16
Apr
2018

Our Shepherd’s Example

Sermon on 1 Peter 2:21-25, for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, about how we follow the example of Christ's suffering. What does this mean? What broad categories of suffering does Peter describe? How are we able to grow in and imitate the example of Christ? How do sheep "return" to their shepherd? What kind of care and love does our Good Shepherd supply? 

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9
Apr
2018

God of the Living

Sermon on Ezekiel 37:1-14 for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, about Ezekiel's vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, and what this passage teaches us about despair and hope, about life, death, and resurrection, and how we worship the God of the Living! How is the Spirit of God intimately tied up with the Word of God?  

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2
Apr
2018

I Know that my Redeemer Lives!

Sermon on Job 19:23-27, for the Resurrection of our Lord, Easter Sunday, about Job's great confession of faith in the bodily resurrection and his trust in his Redeemer. What does his example show us about the conviction we have, even in the midst of suffering? What is the source of that conviction? 

Note: this sermon is revised and expanded by myself, from an original sermon by Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing, part of a purchased series of Lent and Easter sermons titled "Job: Blessed Be the Name of the Lord." The entire series is available for purchase through the Concordia Seminary Store as an inexpensive download. Our congregation has greatly appreciated the study of Job in both Sunday Bible class and midweek services, concluding with this message. 

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26
Mar
2018

Willing Spirit, Weak Flesh

A meditation on Mark 14:27-31; 37-38, 66-72, for Palm Sunday/The Sunday of the Passion. We did a narrative reading of Mark chapters 14-15 in worship, and the meditation focuses on the theme of Peter's promised loyalty and subsequent denial, and how Jesus pegs our human nature with the statement: "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." How does all this tie into repentance and salvation? 

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19
Mar
2018

The Blood of Jesus

Sermon on Hebrews 9:11-15, for the 5th Sunday in Lent (1 Yr lectionary), about the contrast between the Old and New Covenants. What is the role of Jesus' blood in our cleansing, and what sort of cleansing does it give? What is the difference between the covenants? What role does the "tent" play? Sacrifices and priests? What kind of covenant was made at the Last Supper and Jesus' death? 

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12
Mar
2018

God can work with that

Sermon on John 6:1-15, for the 4th Sunday in Lent (1 Yr lectionary), about the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. How did Jesus ask for the disciples' help, and what was the nature of His "test"? What do we learn from this test, and what God has both given us and called us to do? Why did the crowds want to make Jesus king, and why did He refuse? Where would He take the title of king, but in an unexpected way? How do we still give out the "bread of life" to the world? 

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5
Mar
2018

Imitators of God

Sermon on Ephesians 5:1-9, for the 3rd Sunday in Lent (1 Year Lectionary), about how we are imitate God, what characteristic sins of the flesh are not fitting for the saints, and how we are to use our body, heart, and mouths instead. What powerful identity transformation is described in this passage? How do we have the power to become imitators of God, and what reality is that rooted in? 

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26
Feb
2018

Tested and Hopeful

Sermon on Romans 5:1-5, for the 2nd Sunday in Lent 2018 (1 Yr Lectionary), about the way that a Christian endures suffering in life. What is the "chain reaction" described in this reading? Who is a good example of growing through suffering? What three responses to suffering can we have, and which is God's intent? What is the difference between an "earthly hope" and the "biblical hope" described here? How do we know God's plans are always good? 

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20
Feb
2018

The Truth vs. the Liar

Sermon on Matthew 4:1-11, for the 1st Sunday in Lent (1 Yr lectionary), about the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Who is the devil, and what is his "m.o."? What is Jesus' "m.o."? Why should we be aware of the schemes of the devil? 

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12
Feb
2018

Two Kinds of Sight

Sermon on Luke 18:31-43, for Quinquagesima "Fifty" Sunday (1 Yr Lectionary). How do the episodes of the healing of the blind man and Jesus' third and final passion prediction parallel each other? What is spiritual sight, and how do we "see" Christ by this sight?

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5
Feb
2018

The Powerful, Watering Word

Sermon on Isaiah 55:10-13 & Luke 8:4-15, for Sexagesima "Sixty" (1 Yr Lectionary), about the power and effectiveness of God's Word to accomplish His intended purpose. What truth from nature does Isaiah use to make his point? How does God's Word work, and why does it never return empty? What kind of growth does God desire and produce in us? 

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29
Jan
2018

Finish with Christ

Sermon on 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:5, for Septuagesima ("Seventy"), (1 YR lectionary), about Paul's two images of the Christian life/discipleship. How is the Christian life like a race, and what is required of us to finish the race to obtain the prize? What is self-control, and how do we "exercise" it? How is the journey of Israel through the desert a lesson for our Christian life? How does one finish the race with Christ? What does it mean that Christ is the "spiritual Rock that followed them?"

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22
Jan
2018

How Lovely it is to be with God’s Beloved Son

Sermon on Psalm 84:1-2a, 4, 10-11; 77:18b (the Introit) for the Transfiguration of our Lord (1 Yr lectionary), about the parallel between the joy and delight that filled the Psalmist in God's presence at the Temple, and the amazed delight of Peter to be in Jesus' presence at the Transfiguration. How do we understand the loveliness of being with God? Why is that often missing in us today? How do we gain this delight? How does worship bring us to the eternal? 

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17
Jan
2018

Jesus’ Goodness did not remain hidden

Sermon on John 2:1-11, for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany (1 YR), with reference to 1 Timothy 5:24-25, and the question of Jesus manifesting His glory, while also allowing the miracle at the Wedding at Cana to remain at least partially "hidden." What did Jesus mean by "His hour"? Why was this significant? How does He model His own teaching in the sermon on the Mount? What does the wine and wedding imagery signify about the Messiah and about His church? 

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8
Jan
2018

Deliverance in the Waters

Sermon on Joshua 3:1-17, for the Baptism of our Lord, about how the crossing of the Jordan foreshadows baptism. How does God show He is "with us in the waters?" See Isaiah 43:1-2. What did this miraculous sign reveal? How does it compare/contrast to other miracles with water? What are our assurances for daily life with Christ Jesus? 

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