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Showing posts from February, 2009

Sermon on Matthew 9:9-13, for Ash Wednesday "Why Does Your Teacher Eat With Tax Collectors and Sinners?"

Note: This is Part 1 of a Six-Part Lenten Sermon Series on the Subject: "Questions about Jesus that they don't want answered." Keep posted for the remainder of the series.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today with Ash Wednesday we begin the solemn season of Lent, a time for putting to death our sinful passions, a time for heightened awareness of our sin, and most importantly a time for focusing on the sufferings of Jesus Christ for our sins. The ashes on your forehead remind you that ever since the Fall into sin, the curse of death is that “Dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19b). In keeping with the focus of Lent on Jesus’ death for sinners, our Lenten sermon series that will lead us forward to Holy Week and Easter is going to be titled: “Questions about Jesus they don’t want answered.” These sermons will center around six questions about Jesus to test who He was, that come from the Gospel of Matthew. As we look…

Sermon on Mark 9:2-9, for Transfiguration Sunday, "Life in the Valley"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Our sermon text is the Gospel reading you just heard recited and summarized in song by our preschool children, the story of the Transfiguration. This special Transfiguration Sunday comes at the end of the church’s season of Epiphany, that means the special revealing of Jesus as God’s Son. Epiphany began with the visit of the Wise Men that we remembered in early January, and ends with this unparalleled revealing of Jesus’ glory in His Transfiguration. This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of our journey into Lent. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all have a religious ‘mountaintop’ experience like the disciples witnessed at the Transfiguration? High on a mountain, alone with the Lord, Peter, James, and John had an experience like no other, seeing Jesus unveil His glory as true God. Plenty of p…

Sermon on Mark 1:40-45 for the 6th Sunday after Epiphany, "I am Willing; Be Clean!"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon text is from Mark 1, the Gospel reading. Last week we saw how the weight of Jesus presence drew the crowds to Him. Today’s reading has a man cleansed from leprosy spreading the news all around, with the result that Jesus couldn’t openly enter a town to preach anymore, but had to carry on His mission outside in desert places. In any case, we’ll look more closely at the cleansing of the leper, and consider how Christ has made us clean as well. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

How does the case of the man with leprosy apply to us today? None of us have leprosy, and in recent times this debilitating and dreadful disease has been able to be treated with much success. And we don’t live under the formal system of laws of cleanliness and purity that ancient Israel had. There were precise regulations to follow about how long a person had to wait…

Sermon on Mark 1:29-39, for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany. "The Weight of Jesus"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon text is the Gospel, Mark 1:29-39, and I want you to listen and watch for how Jesus’ life impacted and transformed everyone and everything He came into contact with, and also think about how it impacts and transforms your life today. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Throughout the gospel reading, you get this sense that everything is pulled toward Jesus, almost by some invisible magnetism or gravity. He leaves the synagogue after the Sabbath, and late in the evening the whole town was drawn to Simon Peter’s house, bringing the sick and demon-possessed to Jesus to be healed. Jesus leaves very early in the morning, in the dark, to pray alone for awhile, and the disciples found Him there, saying “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus left the village so He could continue preaching unhindered. His presence just made such a deep impression on e…