“Voiding the Sacred and Keeping the Silly”

“Voiding the Sacred and Keeping the Silly”  Mark 7:1-13
The 14th Sunday after Pentecost (B)  8/26/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

I have seen it a number of times lately on Facebook, the same disturbing post of a so-called pastor dancing around with a poisonous snake in a pseudo-Christian ritualistic event, getting all worked up into a frenzy… as is the tradition… with all the other people present. It was quite the sight.

The snake bites the man in the ear. I know, quite a shock, right? And this preacher man keeps dancing, exclaiming that it’s alright, it’s all good, God will protect him from any ill effect. That is, until the guy starts staggering and collapses into the arms of some of his parishioners who went from being deliriously caught up in the ritual to being incredibly shocked, sober and worried. Silly people.

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“The High Price of Truth”

“The High Price of Truth”  Mark 6:14-29
The 8th Sunday after Pentecost (B)  7/8/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

They are the foundation of any solid relationship. And the closer the relationship, the more important, critical and essential they are. Be it in a marriage, in the life of a family, certainly in a church family, and any lasting friendship.

I am speaking about the elements of trust and truth. Over the past several weeks in our worship services and the sermons preached, we have been considering one’s trust in the Lord and now in the Gospel text before us, it is all about having and living in God’s Truth.

The fact of the matter is… as with so many other things in our life… the issue really is black and white… very clear cut. Not that you would know it by the world, our society and prevailing culture.

Simply put – there is truth and there are lies. The one, singular… truth… the other, plural… lies… and many of them. As there are countless shades of gray, so there are countless shades of lies… with none of them being true white. In one way or another, they are off color, tainted and tinted.

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“In the Midst of It All”

“In the Midst of It All”  Mark 5:21-43
The 6th Sunday after Pentecost (B) 7/1/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

“It doesn’t work. Praying to Jesus doesn’t work. It doesn’t help” many will say… “certainly not all of the time if any of the time one calls upon Him.”

And they will list off the people whom the Lord did not heal… including themselves possibly… as well as individuals… loved ones… whom they asked be spared from dying and this, to no avail.

So… you have those who will completely dismiss the Gospel text before us as pure fiction… and those who cannot come to terms with it… with the seeming incongruity of our Lord’s actions as to who gets helped and healed and who does not.

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“The Wind and the Waves”

“The Wind and the Waves”  Mark 4:35-41
The 5th Sunday after Pentecost (B)  6/24/18
Pastor Mark H. Hein, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

Lord do you not care that I am going through this horrendous experience? Do you not care that I am suffering, in pain or in anguish? Do you not care that I mourn the loss of a loved one? Do you not care that I see no way out of a particular situation? Do you not care that I am sinking in despair, “sinking and taking on water” much like that boat the disciples were on?

“Do you not care?” That is what the Twelve asked as they woke our Lord up from what clearly was a sound sleep. Really Peter? James, John… all of you? You are asking the very Son of God,  God incarnate, God in the flesh, God with you, God right there  with you in the same boat, He who is the Alpha and Omega… if He cares?

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“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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