Sermon on Luke 15:1-10, for the 3rd Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about the parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin, or rather the parables on the faithful redeeming love of God, who faithfully retrieves what is lost. Also a reflection on the fact that God has made a "way home" for us by repentance from our sins. How do these parables reflect the heart of God? How did Jesus live out this redeeming love on earth? How is this a model for our father's to imitate? Happy Father's Day, by the way, to my dad and all other fathers out there. I hope this may be an encouragement not only to fathers but to all men, women, boys and girls to rejoice in God's redeeming love, and also to rejoice in the unique ways that God has made us male and female.
Sermon on Luke 14:15-24, for the 2nd Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about Jesus' parable of the banquet and the guests who wouldn't come. What is astonishing about the refusal of the guests? What does it say about their attitude toward the host? How do people run from God's generosity today? What is the blessing of coming into His feast? How broadly does He open His invitation? Why does He explain that some of them will need to be "compelled" to come in?
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?
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?
Sermon on Luke 2:33-40, for the 1st Sunday after Christmas, about the blessings that aged Simeon and Anna gave to Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, at His presentation and naming in the Temple. How are age and youth portrayed positively side by side? What is the meaning of Simeon's last prophecy to Mary? What is the significance of Simeon's prophecy and its fulfillment in the life of Jesus? What particular example does Anna set for us?
Sermon on Luke 2:1-20 and Hebrews 1:1-6, for Christmas Eve, about how angels in the Christmas story and throughout Scripture direct us to Jesus and to worship Him. What glory of Jesus do they reveal to us, and how is His glory and kingship hidden from earthly eyes, but revealed to those who have faith?
Sermon on Luke 21:25-36, for the 2nd Sunday in Advent, about Jesus' last public teaching (as recorded by Luke) about the end times and the Son of Man's return in glory. How are faithful believers to respond to the fear and foreboding of the signs of the end? Why is their response so different? Why is being on our knees a position of strength, not weakness? How do we have strength to stand?
Sermon on Luke 14:1-6, for the 17th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' confrontations with the Pharisees about the Sabbath commandment, and what is and isn't lawful to do on the Sabbath Day. How do we avoid the legalisms of the Pharisees while also obeying the Spirit of the law, and finding physical and spiritual rest? What is the disconnect between the problem Jesus faced with the Pharisees, and our own use of the Sabbath? What changed from Old Testament to New, that we worship on Sunday now? What refreshment does the Lord of the Sabbath bring us?
Sermon on Luke 17:11-19, for the 14th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' healing ten lepers, and the one Samaritan who returned to give thanks. What does Jesus imply about the nature of the healing(s) received when he says, "Rise and go, your faith has made you well?" What makes for our wellness? What do we learn from the darker chapters of history, in seeing both the evils and suffering, but also the shining examples of compassion and sacrifice? Why did Jesus enter human history? How did He change it? What is the nature of worship, and why we do it?
Sermon on Luke 10:23-37 (with references to Galatians 3), for the 13th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr Lectionary), about Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan. What was the teacher of the law trying to learn from Jesus? How was he trying to use the law in a way for which it had not been given? What does the parable teach us about who is our neighbor? What characterizes the actions of the Good Samaritan, and who is the best description of that care? How are we enabled to love our neighbor, not for justifying ourselves, but out of a new definition of who we are? How do we inherit eternal life?
Sermon on Luke 19:41-48, for the 10th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' lament over Jerusalem after entering on Palm Sunday. What does Jesus mean about them rejecting the "things that make for peace" and not knowing "the time of their visitation?" What is the peace of Jesus? What kind of "visitation" is still to come? How do we show that we don't know the things that make for peace, and what brings peace even today?
Sermon on Luke 5:1-11, for the 5th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr. Lectionary), about the call of Peter, the miracle catch of fish, the call to discipleship, and Peter's unworthiness. How does Jesus come to us in our sin? What use does He have for our gifts? Why does He ask for our help? How do we react like Peter to the Lord's commands?
I also have composed a hymn to accompany this passage, printed below:
Into a Net that Christ Prepares
Text: Joshua V. Schneider
Meter: CM (86 86)
Melody: MCKEE (LSB 653 In Christ there is No East or West)
Into a Net that Christ Prepares
A world of sinners swim
His Gospel promises He shares
And whole, encircles them.
Though nets may strain, they will not break
His church, it firm shall stand,
For this confession it shall make:
“Christ is Living God and Man!”
Before His holiness we cry:
“Have mercy, Lord, on me!”
And on our knees hear His reply,
“From all your sins be free!”
“Caught live for purposes my own,
Gifts I bestow on you;
Are to be used as I have shown,
Serve them as I have you.”
Beholding Christ with unveiled face,
His image we will take;
Drawn on our service He will trace,
To live for other’s sake.
Into the world the Gospel casts
The joy of Christ’s new life!
Releases us from dreadful blasts,
Of sin and bitter strife.
God’s kingdom prospers by His grace
We’re sent by His command
Catch men and women, every race
Drawn by His nail-marked hand.
Sermon on Luke 6:36-42, for the 4th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' teaching on mercy and forgiveness, and how we are not to judge or condemn. What does the parable about the blind man and the log and the speck mean? What is the hypocrisy we are so prone to? How do we become merciful after the example of our Father and Jesus our Teacher? What is the positive side of our responsibility to help restore and lead others away from sin? How is this different from judging or condemning?
Sermon on Luke 1:39-45, the Visitation (1 Year Lectionary), about the visit of the pregnant Virgin Mary to the pregnant Elizabeth, and the joy and the movement of the Holy Spirit that occurred on that encounter. What does this teach us about preborn infants and their relation to the Holy Spirit? What does it show about the presence of Jesus, as it relates to faith, the Spirit, and joy? In both the people in the story, and in us today? What is the core essence of faith? When do humans become "spiritual vessels", capable of receiving the Holy Spirit and His action upon us?
Sermon on Luke 11:14-28, for the 3rd Sunday in Lent (1 year lectionary), about Jesus' healing the demon possessed man, being accused of being in league with the devil, and how Jesus responds to these false claims. What do the mini-lessons about the strong man, and the house swept clean mean? What is the greater blessing to be sought from God's Word? What is the "Christus Victor Theory", and how does it relate to this passage?