“By Faith Let Us Also Run the Race” (Hebrews 11:1 – 12:3)

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
August 14, 2022

“By Faith Let Us Also Run the Race” (Hebrews 11:1 – 12:3)

Whether you like it or not, you are in a race. It’s a long-distance race, more like a marathon than a sprint. It will not be easy. It will take endurance to complete the course. Do you have what it takes? That’s an important question, because it is imperative, it is absolutely necessary, that you make it to the finish line. If you don’t, if you drop out of the race, you lose everything. But if you do cross the finish line and reach the goal, you will gain a victory that is better than any other. That’s how important this is.

So to find out that there are others who have run the race and reached the finish line, you might want to know what their secret was. And, surprisingly, it’s not because they were all such talented runners. In fact, they were people just like you and me. Which gives us hope that we too can make it to the end. And so our theme this morning: “By Faith Let Us Also Run the Race.”

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Published in: on August 11, 2022 at 8:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Do Not Be Anxious about Your Life” (Luke 12:22-34)

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
August 7, 2022

“Do Not Be Anxious about Your Life” (Luke 12:22-34)

In the Holy Gospel for today, Jesus says, “Do not be anxious about your life.” Really, Jesus? Are you kidding me? “Do not be anxious”?? How can you say that? I mean, look at my life. There’s so much to be anxious about! Take my personal finances, for instance. Since January 1, year-to-date, in just seven months my individual retirement accounts are down almost $9,000. And this, for an individual approaching retirement! In these past seven months, I’ve had to buy a new phone and a new used car. During this same time, I’ve had to have a health checkup, dental work, and two eye surgeries, which were not all covered by insurance. Gas, groceries, rent–all up, substantially. Inflation this year has been the highest it’s been in decades. Well, you get the picture. And for many of you, the picture has been equally as bleak.

And what about all the people in our area who have suffered major losses from the torrential downpours and the flash flooding of the last couple of weeks? Are you going to tell them to cheer up and put on a happy face? How in the world could Jesus say, “Do not be anxious about your life”? Was he just being the Pollyanna of Palestine? Out of touch with reality?

No, far from it. In fact, Jesus was and is very much in touch with reality. It’s just that he sees a far greater reality than we often take into account. He sees the bigger picture, both for our present life and for our eternal future. And so now let’s see what Jesus sees and takes into account when he tells us, “Do Not Be Anxious about Your Life.”

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Published in: on August 6, 2022 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Distracted Discipleship and the One Thing Needful” (Luke 10:38-42)

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
July 17, 2022

“Distracted Discipleship and the One Thing Needful” (Luke 10:38-42)

Are you anxious and troubled about many things? Does your busy-ness distract you from the one thing needful? If so, join the club. That’s where I find myself all too often. But if that’s you too, then our message today is what you need to hear. For Jesus is in the house today, and when Jesus speaks, we need to listen. And so our theme this morning: “Distracted Discipleship and the One Thing Needful.”

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Published in: on July 16, 2022 at 7:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37)

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
July 10, 2022

“The Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37)

Our text is the Holy Gospel for today, from Luke chapter 10. It’s the parable of “The Good Samaritan.” And, as often happens, there’s something that happens in real life that leads Jesus to tell this or that parable. On this occasion, it’s an interaction Jesus has with a certain lawyer in the crowd. Now when it says “lawyer” here, it’s not talking about the kind of lawyer you see advertising their law office on a billboard or TV commercial. It’s not the kind of prosecuting or defense attorney you see portrayed on TV shows or movies. No, when it says “lawyer” here, it’s talking about an expert in the Law of Moses. This would be a Jewish scholar who knows all the moral, civic, and ceremonial laws of ancient Israel, as found in the books of Moses.

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Published in: on July 9, 2022 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Peace Be to This House!” (Luke 10:1-20)

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
July 3, 2022

“Peace Be to This House!” (Luke 10:1-20)

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Yes, peace to you! Peace be to this house! That’s what Jesus told me to tell you, isn’t it? He sends out his laborers into the harvest field and instructs them, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’” So today, the first thing I want to say to you is what Jesus told me to tell you: Peace be to this house.

Friends, today I want to tell you why you need this peace and what kind of peace it is. I want to tell you where this peace comes from and how it gets to you. And I want you to know how you can be sure that you have this peace. So our theme this morning: “Peace Be to This House!”

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Published in: on July 1, 2022 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Freedom, Flesh, and Fruit” (Galatians 5:1, 13-25)

Third Sunday after Pentecost
June 26, 2022

“Freedom, Flesh, and Fruit” (Galatians 5:1, 13-25)

Our text today is the Epistle from Galatians chapter 5. In this text, St. Paul takes up three points that very definitely affect you and the way you live. And they are “Freedom, Flesh, and Fruit”: the freedom we have in Christ; the works of the flesh that we are to put behind us; and the beautiful fruit that the Spirit will produce in our lives. So let’s go.

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Published in: on June 25, 2022 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Adopted as Sons” (Galatians 3:23 – 4:7)

Second Sunday after Pentecost
June 19, 2022

“Adopted as Sons” (Galatians 3:23 – 4:7)

Today is Father’s Day. Some of us here have a father we can honor and thank today. Some of us, though–our fathers are long gone. In my case, for instance, my father, LeRoy Henrickson, was born 103 years ago this past Friday. But he died when I was just a baby, so I only had one Father’s Day with him. I don’t know what it’s like to have a father you grow up with and have still around when you’re an adult, but I bet it’s pretty cool.

Whatever your situation is, whether you still have a dad to spend time with or not, today I want to assure you that you do have a Father to honor and thank and spend time with today and every day, really. And that, of course, is your heavenly Father. Our earthly fathers, fallible sinners though they are–nevertheless, our earthly fathers are to model and be a picture of the warmth and care we receive from our dear Father in heaven.

And so, yes, we all are being embraced today by the Father we all have in common. You and I are his dearly beloved children. We are his sons, in fact–all of us are, whether we are male or female. And because we are sons, we are also heirs, in line for an inheritance. We are sons and therefore heirs, because of God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ. My fellow baptized believers in Christ, we all have been “Adopted as Sons.”

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Published in: on June 18, 2022 at 4:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“This Is the Catholic Faith” (Athanasian Creed)

The Holy Trinity
Sunday, June 12, 2022

“This Is the Catholic Faith” (Athanasian Creed)

Did you know that we Lutherans are catholic? We are! In fact, you just said so. You did, just now when we all confessed the Athanasian Creed. Don’t worry. I’ll explain. And so our theme on this Holy Trinity Sunday: “This Is the Catholic Faith.”

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Published in: on June 11, 2022 at 1:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Centrality of Baptism: On Pentecost and in Your Life” (Acts 2:1-42)

The Day of Pentecost
Sunday, June 5, 2022

“The Centrality of Baptism: On Pentecost and in Your Life” (Acts 2:1-42)

Today is the Day of Pentecost, one of the three great festivals of the Christian church year, along with Christmas and Easter. This festival commemorates the day of Pentecost that we read about in Acts chapter 2. And what happened that day–the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Peter’s preaching of Christ crucified and risen and repentance and forgiveness in his name–what did that result in? The baptism of 3,000 souls that day. And we even see what happened in the life of the newly baptized in the days that followed: They continued steadfastly in the life of the church.

And so it is for us on this Pentecost day. Today we are gathered in the name of Christ as his baptized people. The Holy Spirit is at work in our midst, working repentance and faith in our hearts, delivering the goods Christ won for us on the cross–all that and more. Then there is the carryover effect of baptism into every day of our lives: dying to sin, rising to newness of life, and having the sure hope of the resurrection. And so our theme this morning: “The Centrality of Baptism: On Pentecost and in Your Life.”

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Published in: on June 4, 2022 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Paradise Restored” (Revelation 22:1-6, 12-20)

Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 29, 2022

“Paradise Restored” (Revelation 22:1-6, 12-20)

Paradise lost. Paradise restored. That’s the story of the Bible, from cover to cover. In fact, the Bible literally has bookends, at front and back, telling that story. As we will now see. Thus our theme this morning: “Paradise Restored.”

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Published in: on May 28, 2022 at 7:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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