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Showing posts from January, 2009

Sermon on Jonah 3:1-5,10, for the Third Sunday after Epiphany, "God's Constant Mercy"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon text is from the book of Jonah 3:1-5,10. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our sermon text begins after Jonah’s famous three day ordeal in the belly of the great fish or whale, a sign that Jesus said foreshadowed His own three day death and burial. Jonah was spit out on the land and called a second time to the task from which he had run. He wasn’t going to escape the work that God had laid for him. Jonah was a reluctant worker, but he learned to obey after his experience with the fish. God’s command was greater than his fear or unwillingness to do his task. He obeyed after the Lord commanded him a second time to go to Nineveh. We also ought to act according to God’s will and word, and not undertake anything without God’s Word.

So why was Jonah so reluctant in his task? A brief word about the city of Nineveh. It was the capital of the Ass…

Sermon on Philippians 2:15-16a, for Life Sunday, "The Word of Life"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today many churches across the country are observing Life Sunday, and putting a special emphasis on the life that God has granted to us, the value He places on it, and the calling He has given to us in living out our lives. The sermon text, as found in the special bulletin insert, is Philippians 2:15-16a: “Be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.” Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

First of all, we might ask, “Why be concerned about life issues?” There are a variety of answers to that question. Not least among them is that life is constantly being devalued around us, or not valued at all. But we have been given a calling to be “blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a croo…

Sermon on Isaiah 42:1-7, for the Baptism of Our Lord, "He Brings Forth Justice"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon text is Isaiah 42:1-7, the first of what are called the “Servant Songs” of Isaiah. The Servant Songs are a series of prophecies where God speaks about His chosen servant, who would bring redemption and God’s work upon the earth. They speak about the Messiah or the Christ, and the description is sometimes referred to as the “Suffering Servant,” because Isaiah prophecies in detail about His crucifixion. Today we’re going to look at how Jesus, the Suffering Servant brings justice to the earth. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

He Brings Forth Justice...Being on the receiving end of justice can produce a variety of responses. Are we getting what we justly deserve? Then justice might evoke resignation or a burdening sense of guilt. Maybe our “justice” is that we’ve made our own bed to lie in; we’ve dug our own pit, etc. Justice can mean the e…

Sermon on John 1:1-18, for the 2nd Sunday after Christmas, "The Light Shines in the Darkness"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon text is the introduction to the Gospel according to John, chapter 1:1-18. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Holy Spirit inspired John to begin the Gospel with words that clearly echo another well-known passage of Scripture. John wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” What does John 1:1 echo? Genesis 1:1, the first words of the Bible. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” What are we to make of this connection? This is teaching us that the Word, [Capital ‘W’], was together with God at the very beginning of creation, and thus is eternal. The Word, is also at the same time together with God, and in fact is God. Yet they are in some way distinguished from each other, because John makes it clear that the Word was “with God in the beginning.” As an individual, you don’t…