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Showing posts from August, 2009

Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-20 for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, "The Whole Armor of God"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. In today’s Epistle reading, we’re shown what our real spiritual warfare is about, and how we arm ourselves to fight in this battle. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

When I was in high school and college, there was this fun video game where your character sat at the controls of a giant robotic suit. A small person at the seat of the controls was enclosed in a giant walking robot, heavily armored and loaded with powerful weapons. The robotic “suit” made it’s wearer incredibly strong and ready for battle with a host of nasty enemies. Paul describes the armor of God using the language of Roman military armor, which was lighter and more flexible than the bulky medieval armor that we often think of worn by “knights in shining armor”. But the armor Paul describes is not just inanimate armor plating that we lug around. The spiritual armor Paul describes i…

Sermon on Ephesians 5:22-33 for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost, "Marriage and True North"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon is based on our reading from Ephesians 5:22-33, which describes God’s holy design for marriage and family. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

An illustration really caught my attention in the informational video we showed Thursday, for this Financial Peace University program that we’re starting. Dave Ramsey, the speaker, had the audience stand up and close their eyes, and then point in the direction they thought was North. Then they opened their eyes and started laughing as everyone was pointing different directions. He held a compass and pointed to True North. His point was that your feelings aren’t a trustworthy guide to finding truth, nor do they change what the truth is, no matter how strongly we feel. Each person thought that North was in a different direction, but he said that no matter what people thought, and whether they liked it…

Sermon John 6:51-69, for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, "Eat for Life"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. In the reading from Proverbs today, Wisdom calls out to those who are simple, and says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight” (Prov. 9:5-6). Gaining wisdom is pictured as eating a meal of bread and wine. In today’s Gospel reading, the basis for the sermon, Jesus also speaks of eating, but as a way of gaining eternal life. This is the end of Jesus’ great sermon on eternal life that we’ve been reading from John 6 in several portions over the last few weeks. Here we come to the most difficult part of His sermon, the part that drove many of His hearers away. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

It’s really quite amazing, when you compare Jesus’ does in today’s reading to the popular wisdom in churches today about how to grow the church. Jesus had a crowd numbering in th…

Sermon on John 6:22-35, for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, "The End of Discontentment"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Two weeks ago we talked about the feeding of the 5,000 and the spiritual hunger that we have that is satisfied only in Christ. I read some of these same verses from our Gospel in John, but today I want to expand on the idea of discontentment, and how Jesus is the Bread of Life. Discontentment is more than just hunger. It’s dissatisfaction with what we’ve been given, and ungratefulness for the gifts we have. The Bread of Life, however, is the end of discontentment. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jesus told the crowds that followed after Him looking for another bread miracle, that they should “not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” They were spending their time and effort working for something that would leave them empty. They took His question and said, ok, well if…

Psalm 8, "What is man, that you are mindful of him?"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Psalm 8 is a beautiful Psalm, because it draws our attention at the same time to the majesty of God in all His works of creation, and the amazing attention that He still gives to mankind. David marvels at the creation: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” The greatness, the expansiveness, and beauty of creation calls our attention to the pure majesty of Our Lord God. Majesty speaks of His powerful and Kingly rule over all things. His splendor and wisdom. Creation bears witness to God’s handiwork, and the infinite wisdom that ordered the laws of nature to work like a finely tuned clock, to serve life and all creation.

The most massive stars in the universe, some as much as 1,000 times the diameter of our own sun, are the work of His fingers. And equally the wor…