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Showing posts from August, 2017

Sermon on Genesis 4:1-15, for the 11th Sunday after Trinity (1 Year Lectionary), "My Brother's Keeper"

Note: for the full audio of the sermon, check out my podcast. This is a limited outline.
•Cain and Abel—first brothers on earth, prototype of our conflicts, of worship of God, of temptation and the nature of our hearts under sin.
•When Adam and Eve sinned, they gained something they didn’t have before—a knowledge of evil; and the persistent, slavish impulse to give in to it. We’ve carried that same impulse and slavery ever since. Cain is ruled over by it. “sin doesn’t take long to go right to the bottom” (Brandt).
•Rejected offering. Why? Cain’s anger, and God’s warning. Genesis 4:7 “ If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Sin personified. It’s desire is contrary to you. Sin and disobedience is against our own interest, but we are blind to that. We propel ourselves further in, without consideration to our harm (physical, mental, emotional, moral, spiritual) or harm to…

Sermon on Luke 19:41-48, for the 10th Sunday after Trinity, "He Himself is Our Peace"

·Palm Sunday entry: meets both praise and rejection. Jesus weeps over the grim consequences of their rejection. Passing up a golden opportunity. As if shooting both the messenger and the doctor who holds the cure. ·God’s heart—Jesus’ bitter anguish—you don’t know what you’re refusing! He sees a great evil coming upon them, that is now irreversible—the destruction of Jerusalem and this temple. And bitterest of all, was they were bringing this upon themselves by rejecting the things that make for peace. Jesus laments: “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44) ·Peace was presented to the…

Sermon on 2 Samuel 22:26-34, for the 9th Sunday after Trinity, "Merciful, Blameless, and Pure"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. It’s great to be with the saints of God on Kauai! Greetings from Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Maui, and I’m thankful to be able to bring God’s Word to you. The Old Testament reading, 2 Samuel 22, really struck my attention a few years ago—especially these verses: With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. This entire chapter is also found in Psalm 18. King David sang it on the day when God delivered him from all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He was rather young when he was delivered from Saul, but in the book of Samuel, this song shows up just before his last words at death. Maybe he wrote it as a young man, but it also seemed a fitting bookend for his life. But more importantly, it describes how God is a refuge, strength, and shield; He protects the humble, b…

Sermon on Matthew 7:15-23, for the 8th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), "True Disciples know the True Christ"

·Sermon on the Mount: One of Jesus’ most important teachings—goes on for 3 Ch’s, (5-7). 7:15-23 is almost the end. Big structure—sermon has an “entrance” and “exit”. (Dr. Jeff Gibbs). This passage is approaching the exit—people “enter” by way of the Beatitudes—Jesus’ description of the blessed life of discipleship and humility (with persecutions!). Main part of sermon on the Mount is directed to “you” the listener, and the teaching of Jesus about godliness, possessions, and people—and now these closing verses: disciple “exits” to the world aware of challenges and dangers surrounding the narrow path to life. ·15-23, about false prophets vs. true prophets. How to recognize and guard against: wolves in sheep’s clothing. Deceptive appearance/sheep’s clothing (charming, loving, appealing, etc) fool many people. Pass themselves off as Christians or genuine prophets, but are “ravening wolves”. Insatiable appetite to devour, to deceive for personal gain (swindle). Diseased tree, thornbush, thi…