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Showing posts from July, 2010

Sermon on Luke 11:1-13, for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, "Your Kingdom Come!"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Several weeks ago on Father’s Day we learned what a privilege it is to come to our dear Father in prayer, as we pray “Our Father.” Today we consider how praying the words: “Thy Kingdom Come” are life-changing and world-changing. Also, how the Lord’s Prayer really draws us into the daily life of this world so that God may bring His kingdom among us also. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

“Thy Kingdom Come.” The Small Catechism explains “what does this mean?” by saying: “The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.” So we don’t make the kingdom of God come by our prayers, but we ask to become part of that kingdom. God of course is the one who brings about His kingdom, and Jesus Himself was the coming of that Kingdom. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:…

Deconstructing Icons

As summer marches on we’ve continued our Creation and Evolution Adult Bible Class. The videos have stimulated much good thought and discussion. So far we’ve surveyed how the influence of evolutionary thinking has affected morals and societal institutions like the family. We’ve looked at the creation of the universe and the grandeur of outer space, considered questions of time and the age of the universe, and how that relates to questions about when Adam was created and how sin and death came into the world. We’ve also looked at objections to the existence of God, and understanding the difference between macroevolution (the universal common descent of all living things) and microevolution (the horizontal, small-scale, observable changes within animal and plant kinds). I’ve continually emphasized that creationists and evolutionists live in the same world and have the same facts and evidence to view, but that your starting point or worldview has huge consequences for what conclusions you…

Longing to be Debt Free?

“I’m up to my eyeballs in debt!” “I just can’t make my mortgage payment anymore.” “It just seems like one unexpected expense after another!” Sound familiar? In these hard-hit economic times, most of us are feeling the pinch. If you’ve found yourself in such a situation—if you’ve got debts on cars, homes, and student loans, you probably have wished or dreamed of what it would be like to be debt free. To have all of your debts paid in full, and to be in the clear. Here at Emmanuel, we still are paying down a sizable debt on our new land for the school expansion. We too would long to be debt free. Graciously and thankfully, as of spring 2010, the school has fully paid down the debt on the classroom expansions of some years ago (the modulars) on our current property. Every debt paid is like a little victory, right?

So imagine for a moment what you would do if you were debt free. If the mortgage and the car and the credit card were all paid off. Your income would no longer be chained to…

Sermon on Luke 10:38-42 for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, "Serve Me the Good Portion!"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today’s sermon comes from Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary and Martha, and how Mary found the “good portion.” My prayer today is that you would regularly and often be served by God’s good portion! Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and
from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The scene at the house of Mary and Martha raises the question of who is the host and who is the guest? At first glance, Jesus is the guest, and Martha dutifully takes on all the work of a gracious host. Busy doing the cleaning and cooking, making the home presentable for the master teacher. She’s distracted by doing all the serving, preparing a meal. But Mary takes on a whole different view, and sees that there is a different host, and that Jesus is that host. Even more importantly, He is serving them with better “portions” than they could offer Him. While Martha was distracted preparing a meal, Mary was sitting down to a…

Sermon on Leviticus 19:9-18 and Luke 10:25-37, for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost, "Become a Neighbor!"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The sermon today is based on our two readings from the Old Testament and Gospel. Perhaps you already caught the connection between them. The command to “love your neighbor as yourself” is quoted from Leviticus chapter 19. Also, though it wasn’t part of the lawyer’s question to Jesus, Leviticus 19 shows us what it means to be a neighbor to someone else. Today we’ll see in these two readings how Jesus answers the question of “who is my neighbor?” and how they teach us to exercise love to the neighbor. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Gospel reading is a two-part dialogue between Jesus and a lawyer. Not a personal injury lawyer, but an expert in the Law of Moses—the Old Testament commands. The first part of the conversation is about what someone must do to have eternal life. The second part is when Jesus uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to …