Showing posts from November, 2013

Sermon on Luke 23:27-43, for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, "Remember me"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. As we heard Luke’s account of Jesus’ death on the cross, I’m struck by the deep and powerful mystery of it. The sheer otherworldliness of Jesus’ love, and yet the deep humanity of His suffering. It commands our attention and can’t help but leave us changed, even at the mere retelling of it. The multitude of people who originally saw these events also could not help but be affected by it. Some began the day hating and scorning Jesus, but ended it in remorse and distress (23:48), and in some cases even repentance—most notably in the criminal who turned in the end to Jesus. Others only amped up their ridicule and rejection of Him. So like magnets, people were either drawn to Him, or repulsed by Him. And that day did not finish without much deep searching of hearts—even if many still did not receive Him. May we all, with heartfelt repentance like the criminal on the cross, confess our guil

Sermon on Luke 21:5-8, for the 26th Sunday after Pentecost, "The King of Our Redemption"

Sermon Outline: ·          Today is the 2 nd last Sunday of the church year, before we start the new church year with the season of Advent. At the end of the church year, and beginning of the next, themes turn to the final judgment, the end of time, and Jesus’ return. Jesus teaches in the Gospel reading about the signs of the end. And they’re not pretty. There’s the total destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the coming of false christs and false prophets, wars, natural disasters, persecution for the faith, the siege of Jerusalem, death, slavery, signs in the heavens and people fainting with fear for the things that are coming on the world. ·          Did Jesus paint such a frightening picture, to terrify us and put fear in our hearts? One might wonder, at first glance. But upon closer examination, Jesus says precisely, “When you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified , for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.” Do not be terrified. He inst

Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12, for All Saints' Day, "Blessed are..."

Sermon Outline: ·          The Beatitudes—describes the highest blessing, each begin with “blessed are…” Observations—place and role in the Gospel: opening words of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, perhaps most famous, after the Lord’s Prayer. Addressed to Jesus’ disciples. Kingdom of heaven—is not just a future reality, but present-future . Tension between the now and not yet . (epistle: “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared” 1 John 3:2). Sense of being, but still becoming something greater. Jesus in early chs of Matthew is the King of this kingdom of heaven, created through His teaching. Visit of wise men, gifts for king, John’s preaching: “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”, and then Jesus preaching the same, preceding opening of Sermon on the Mount, and Beatitudes. ·          9 Beatitudes. Simple structure: Blessed are_____, and why are they blessed. 1 st & 8 th form bookends around the first 8. “Blessed are the poor in