Showing posts from February, 2016

Sermon on Luke 13:1-9, for the 3rd Sunday in Lent, "Dismissing Danger or Finding Forgiveness?

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. Welcome to our service on this Children’s Sunday! As parents, a special concern that we no doubt share, is the safety and well-being of our children, and setting appropriate boundaries for them. This echoes God’s parental concern for us, which shows up in all of our readings today. All three readings echo a common theme—that sin is a serious danger, and that it’s predictable final outcome is death. The Old Testament reading from Ezekiel warns people to turn from their wicked ways, and names a couple of specific sins—robbery, injustice—but mainly says in general that if we continue in sin, we will die. The reading from Corinthians speaks of the bad example of the Israelites, from the beginning of the Bible, and how their worship of false gods, their sexual sins, and their grumbling and complaining against God, led to many of them dying. Then to round out the theme, Jesus answers qu

Sermon on Luke 13:31-35, for the 2nd Sunday in Lent, "The Refuge is Open"

            In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today in our Bible readings, we hear some dire warnings—first in the Old Testament reading, where the prophet Jeremiah is rejected by his own people because he spoke God’s word of judgment against the city of Jerusalem. This was some 600 years before Jesus was born. Then in our reading from Philippians, the apostle Paul writes, in the time after Jesus’ ministry, how many people still set themselves as enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ. Finally, in our Gospel reading, Jesus Himself is facing the rejection of His own people, and how they would not listen or receive God’s help. None of them sound particularly promising or hopeful. Time changes little about our willingness to listen to and hear God’s Word. Just like every generation of children goes through the same battles of disobedience and rebellion against the authority of their parents, so also every generation of mankind battles against God’

"With me Stands the Righteous One," a hymn about the Christian facing temptation with Christ

With me Stands the Righteous One author: Joshua V. Schneider meter: 78 78 77 tune: Lutheran Service Book 609, "Jesus Sinners Doth Receive",  Meinum Jesum Lass' Ich Nicht (Darmstadt) 1. Near me stood the Evil One, though from my own eyes he’s hidden. “Shall I throw the righteous down?” Mocking words into the heavens. “Will he trust in God each day; if you take his goods away?” 2. “Harm his family, harm his life, then we’ll see if he still raises; Prayer and thanks to God above lifting high his holy praises. Only when his life’s secure will his trust in You be pure.” 3. How could I perceive the cost, knowing not the war was waging; for my soul the devil wants, threats and accusations raging. “Ah dear God please tell me why, these afflictions round me lie?” 4. “Life on earth is all too short, Can’t you see this human weaken?” Father knows that we are dust, has compassion on His children Cast your burdens, every o

Sermon on Luke 4:1-13, for the 1st Sunday in Lent, "With Me Stands the Righteous One"

*Please check out an accompanying post for a hymn that I wrote that speaks of our temptations and how Christ is with us, with the same title as the sermon. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. As we study the temptation of Jesus today, let’s first discuss the significance of temptation in general, then look specifically at how this passage gives us courage and hope in the face of temptation. No story of Jesus’ life would be complete without seeing how Jesus faced temptation. The Gospels show the teachings and miracles of Jesus, they follow the trajectory of the Old Testament prophecies that Jesus lived and knew—and follow Him all the way to the cross. But had the Gospels not recorded Jesus’ temptation, we would never have seen inside His personal struggle against the devil—who tempts Jesus, just like us, to commit sin and evil. The New Testament tells us that we are blessed to have Jesus as the One who represents us

Sermon on Luke 9:28-36, for the Transfiguration of our Lord

Contrast of glory to cross Transfiguration account follows right after Jesus’ first prediction of His suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection. Read Luke 9:22-27 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”