Showing posts from November, 2012

Sermon on Deuteronomy 26:1-11 & Luke 12:13-21, for Thanksgiving Eve, "In our hand!"

Sermon Outline: ·          Responsive OT reading: festival of Pentecost, bring basket of grain and spoke the recitation. Firstfruits. Confession of God’s fulfilled promises—in the promised land. All blessings from the hand of the Lord. Training them to lift up their hands to God, so they see where the blessing comes from, and to return a portion to Him as a reminder that it all belongs to Him. ·          Learning giving as a child: first money placed in your hand—offering. Then from your allowance; chores. Really the money was never ours in the first place, but our parents put it in our hands to teach us giving, and we in turn used our hands to give back to God. In a similar way, does not God put all our blessings in our hands? Whether purely receiving as a young child who did nothing for it, or through the work and labor of our hands, as in a child doing their chores, God is ultimately the giver and supplier of everything we have and possess. Both cases: learning to handle what

Sermon on Jude 20-25, for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, "Presented Blameless"

Sermon Outline: ·          Jude, half-brother of our Lord. Contend for the faith . False teachers arising. Lawlessness, sensuality, perverting the grace of Christ. ·          20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit… To know true from false we must know what the true faith is. How to recognize a fraud? Be intimately familiar with the original, genuine, authentic article. Build yourselves up in the true faith. Take advantage of Bible studies offered; dig in the Word; ask questions; discuss; read; pray in the Holy Spirit for understanding and test your knowledge against the Word; fellowship—not alone (greater temptation to error). ·          Then we will be able to contend; to guard against false teaching. Watchfulness. Not blind to the danger of error—can lead to shipwrecking our faith; stir up doubts and wavering; fall into sin and temptation. ·          21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the me

Sermon on 1 Kings 17:8-16, for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, "God's Provision"

·          Widow at Zarephath—hard for most of us to approach the severity and desperation of her situation. Any of us who has more than a dollar to our name would be better off than her. No safety-net, social programs. Poverty in the extreme. “End of her rope.” “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” At the needed hour, at the last hour for help, God provided the answer for her need. ·          Have you ever felt “at the end of your rope?” Perhaps very few of us could compare our financial situation to the widow’s desperate need—but have you been down and out, brokenhearted, or despairing? The help you needed seemed nowhere to be found? ·          We are reminded by the Bible that Jesus came to help just such people. Raised the son of the widow at Nain; praised the faith of the widow w

Sermon on Matthew 5:6, for All Saints' Day, "Hungry and Thirsty for Righteousness"

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Are you hungry? How hungry? Just need a snack to take the edge off your hunger? Or do you have a total starving hunger for a real feast? What kind of meal will you find here at Emmanuel Lutheran Church? The food on the menu is not the kind you will find elsewhere, and the eating is a little different from what you’re used to. You drink through your skin and your ears, and you eat with your ears and mouth, and you digest with your heart and mind. The 1st Course was served in confession and absolution—you come with a bag of spoiled food—sins, wrongs, hurts, guilt and shame. We dumped it out in confession, laying that sin and guilt before God, until we had an empty sack. The heart and mind growls and aches from emptiness. Not the kind of hunger pains you’re used to. It’s a longing for things to be right again, a sadness about the wrongs you’ve done, or the hurts you’ve suffered, or the brokenne