Showing posts from June, 2015

Sermon on Job 38:1-11, for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost, Father's Day, "The Immense and Human-sized God"

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). In the Name of the Father of Lights, and of Jesus Christ His Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Father’s day, like Mother’s Day, is not really a “church holiday”, but a national holiday that’s always on a Sunday. Even though it’s not a church festival, per se, God’s Word and the Church obviously has much good to say about the roles of fathers and mothers. But for some people, they can also be painful or awkward days for many reasons—we’ve never had a father in our life, or the father we had was bad, or because you were never able to be the father you wanted to be, or because I have fallen far short of my hopes and desires in being the “ideal dad.” But whether it awakens painful memories and awkwardness, or whether it fills you with great respect or admiration for a wonderful earthly father, for whom you are thankful,

Sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, "Body and Home"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul uses the analogy of a tent to describe life in our earthly body. Not everybody loves tent camping, but for many it’s a fun, summer family activity. But even die-hard campers—have stories of the frustrations of tent-living—floods and leaks, mosquitoes, cooking problems or food issues. And mostly we can laugh about them—because tent living is usually no more than a temporary vacation for us. But for Old Testament Israel, for 40 years, a whole generation of hundreds of thousands of people lived in tents on the move. Generations of Israelites afterward were to commemorate this in the Feast of Tabernacles or “Tents”, when they would live in a tent for one week, as a reminder of how God preserved Israel through the 40 years in the wilderness. The 40 years was no “fun camping trip” that could be cut short when things got uncomfortable and they wanted to head home early for the comforts of a

Sermon on the Service of the Sacrament, for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, "Worship Instruction: Why we do what we do, part 2"

Last week we talked about worship and the reason why we do what we do. We reviewed the order and purpose for the first half or more of the worship service, called the Service of the Word. We talked about the theology of worship, and how worship is like a “W”, not an “M”—because worship begins and ends with God and His gifts that flow down to us, and we return our thanks and praise to Him. Worship is not an “M” because it does not begin or end with, or center around me—but is initiated and sustained by the blessings of God’s gifts. Carrying that same thought into our teaching today, we are going to look at the second part of the worship Service, the Service of the Sacrament. In the Service of the Word God serves us through Jesus’ words, which give eternal life. In the Service of the Sacrament, God serves us through Jesus’ body and blood, given in the Lord’s Supper. Before we dive fully into discussing the Service of the Sacrament, let’s pause and look at three items you should al