“The Passion Perspective”

The Sunday of the Passion

“The Passion Perspective”

April 9, 2017

Sermon Text: Matthew 26 & 27

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,

Who doesn’t like a good movie now and then? It is a great source of entertainment. Add some buttered popcorn and a few other goodies and what more do you need?

With some movies, it makes sense just to wait until they can be rented or streamed at home. No big deal. But for cinema spectaculars, they just have to be seen… need to be seen… on the big screen. In some cases, even in an Imax theater. Talk about up-close and bigger than life!

In some of the same ways, my friends, it wouldn’t do it justice if the entire passion of our Lord was seen, viewed, considered via anything less than a way that lets us take it all in… indeed… up-close and true to life… the actual  account of the saving of all mankind as recorded in God’s Word in vividness and detail unsurpassed.

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“The Faithfulness of the Holy Spirit”

1st Sunday in Lent

“The Faithfulness of the Holy Spirit”

March 5, 2017

Sermon Text: Matthew 4:1-11

Most of the historical accounts in Scripture are stories of seemingly ordinary events played out among human beings.  There are some big events and amazing things that happen, grand battles between nations and kingdoms, confrontations between great leaders, tremendous miracles.  But all of these things usually occur within the stories of the day-to-day life of people.  You almost always have to study the events, and read what the Bible has to say about them, to see the real spiritual struggle that is always going on behind the scenes.  Seldom is the veil removed and good seen in its purest form, and evil seen in its most heinous form.

One example of this is the story of the Exodus.  The release of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt is often misunderstood because it is interpreted as being a struggle between Israel and Egypt, or Moses and Pharaoh, or even some kind of metaphor of slavery and freedom.  The only way to get to the heart of what the Exodus was all about is to see it as a no-holds-barred war between the Lord and Satan.  Only by looking behind the veil of the human actors and getting to that core struggle can you understand what that book is all about.

This is seen even more clearly in the book of Esther, which is another account of the Lord’s miraculous rescue of His people, even though God is never mentioned once in that entire book.  But He is there, working through means, as He always does, keeping His promise to His people and protecting them from His enemies and their enemies.  Only when you see past the veil can you understand what that book is all about.

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“Spattered in Blood”

The Transfiguration of Our Lord

“Spattered in Blood”

February 26, 2017

 Sermon Text: Exodus 24:8–18, Matthew 17:1–9    

 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,

Quite a contrast we have before us this morning. Actually several contrasts that we would do well to consider and take to heart under the gracious guidance of God the Holy Spirit.

Probably though, it would first be good to do what is sometimes done at the beginning of television shows where it is announced that “viewer discretion” is called for because of the graphic nature of what will be shown.

We read in our Exodus text, “And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you.” (Exodus 24:8)

Blood dripping down the clothes of the men, women and children gathered there. Doesn’t get more graphic than that. The people of Israel spattered in blood… the blood of the sacrifice made at the base of Mount Sinai. That, indeed, was how a covenant was made, enacted and sealed. It was literally “sealed in blood”… in the shedding of blood.

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“In Case You Were Wondering”

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany (A)

“In Case You Were Wondering”

February 5, 2017

Sermon Text: Matthew 5:17-20

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

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

When you come right down to it, we are no different sitting here this morning in the house of the Lord, hearing the Word of the Lord, than those who were actually sitting with Christ back then… the Twelve and whoever else was present… as He, Jesus, the living Word of God, spoke to them.

We are no different in wanting to hear what He had to say… in seeking to understand what all of it means, including the true meaning and import of Christ’s coming… what He said He would do and what He actually did do… for us… for our salvation.

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“The Word of the Cross” – Part Two

The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (A)

“The Word of the Cross” – Part Two

January 29, 2017

Sermon Text: Micah 6:1–8, 1 Corinthians 1:18–31, Matthew 5:1–12

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

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

It is deafening what we hear all around us. The chatter and the clatter have certainly reached epic proportions. And this involving so many people… some cheering, others jeering… some tearing up… others fed up… some outraged, some incensed, some emboldened, some bewildered, some worried and fearful… and in many cases, for the exact opposite reasons as others.

A lot of people talking, but few really listening… to others, each other, out of a sincere desire to know and really understand where another individual, a fellow human being is coming from.

A lot of people talking, but few listening and this, especially in regard to the Lord our God and what He is saying. Notice, that is not past tense, for I am not only referring to what God has said in the past, but here and now and what He will say in future, for however many days there is left here on earth.

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“Do You Not Know?”

The Baptism of Our Lord
“Do You Not Know?”
January 8, 2017
Sermon Text: Romans 6:1–11, Matthew 3:13–17

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

Dearly Beloved of the Lord,

When it comes to running a dairy farm, playing the cello, or operating a bulldozer, I haven’t a clue what to do… even though I might think I do to varying degrees. How many times have we heard it said and have said it ourselves, “How hard can it be?”

Well, about that. Thomas Sowell once said, “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

It is true. The problem is, few are willing to find out… to pursue such knowledge, that is… to know… to investigate the extent of their ignorance on any given subject. And this could not be more the case then when it comes to one’s religious understanding and beliefs… what they believe and why they believe it.

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The Truly Blessed

All Saints’ Day (C)

Sermon Text: Matthew 5:1-12

Peace be unto you from our Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Rejoice and be glad!” It is what we just sang, but more importantly, it is what our Lord just said in our Gospel lesson and quite frankly, is echoed throughout Holy Scripture.

“Rejoice and be glad!” Now… this minute… this hour… this day… everyday of your life. From the moment of your birth… certainly your “second birth” in the waters of Holy Baptism… and on… infinitum.

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