“Come Lord Jesus”

The Seventh Sunday of Easter (C)
“Come Lord Jesus”
June 2, 2019

Sermon Text: Revelation 22:12-17, 20

 Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our risen and ascended Lord Jesus. Amen.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This is the last Sunday of the Easter Season and as you probably have noticed, our readings from God’s Holy Word during these past seven weeks have been, well, a little unusual.

First of all, we have had no Old Testament readings. Rather, we have been hearing about the wonderful work of the Lord through the Apostles and the early Christian Church, recorded for us in the Book of Acts.

Also, these past Sundays, we have had a reading from the Book of Revelation providing us with important information about this period… this season… in which we now live.

Many think it is all future stuff, but it is not. Rather, it vividly speaks of the season… the period between Christ’s ascension into heaven (which we celebrated this past Thursday) and Christ’s return in all His glory to judge the living and the dead which we shall likewise celebrate so very soon.

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“A Woman Named Lydia”

The Sixth Sunday of Easter (Series C)
“A Woman Named Lydia”
May 25, 2019

Sermon Text: Acts 16:9-15, Revelation 21:9–14, 21–27

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,

We have before us today a wonderful account of the Gospel message at work… the power of God’s Word (and His Word alone) to bring people to saving faith… faith in their Savior… our Savior… Jesus Christ in Whom alone and by Whose merits alone we have been saved from eternal destruction, made children of God and are now heirs of His eternal kingdom.

In our text, it is a woman named Lydia who is brought to faith in Jesus as her Savior. She is described as being among the sebo,menoi to.n qeo,n –  that is the “God fearers” … those who revered God… those who believed that there is but one God… unlike the many false gods worshipped by the majority of people of this region and throughout the then civilized world.

We are told that Lydia “just happens to be” with a group of women who had come together it says right by the side of a river where the Apostle Paul and the others had gone to pray on the Sabbath.

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“Do You See What I See”

The Fifth Sunday of Easter (C)
“Do You See What I See”
May 19, 2019

Sermon Text: Revelation 21:1-5

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from our risen Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.  Amen.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today… as with all days and certainly on Sundays… we bask in the glory of Easter morning and the greatest of news that our Lord Jesus has conquered sin, death and the devil once… for all!

But this, the greatest of news, is not the only wonderful piece of information which we find recorded in God’s Holy Word.  Indeed, with the resurrection of our Savior, it really has been a case of more good news one right after another… on infinitum… which is exactly what will happen… the good news will never cease. It will continue forever.

And that, my friends, is in spite of some less than positive news that you and I may be told…. some less than positive news which you and I may have to deal with along the way… while we sojourn here on earth for but a little while longer.

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“Christ is Still the Lord of His Church”

Easter 2 – (Series C)
“Christ is Still the Lord of His Church”
April 28, 2019

Sermon Text: Revelation 1:4-18

So it wasn’t long after we celebrated the wonderful Feast of Easter and Christ’s resurrection from the dead that we were treated to the news of the bombings of churches in Sri Lanka by militant Muslims that killed over 250 people and injured hundreds more.  Not long after that, insult was added to injury as the media in lockstep treated the attacks as an attack on humanity in general, and not an attack on Christians in particular just as they were celebrating the high feast in our Church Year.

If we have been in careful study of the words of Christ, we should not be surprised by any of this.  “You are IN the world, not OF the world,” He said.  “If they hated me, they will hate you,” He promised.  We in the western world have been somewhat spoiled over the past few centuries.  We have grown up watching respectful news reporting and the kind thoughts of society around us towards our worship and activities.  Our schools and places of work give us holidays for our High Feast days.  But over the course of thousands of years, taking the whole world into account, what we have experienced is the exception to the rule.  Generally speaking, from Abel being murdered by Cain to Noah and his family being saved all by themselves to lonely Old Testament Israel in the middle of the Middle East to Rome’s persecution of the first Christians to Christians in the 20th century being martyred by the tens of thousands by Muslims in Africa and Communists in Russia and China to what we see today, the true people of God have been an outnumbered, misunderstood, and persecuted minority.  We should not be surprised by what we are seeing, for it is really just a sad return to what is normal in the world.

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“Fear God and Give Him Glory”

The Festival of the Reformation
“Fear God and Give Him Glory”
October 28, 2018

Sermon Text: Revelation 14:6-7

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,

It is the vision of John… St. John… what he is given the great privilege of seeing as to what is, and what is to come… that which will take place and is taking place throughout these latter days in which we live… in this time between Christ’s ascension into heaven and His glorious return on the last day.

Let us then, under the gracious guidance of the Holy Spirit, consider for a few minutes what John sees and hears. And this in two simple passages which, interestingly enough, clearly present the two key messages that we find in all of Holy Scripture… namely, Law and Gospel.

We could not pick a better day to do this than on Reformation Day. For you see, the key blessing of the same… of what came out of the Reformation… was the bringing into full light once again the Gospel of Jesus Christ… that which sinful men, churchly men no less, hid from the people… from the masses for so many years.

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“For the Healing of the Nations”

The Second Sunday after Pentecost (A)
“For the Healing of the Nations”
June 18, 2017

Sermon Text:  Matthew 9:35-10:8, Revelation 22:1-7

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,

In April of this year, seventy-two people including women and children where killed in a deadly chemical attack in Syria. Some four hundred others were seriously injured.

It was a terrible scene, a heart-breaking one, a very challenging one for medical personnel as they rushed to treat victims and were, some of them, injured as well by rubble that fell when the hospital was bombed shortly thereafter.

So many people needing help. So many people suffering. So many… in misery.

St. Matthew tells us that our beloved Savior, Christ Jesus, went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching… proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. We are also told that “when he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-36)

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