Sermon on John 14:23-31, for Pentecost Sunday (1 Yr Lectionary), about Jesus' teaching to His disciples just prior to His death. Why do loving God and keeping Jesus' Word go hand in hand? Why does a person not really know the truth unless they first love it? What does it mean that God wants to make His home with us, and what does Christ bring to that home? What peace mission was Jesus sent on, and how is His peace different from that of the world?
Sermon on 1 Timothy 2:1-6, for the 6th Sunday of Easter, on how and why the church prays, and what it teaches us about the wideness of Christ's love. How does that knowledge shape our hearts, eyes, prayers, and actions? How does Jesus reorient our identity away from the things that artificially divide us, and create a new unity among us? What is a ransom, and how has Christ paid a ransom for us?
Sermon on James 1:16-21, for the 5th Sunday of Easter (1 Yr lectionary). What does it mean that God is unchanging? The Father of lights? What is the best and perfect gift from above? What is the relationship between listening, speaking, and anger? How is the righteousness of God accomplished? How has God brought us forth as His children? What is the "means" by which He has done this?
Sermon on 1 Peter 2:11-20, for the 4th Sunday of Easter (1 Yr Lectionary). How does this passage touch on an intersection of the 4th and 8th Commandments (Honor your father and mother & You Shall not bear false witness against your neighbor), as they relate to our Christian duty towards our public leaders? What are some biblical examples of believers honoring and being subject to earthly leaders? What was the ultimate outcome, and why? What does Scripture say about who puts governing authorities in power, and what does Scripture say about their plans vs. God's plans? What did Jesus accomplish by submitting to earthly authorities, and how did He finally defeat evil and injustice, and promise its future end?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?