Sermon on Psalm 143 (this week's Introit), for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (A), about the believer's relationship to God in prayer, and what characteristics are revealed of God and of us. How does the believer display a "wonderful openness" to God, and what do they receive? How does Christ pray this Psalm for us and in us?
Sermon on Psalm 28, for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost 2020 (A series), about the struggle of prayer and faith in our life, and the fear of silence or apparent lack of answer from God. How does Jesus teach us to pray? How does He pray for us? How can the Psalms be a guide to our prayers?
Sermon on Psalm 8 & 19, for Thanksgiving Eve, about how the heavens declare the glory of God, and pour forth knowledge. What does the creation witness about God's handiwork? How is the universe finely tuned for life to exist? Reasons to be thankful to God for, that we might take completely for granted, or not even know. Happy Thanksgiving!
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?
Sermon on Psalm 96 for Advent 4 Midweek, preached by Pastor Paul Roschke. A sermon about the unexpected presentation of judgment and joy side by side in this Psalm, about the Advent of our Savior and how He comes and serves us, and about the new song of praise we sing to Jesus.
Sermon on Psalm 24 for Advent 3 Midweek service, about the questions raised in this Psalm. Who can ascend the Lord's hill and stand in His holy place? Who is the King of Glory? Who follows in His train? How do we acquire clean hands and a pure heart, and what other blessings come with it?
Sermon on Psalm 42, for Advent 1 Midweek, about this Psalm of individual lament, and how it expresses the storms and griefs of the soul, while trusting in God through the dark times. What role had the Psalmist had, and how did that color his present sadness? What is the basis of his hope? What imagery describes the sadness of his heart? How can we weather such storms?
* We had a wonderful service of Evening Prayer, at which I preached this message, and we sang many beautiful variations of Psalm 42 and hymns inspired by it or echoing themes of it. Our sermon hymn was "As the Hart" by Dewey Westra, from the Genevan Psalter, and we also sang "When Peace Like a River" (It is Well with my Soul), and "The Night Will Soon Be Ending". I wish I had made a recording to share with you the beauty of the singing! Truly stirring, with rich words of Scripture as the foundation.
Sermon on Psalm 95, for Thanksgiving Eve service. We sang the Venite--the liturgical treasure of the church that is the versification of Psalm 95:1-7, and reflected on why and how we "come into God's presence with thanksgiving." How does the historical reference of this Psalm (see Exodus 17 and Hebrews 3-4) contrast the attitude of grumbling and of thanksgiving? How does the Psalm picture God's control of creation?
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Sermon on Matthew 22:34-46, for the 18th Sunday after Trinity, about Jesus' teaching of the Law and the Gospel in a nutshell--what is the greatest commandment? And who is the Christ? Why is love central to the Law? What does Jesus mean that the Law and the Prophets depend (lit. "hang") on these two commands? What did the Pharisees refuse to see? What does Psalm 110:1 mean?
Sermon on 2 Samuel 22:26-34 (Psalm 18:25-33), for the 9th Sunday after Trinity, about how God is merciful, blameless, and pure, and wants us to reflect these qualities in our life, and why God appears "torturous" to the crooked. How does this fit into David's own life? How did he make his way "crooked" and find God to be "torturous"? How does God rescue us from crooked paths and crooked hearts? Who is, and where can you find a "blameless man" or "upright hero?"
A Sermon on Psalm 119:46 & Psalm 46:1-3, 7, which is the Introit for the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession (June 25, 1530). This is a sermon about confessing God's Word and Truth before kings, as the German princes boldly did, and how confession and unity in the church comes from a deep confidence in and love for God's Word. A brief history of the presentation, and reflection on how they were living out the confidence in God and His Word that is expressed in these Psalm verses. How radical was their trust in God? What did the princes have in common with many before them who confessed the faith at risk to their lives and safety? What is the foundation of the Christian church, and what does that mean over against it's enemies?
Sermon on Psalm 119 (verses 105, 57-60), for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost. How can a Christian love and delight in the law of the Lord? What tension exists within the Christian as we relate to God's law? How is that tension resolved? What is the positive view of God's law?
Sermon on Luke 23, for Palm Sunday or Sunday of the Passion, about how Jesus treated those who mistreated Him, with references to Psalm 103:8-12. How did Jesus' conduct affect the onlookers of His crucifixion? What response should it create in us?
Sermon about the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S., and about how Christian's respond to a society that is unwelcoming to the Gospel. What is the authority by which the church speaks? What is the identity of a Christian disciple, and what calling does that place on their life? How does the church speak or respond to those outside the church, or who do not receive the teachings of Jesus? Texts from Mark 6:7-13, Psalm 146:3-4, and 1 Corinthians 5 & 6.