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

January 22, 2018

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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Disbanded Choir

December 27, 2017

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. 

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The King of Glory

December 14, 2017

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? 

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Bless the Lord O My Soul

December 7, 2017

Sermon on Psalm 103, for Advent Midweek 2, about the goodness and health of praising God, and how God knows us, our frame, and our weakness intimately, and pours out His benefits on us generously. 

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Hope in God

November 30, 2017

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. 

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Come Into His Presence with Thanksgiving

November 27, 2017

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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Commander and Savior

October 16, 2017

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?

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Merciful, Blameless, and Pure

August 16, 2017

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?"  

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Bold Confessors

June 26, 2017

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? 

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Friends of the Law

July 21, 2016

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?

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Unbreakable

March 21, 2016

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?

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Marriage

July 6, 2015

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.

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Path of Life

April 6, 2015

Sermon on Psalm 16 and Mark 16:1-8, and the parallels between the Exodus of the Israelites led by Moses, and the new, Second Exodus led by Jesus. A sermon for Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus, and how He makes known to us the path of life.

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Helper of the fatherless

March 23, 2015

Sermon on Psalm 10 for Life Sunday, about how the abortion industry continues to take the innocent lives of nearly 1 million American babies a year, and what we as Christians can do to respond with the love of Christ and to advocate for the voiceless and fatherless. What is a father's role, for good or bad, in abortion? How can the church encourage a new generation of parents?

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Fears and Comfort in Forgetting and Remembering

December 18, 2014

Sermon for Advent 3 Midweek, about fears and worries about losing memory, or wanting to forget hardships but being unable--and the comfort of knowing what God forgets and remembers. The following readings are incorporated into the sermon: Psalms 9 & 25, Isaiah 49:15-16, and Luke 12:4-7.

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