Showing posts from March, 2016

Sermon on Luke 24:1-12, for Easter, The Resurrection of our Lord, "More than Seeing"

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! When we see the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, what do we see? Someone could be a smart aleck, and say “None of us ‘ saw’ the resurrection of Jesus.” But neither did you see the birth or death of George Washington, or Caesar crossing Rubicon River to provoke revolution in the Roman Empire. But of course none of us can “see” anything that happened outside our natural lifetime, except to believe the reports of reliable historians and eyewitnesses. And so today you hear the reliable report of the historian and Gospel writer Luke, who along with hundreds of eyewitnesses, records for us the unmistakable miracle of Jesus rising from death, and walking out of His now empty tomb, in a living, physical body. So what do you “see” or “perceive” about this historical event, that changed world history for the past 2,000 years? Some of what we can see, the first eyewitnesses were unable to perceive on that first Sunday morning. They did not p

Sermon on Luke 23, for the Sunday of the Passion, "Unbreakable"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. The cross of Jesus Christ is the convergence, the intersection, and climax of all the Old Testament prophecy, all of God’s plan of salvation, coming to realization in a crucial moment, the excruciating hours of obedience, and self-sacrifice. The Gospel reading from Luke documents the events as they unfold. We see how Jesus was treated, and we see how He, in return, treated those who accused, mocked, and mistreated Him. Jesus’ actions put flesh onto the words of Psalm 103:8-12, “ The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us .” At th

Sermon on Philippians 3:2-14, for the 5th Sunday in Lent, "Surpassing Worth"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Sometimes in life it seems like we get obsessed with counting. There are all sorts of things we might count or keep track of, for all sorts of reasons. Maybe counting beans, maybe counting our money, balancing and checking it. Maybe we are counting the days—till we finish school, graduate, move somewhere, have a baby, find out who the new president will be. Maybe counting the achievements we’ve made, or the hurts we’ve felt, or the possessions we’ve acquired, with a sideways glance to seem how we measure up to someone else. We use numbers and quantities, measurements and comparisons. We search for advantage to ourselves, counting up our gains, our profits, our rewards. Or we count up our losses, and worry what to do about them. Counting life this way can be exhausting. Or it can fill us with pride and arrogance. It depends whether we’ve counted up ourselves on the winning or losing end. Paul knew some cou

"The Father's Love", a hymn about the parable in Luke 15:11-32, the Prodigal or Lost Son.

The Father’s Love Meter 48 44 88 Luke 15, the Parable of the Father’s Love 1. I ran away My Father’s love I did betray As if I said “If you were dead I’d take it all and run from home I’d see the world—there I would roam” 2. He gave to me It came from His own property I spent it all I felt the fall Down to the bottom with the swine God, can it be? This life is mine? 3. If only I Could earn your love then I might try I’d work it off Redeem myself But I could never be your son Oh dear God!—what have I done? 4. But what is this? My Father welcomes with a kiss A warm embrace His smiling face This love was never earned by me Oh dear God!—Your love is free! 5. “Son welcome home! My heart finds joy you’re not alone! Please come my son We’ve just begun To celebrate the lost is found Fill up the house—and gather round!” 6. “Will you join in? Your brother has come home again. Please come my son We’ve just be