“Raised, Rooted, and Walking” (Colossians 2:6-15)

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
July 24, 2016

“Raised, Rooted, and Walking” (Colossians 2:6-15)

“Raised, Rooted, and Walking”: This is the rhythm of the Christian life. “Raised, Rooted, and Walking”: This is God’s will for you, in your life. “Raised, Rooted, and Walking”: This is how Paul describes it in our Epistle lesson for today, from Colossians 2. Let’s take a look.

(more…)

Published in: on July 24, 2016 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

“Interdependence Day” (Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18)

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
July 3, 2016

“Interdependence Day” (Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18)

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America declared their independence from Great Britain. Ironically, just a few days ago, with its Brexit vote, Britain declared its independence from the European Union. What goes around comes around, I guess. But the point is independence. We don’t like other people, or nations, telling us what to do. “You’re not the boss of me!” we think about others.

No, I’m not your boss. In fact, I’m your servant. And you know what? You’re called to be my servant, too. That’s how it works in the church. We are a community of servants, all called to serve and care for and love one another. We will see this in our text for today, the Epistle lesson from Galatians chapter 6. So instead of Independence Day, in the church God declares every day to be “Interdependence Day.”

(more…)

Published in: on July 2, 2016 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

“Following Jesus to the Cross” (Luke 9:51-62)

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
June 26, 2016

“Following Jesus to the Cross” (Luke 9:51-62)

Today Jesus says to us, “Follow me.” “Follow me,” he says. “Come, be my disciples.” “OK, we say. “Yes, Jesus I will follow you.” But do we know what we’re getting ourselves into? What all will following Jesus entail? Shouldn’t we know that before we answer too fast, “Yes, Lord”? Well, today we will hear what it will involve. For the truth of the matter is, we are “Following Jesus to the Cross.”

(more…)

Published in: on June 25, 2016 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

“Baptized Children of Our Heavenly Father” (Galatians 3:23 – 4:7)

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
June 19, 2016

“Baptized Children of Our Heavenly Father” (Galatians 3:23 – 4:7)

Today is Fathers’ Day, a day when we honor our fathers for the blessing that they are to us. And it is good and right that we do this. Now for many of us, our fathers are long gone. But that does not mean we don’t have a Father to honor today. In fact, I want to suggest to you that this is a great day to thank and praise our Father, that is, our heavenly Father. For you and I, we are “Baptized Children of Our Heavenly Father.”

(more…)

Published in: on June 19, 2016 at 4:04 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

“David’s Sin and David’s Son” (2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:10, 13-14)

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
June 12, 2016

“David’s Sin and David’s Son” (2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:10, 13-14)

Sin has its consequences. But sin can be forgiven. That’s what we learn today in the story of “David’s Sin and David’s Son.”

(more…)

Published in: on June 12, 2016 at 3:33 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

“Authoritative Word, Marvelous Faith” (Luke 7:1-10)

Second Sunday after Pentecost
May 29, 2016

“Authoritative Word, Marvelous Faith” (Luke 7:1-10)

It is hard to surprise or shock Jesus. It is hard to amaze him or cause him to marvel. It rarely happens. But today it does. It’s the story of the centurion asking for a healing for his servant, and how he asks it. This centurion causes Jesus to marvel. But it’s not just the story of the man’s faith. More so, it’s the story of what prompts this faith, what it is about Jesus that calls forth this faith. And so our theme this morning, “Authoritative Word, Marvelous Faith.”

(more…)

Published in: on May 29, 2016 at 12:22 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

“St. Patrick’s Breastplate: I Bind unto Myself Today” (The Holy Trinity)

“St. Patrick’s Breastplate: I Bind unto Myself Today”

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! “What??” you’re saying. “Pastor, have you lost your mind? St. Patrick’s Day was back on March 17. This is now May something. What’s up with this ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’?”

Well, alright, I’ll tell you, since you asked. This day is not really St. Patrick’s Day. But it is a day on which St. Patrick can teach us something about what this day really is about, and that is, it’s Trinity Sunday. Yes, today in the church year is the Feast of the Holy Trinity, a day on which we focus on the biblical doctrine of the Holy Trinity–on the divine reality of the Holy Trinity and how absolutely essential this reality is for our life and faith and salvation. The Holy Trinity, the one true God, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–this is the only God there is. This is the God of our salvation.

On this one Sunday in the year, we call special attention to this truth. On this day we speak out loud one of the three ecumenical creeds of the church, the Athanasian Creed, which goes into the most detail on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. On this day, all of our hymns are particularly Trinitarian, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “We All Believe in One True God,” and so on.

It is in that context, then, that I can say to you this morning, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” For St. Patrick–yes, that St. Patrick, the missionary to Ireland–wrote one of the hymns that we’re using today (or at least it is attributed to him). And this hymn–you heard the choir sing it earlier–this hymn is profoundly Trinitarian and most fitting for our instruction, inspiration, and edification today, on this Feast of the Holy Trinity. And so our theme for this morning: “St. Patrick’s Breastplate: I Bind unto Myself Today.”

(more…)

Published in: on May 21, 2016 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

“Pentecost: A Firstfruits Harvest Festival” (Acts 2:1-41)

The Day of Pentecost
Sunday, May 15, 2016

“Pentecost: A Firstfruits Harvest Festival” (Acts 2:1-41)

What do you know about the Feast of Pentecost? If you’re like most people in the church today, I’m guessing not too much. Oh, maybe you know it has something to do with the coming of the Holy Spirit. And you would be right. But there’s more to it than that. OK, let’s see. Maybe you’ve heard that Pentecost is called “the birthday of the church.” Well, alright, there’s something to that. Maybe somewhere along the line you heard that people can wear red to church on Pentecost Sunday. And that does match the color of the paraments. But if it’s just a silly custom of wearing red, then there’s not too much to that.

So what do you know about the Feast of Pentecost? By the way, why do we even call it a “Feast”? Well, in church lingo, a “feast” is when it is appropriate to have the sacrament of our Lord’s body and blood, as we do on every Sunday and major church festival. Oh, there’s that word “festival,” which is another way to say “feast.” And Pentecost certainly is a major festival in the church. In fact, the Day of Pentecost is one of the three highest, most major festivals in the church year, along with Christmas Day and Easter Day. But compared to Christmas and Easter, Pentecost kind of gets short shrift. We’ll try to remedy that today.

Now what I’m about to tell you about Pentecost may surprise you a bit: Did you know that Pentecost originally was a Jewish festival? That’s right. We’ll explain. And another thing: Pentecost was a harvest festival, a firstfruits harvest festival. We’ll explain that too. And we’ll tie it all together, along with Pentecost’s tremendous meaning for us today, all under the theme, “Pentecost: A Firstfruits Harvest Festival.”

(more…)

Published in: on May 14, 2016 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

“Behold, I Am Coming Soon” (Acts 1:1-11; Revelation 22:1-6, 12-20)

Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 8, 2016

“Behold, I Am Coming Soon” (Acts 1:1-11; Revelation 22:1-6, 12-20)

Take a look at the picture over our altar. Of course, it’s a painting of the Ascension of Our Lord, that time when Jesus ascended into heaven. But if you didn’t know that, and you just look at Jesus there midway in the sky, you might wonder: Is he going up or is he coming down? It looks like it could be either. For just as Jesus ascended into heaven on Ascension Day, so too will he come down from heaven when he returns in glory on the Last Day. That’s the point of our message this morning, namely, that Christ’s ascension points us to his return. Not only so, today we’re even given a glimpse at what’s in store for us when he does return. For today our ascended Lord gives us his promise, “Behold, I Am Coming Soon.”

(more…)

Published in: on May 7, 2016 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

“Tribulation and Peace, Guaranteed” (John 16:23-33)

Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 1, 2016

“Tribulation and Peace, Guaranteed” (John 16:23-33)

There are very few guarantees in life, very few things you can be sure of. For instance, there are no guarantees about the success of your baseball team. The Chicago Cubs were riding high in April, but who knows if they will be shot down in May? No guarantees. You have no guarantee that you’re going to be rich, or, if you are, that you’re going to stay that way. Things could go south in a hurry. You have no guarantee about your health. You could be fit as a fiddle one year and then come down with a mysterious disease the next. No guarantees. But today I want to tell you about two things you can be sure of, and they are these: “Tribulation and Peace, Guaranteed.”

(more…)

Published in: on May 1, 2016 at 7:08 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54 other followers