holy realms to come to the stinking cesspool of sin here on earth… to those, all those, who were under the curse of sin – every man, women, child and infant. He took on our flesh and is about to take on our sins.

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“No Profit to Be Had”

The Second Sunday in Lent (B)
“No Profit to Be Had”
January 21, 2018

Sermon Text: Mark 8:34-38

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,

Not too long ago, we discussed in one of our weekday Bible studies, an amazing book, “Tried by Fire” by William Bennett, in which he brings before the reader many of those who lived the Christian faith, suffered for the Christian faith, died for the Christian faith and are now in glory with their Savior, Jesus Christ… who they would not abandon… who they willingly confessed to be their Lord even, with their very last breath.

It was, to say the least, a humbling book… a humbling and sobering look at so many of our brothers and sisters who remained faithful unto death and received the crown of eternal life…

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“The Wilderness Days”

The First Sunday in Lent (B)
“The Wilderness Days”
February 18, 2018

Sermon Text: James 1:12, Mark 1:9-15, Psalm 91

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)

So writes St. James in our appointed epistle text. Blessed is the man, the woman, the teenager and child who remains unmovable, unshakeable, un wavering when faced with trials and tribulations… when under fire… when under great pressure.

There is certainly enough of that to go around… the trials and tribulations … the fires and pressures of life. And this is true of everyday life for everyone, but then add on to that the trials and tribulations… the pressures and the coming under fire for being a Christian… for holding to the Christian faith… for remaining steadfast on the Word of God and the confession that Jesus is Lord.

Put quite simply, “It ain’t easy.” Because of what we face out there… in the world… in the wilderness… the “WILDER-ness” of this life which is only getting worse, crazier by the minute… insane even.

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“Terrified on Top”

The Transfiguration of Our Lord (B)
“Terrified on Top”
February 11, 2018

Sermon Text: Mark 9:2-9

Peace be unto you from our glorified Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

They followed the Master, their Master as He took them up what St. Mark describes as “a high mountain.” Not all of the Twelve, mind you. Just Peter, James and John who no doubt wondered “What are we doing? Where are we going?” And this, as they went higher and higher with Jesus leading the way.

St. Mark keeps it succinct…to the point regarding what happened to our Lord on that mountain. “He was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.” (Mark 9:2-3)

It is safe to say that Peter, James and John did not see that coming. And that is saying a lot because these three along with the rest of the disciples had certainly seen a lot already… a lot of amazing things… miraculous and truly extraordinary things involving our Lord.

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“All Who Are Sick and Demon Oppressed”

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany (B)
“All Who Are Sick and Demon Oppressed”
February 4, 2018

Sermon Text: Mark 1:29-39

Peace be unto you from our revealed Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen.

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

One of my favorite television series of all time is MASH. You just cannot get enough of the 4077th with all of their hilarious antics. But what the show was also known for is its attempt to vividly portray and depict the horrors of war and the casualties they produce. I thought they did a pretty good job of that.

In how many episodes did we see the surgical teams working non-stop for hours upon hours? All the wounded. There was actually a lot of reality behind this fictitious show. In my previous career in hospital administration, quite a few times, I saw doctors and nurses in mass casualty situations tirelessly attempting to help those in need… those who were hurting… those who were dying. They just kept on working.

A sad fact of sin entering the world is that there will never be a shortage of people who are hurting, people who are in pain and misery, people who are afflicted with various diseases and illnesses… people who are dying.

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