Showing posts from February, 2017

Sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, for Quinquagesima (Fifty) Sunday, "The Greatest Gift is Love"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. [Welcome to all of our Grade School children and families this morning! It’s a blessing to have your voices joining us in praise to Jesus our Lord! ] Today is the last Sunday before the church starts its season of Lent, beginning this Ash Wednesday. If you’re not familiar with it, Lent is the more somber season of reflection on the cross of Jesus, and why He had to go to the cross to suffer for our sins. It’s a time to renew the call to confess our sins to Him, humble ourselves, and to seek His forgiveness, but also a time to marvel at the greatest story of God’s love for us. In the Gospel reading, Jesus’ disciples are amazed and confused that He would have to suffer shamefully and die, in order to accomplish God’s plan. He told them this beforehand, but they couldn’t really grasp it till later. The season of Lent is also our preparation for Easter, when the mood changes from more subdued and reflective to

Sermon on Luke 8:4-15, for Sexagesima Sunday, "Faith in Honest and Good Hearts"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. The Parable of the Sower that Jesus tells today is the first of a great series of parables in the Gospel of Luke, and describes two basic reactions to His parables. He says in verse 10, before explaining the parable, “ To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. ’” You see, believers will hear and understand the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for unbelievers, they will actually confound them and they won’t understand. This is not just a matter of whether you “get it” or not right away—the disciples didn’t get the parable—but they asked questions to learn more. They were hearing the Word with “honest and good hearts”. Others tuned out or ignored the Word. This parable shows us why sometimes the Word of God is sown like a seed, and it grows and bears

Sermon on Matthew 20:1-16, for Septuagesima "Seventy" (Days before Easter), "God is Generous to all who enter"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. [Welcome to all of our Emmanuel Lutheran Preschool families! It’s a delight to have you as part of our ohana, and a blessing for our teachers to share in the joy of raising up our children in the knowledge of our Lord.] Today the parable Jesus tells gives us a surprise about how the kingdom of heaven works. But you’ll have to step out of the world of full-time employment for a moment to get the right picture. The people in the parable are “day-laborers” with no contract except a one day agreement for one day’s work and one day’s wage. At least the first to arrive on the job have that agreement. The ones who come later only have a promise to be paid “whatever is right.” How uncertain would life be if our employment was day to day, not on a more permanent basis? One thing is for sure, no work = no pay = no food. Consider the life or death value of that denarius—one day’s wage—in the story.

Sermon on Matthew 17:1-9, for theTransfiguration of our Lord, "Jesus Only"

Sermon Outline: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. ·          Who can you call down from heaven to your attention, or to pay honor to you? Underscores the power and identity of Jesus. Son of God. ·          Note Moses and Elijah— alive . Promise of resurrection. Who they were… ·          After six days …setting, time reference, Moses, and events parallel one of Moses’ own mountaintop encounters with God in Ex. 24, the first time he received the stone tablets. Whether or not this intends for us to see the similarities, Moses-Law + Elijah-Prophets = represent OT, together pointing to and in service to Jesus ·          Moses—prophecies of a greater prophet, like him, to be raised up from among them and to speak God’s Word, and we must listen to Him. Elijah—mountaintop encounter with God, hidden in the cave. Ministry of mighty miracles, raising the dead son of a widow (like Jesus would later do for the widow at Nain, and Jairus’ daughte