Showing posts from August, 2018

Sermon on Galatians 3:15-22, for the 13th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), "The Covenant of Promise"

Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. The epistle of Galatians is a short, 6 chapter letter written to one of the Apostle Paul’s mission churches he’d helped to establish 2,000 years ago. He wars against the ever-popular opinion that we can be justified before God by our works. We saw it a few weeks ago in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee thought he had God’s law down just fine, and had nothing to be sorry for before God. Besides, everyone else he knew was worse than him! He was righteous in his own eyes—trusted in his good effort to get him in good with God. We don’t have to be quite as pompous as the Pharisee to fall into the same trap. But the tax collector knew better. He cried out: “ God, have mercy on me, a sinner !” Jesus said that tax collector went home justified, with God’s verdict of innocence. Paul is determined in Galatians 3 to drive away the spirit of the Pharisee, trusti

Sermon on Isaiah 29:17-24, for the 12th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), "God's Mighty Reversals"

Sermon Outline:  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. ·          Isaiah 29—miracles of Jesus’ ministry. 700 years before Jesus. Example of the miracles in the Gospel reading—heal the deaf and mute. ·          Prophecy > fulfillment shows the Bible is God’s inspired Word ·          deaf hear, blind see, the meek and the poor rejoicing in the Lord. Reversals of injustice, suffering, oppression. ·          Reversals go beyond the suffering, to also oppressors >> ruthless come to nothing; scoffer ceases; all who watch to do evil, cut off ·          Take a sample at any age in history, and find suffering and injustice—different kinds, but ultimately the same. Progress in some ways, regress in others. ·          Isaiah’s day—Judah soon to be destroyed. All the surrounding region. Spiritually deaf and blind, they won’t look at or hear God’s Word. God’s judgment will fall on them. How useful to the devil when we are spiritually blind

Sermon on Luke 18:9-14, for the 11th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), "Give me a pedestal, or bring me to my knees?"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today’s parable may be familiar: the Pharisee and the tax collector. Two men are praying to God in the Temple. They stand up before God and before men. But with two very different attitudes and   outcomes. Jesus approves the tax collector with this phrase: “ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Jesus approves the tax collector with the word “ justified.” That’s God’s verdict—God has declared you innocent; righteous in His eyes—justified. The other possible verdict is “condemned”—God declares you guilty, or unrighteous in His eyes. Justified or condemned, innocent or guilty—these are the two opposite verdicts. The surprise is that Jesus doesn’t justify the man who appears better, more law-abiding, and religious—namely, the Pharisee. But instead, the tax collector, a despi