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Showing posts from September, 2017

Sermon on Matthew 6:24-34, for the 15th Sunday after Trinity, "Jesus, our Master"

·Jesus’ soul searching questions and statements: “cannot serve God and money”  Sets up a choice between two masters, and we can’t have a split love or split loyalty between them. Considering the options, why is it infinitely better to have God as our Master, rather than money? If money is our master, what does it demand of us? We are in a constant pursuit of money, and like an old Lutheran hymn says “earthly wealth is not abiding, like a stream away is gliding” (LSB 732). Money is like a stream of water—it doesn’t stick around for long, and you can hardly hold it in your hands for long. If we are always chasing after money, we will not find happiness, but only the anxieties and worry that Jesus describes here. Money is a poor master—it can only give us more things to worry about. Money can give you cars and houses, but then those things cause us worries too, and they breakdown and cost us more money. The same is true for everything money buys. ·Jesus, by contrast, is a Master that doe…

Sermon on Luke 17:11-19, for the 14th Sunday after Trinity, "Doctor of Souls"

Sermon outline:·First glance? Miracle story + reminder to always say “thank-you”? < Scratching surface. Closer look > Dynamics between Jews and Samaritans (who were they?), dynamics between the healthy community and lepers (who were they?) , purity laws and priests verifying cleansing, value of a physical wellness vs. something more received by faith! Different levels of thankfulness/praise. Dynamics between Samaritan and Jesus (who is this man?).·Our own semi-recent history with leprosy—Father Damien and the lepers of the Kalaupapa colony on Molokai. Sad and tragic stories—exile who was healed, refused by mother to come home—so great was the fear. 100 years Hansen’s disease sufferers banished there.·Biblical times: had to live outside the community and wear torn clothes, cover their face and cry out, “Unclean, Unclean!” to those who would approach them (Lev. 13:45-46)·Conversation about learning from our history, even dark chapters—seeing the hope and light that compassion and …

Sermon on Luke 10:23-37, for the 13th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr. lectionary), "The Good Samaritan"

•To know and to do—very different things (P. Kretzmann, Popular Commentary). Jesus established that the teacher knew the Law correctly—but to do it is a far greater matter. A great many good things we know we ought to do, by the 10 Commandments, but how much harder is it to do than to simply know? A child may know their parents told them not to fight with their siblings—but doing it…
•Jesus teaches the Law’s promise: “Do this and you shall live”. That’s all well and good if you can do it, but if you don’t do it? Gal. 3:10-11 tells us this very command becomes a curse to us, because “cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them. 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.””
•Teacher wanted to justify himself. Betrays his motive. Wants the law to do what the law cannot do, because of our sinfulness. 21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if …

Sermon on 2 Corinthians 3:4-11, for the 12th Sunday after Trinity (1 Year Lectionary), "Our Sufficiency is Christ"

Note: for the full audio of the sermon, check out my podcast. This is a limited outline.
•Corinthian letters—1st to an immature, conflicted, error-filled church; yet still called “saints”. 2nd, to a more mature congregation, rejoicing over the reconciliations and growth that had happened in their midst, and reflecting on his own ministry to them.
•4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. What is this confidence? Vs. 1-3 “do we need letters of recommendation (referral letters) among you? You  are our letter, written on human hearts by Christ! We’re the messengers, you are sent out to the world! (way of talking about how Christian’s are to be living representatives, salt and light of Christ to the world). World experiences Christ’s love through you (or doesn’t experience…aren’t reading God’s Word, reading you).
•Is this Paul taking credit for them? 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 wh…