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Showing posts from June, 2008

Seeking God while He may be found, and where He has promised to be

I had a conversation with a stranger the other day that reminded me of something I had been thinking about for awhile. Part of our conversation was on how we seek God, or where we see Him revealed. The man I spoke with felt that he didn’t need to go to church to find God, but that by being out in nature, by the mountains or oceans, that God spoke to him there. This seems to be a common sentiment, and I reflected on whether or not this was true.

First I recalled passages like Psalm 19, that say: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” From this I agreed that the beauty and majesty of nature certainly reveals God’s glory and handiwork. What sort of knowledge can we gather from observing only nature and the created world (excluding the Bible)? Nature clearly teaches us that there must be a Creator, whose glory and handiwork is seen. From this we might assume that the Creator God i…

Sermon on Matthew 10:32-39, 6th Sunday after Pentecost "Losing Life & Finding It"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon text is the first part of the Gospel reading, Matthew 10:34-39. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Not the words we expect to hear from the Prince of Peace, or the one whom angels announced would bring “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” We all long for an end to warfare, and yet here the sharp words of Jesus call us to wonder: “What kind of peace does our Savior bring?” And what does He mean by bringing a sword? Is this talking about the warring between nations? We quickly find that the answer is no. The sword that Jesus brings is the division that cuts across even family lines. The division that separates even the closest relationships, because of the Gospel. The alienation that occurs between a man and hi…

Sermon on Acts 2:1-21, Pentecost

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today is the day that the Christian church remembers it’s birthday, so to speak, the day of Pentecost. Pentecost means “fiftieth.” That first Christian Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus rose from the tomb, and only 10 days after He ascended into heaven—the Christian church took off with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. At Jesus’ ascension, He reaffirmed His promise that He would send the gift of His Holy Spirit. When the disciples received this gift, they were to begin their mission as His witnesses, from Jerusalem to all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Today we’ll look more closely at that first Christian Pentecost, in our 2nd reading, Acts 2:1-21. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Pentecost truly must have been a miraculous scene, for the eyewitnesses and “earwitnesses” of this unusual event. The 12 apostles, and as…