25
Dec
2016

John’s Christmas Verse

Sermon on John 1:1-14, especially verse 14, for Christmas Day, about how John explains the incarnation. What is the mystery of the Word made flesh? What deeper meaning is there to the verb in "dwelt" among us?

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19
Dec
2016

The Lord is our Supreme Joy

Sermon on Philippians 4:2-7, for the 4th Sunday in Advent (1 Year Lectionary), about how we can "rejoice in the Lord always." How does joy exist, even in dark or sad times? What is the Supreme source of joy, and how do we receive it or give it to others? What are some things that joy "survives" in the Bible?

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12
Dec
2016

Blessed to take no offense at Jesus

Sermon on Matthew 11:2-10, for the 3rd Sunday in Advent (1 Year Lectionary), about Jesus and John the Baptist, and how Jesus encouraged John at a particularly low point of his life, and reassured him about the coming of Jesus' kingdom. How do people take offense at Jesus, and what is the blessed of not being offended by Him? What is the shape of Jesus' kingdom? How do we receive His kingdom rightly? Is there a connection to Matthew 5, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's in the kingdom of heaven"?

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5
Dec
2016

The God of Endurance, Encouragement, and Hope

Sermon on Romans 15:4-13, (esp. vs. 4-5, 13) for the 2nd Sunday in Advent, about God's qualities of Endurance, Encouragement, and Hope, and how these are characteristics of Scripture, that God conveys to us. Consider the contrast--God is NOT a God of quitting/failure, DIScouragement, or despair. For a great hymn to go along with this, see Lutheran Service Book hymn 664 "Fight the Good Fight" about endurance--or LSB 337 "The Night Will Soon be Ending" for a contrast of how the world brings madness increasing, but God's Word brings hope increasing.

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28
Nov
2016

Successful Journeys and Clear Destinations

Sermon on Matthew 21:1-9, for the 1st Sunday in Advent, explaining why Jesus' Palm Sunday entrance to Jerusalem is read on the first Sunday in Advent. What journey do we join Jesus for? Where are we going? What is unique about the kingship of Jesus, and how does He convey that to the crowd? How does His kingdom grow?

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25
Nov
2016

Living Generously

Sermon on 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, for Thanksgiving Eve, about what it means to live generously, or have a "generous spirit." One way of expressing generosity is by giving, but what are other ways? What is the joy of generosity, and where do we learn this joyful motive from? What is the marvel of the seed, and how God makes this physical world work? How is that amplified and also true in the spiritual world? Who is the ultimate Giver?

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21
Nov
2016

I See a Gracious, Suffering King

Sermon on Luke 23:27-43, for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, about the Kingship of Jesus seen through His cross. What is unique about His reign? How did the thief on the cross recognize this, and what did he desire and receive? What do Jesus' words of judgment mean? What is the spiritual significance of the green wood/dry wood metaphor? What does it mean to be a part of Jesus' Kingdom?

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14
Nov
2016

The Virtue of Work

Sermon on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, for the 26th Sunday after Pentecost, about the Virtue of Work, and how the "Biblical work ethic". Why do Christians believe in the necessity, value, and reward of hard work? What is the Bible's theology of work, and how did the Fall into sin affect it? Why can we correctly say that "God is a worker" and that to work is to be like God? What is the difference between God's work and ours? What has Christ's work accomplished? This topic just scratches the surface of several inter-related topics of interest, like the teaching of vocation, the place and need for charity and care for the needy, and the relation or balance between work and rest. Unfortunately in the constraints of a single sermon, I was only just able to touch on those.

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7
Nov
2016

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Sermon on Matthew 5:9, for All Saints' Day, about the beatitude, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Why is peacemaking a characteristic of God? What does this mean, and what is Jesus' role in making peace? How do we carry on Jesus' peacemaking mission? What are some challenges of making peace, and some practical advice from the Scripture?

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31
Oct
2016

Heritage, Truth, and Freedom

Sermon on John 8:31-36, for Reformation Day. Why is a heritage a good thing? How can it be misused? What is the relationship between the truth and freedom that Jesus proclaims? How is spiritual freedom endangered or lost? How is it preserved and used? What change of status does Jesus grant to His disciples?

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24
Oct
2016

The Pharisee and Tax collector

Sermon on Luke 18:9-17, for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, about Jesus' teaching on justification. Why is this teaching central to the Christian faith and our salvation? What was wrong about the Pharisee's prayer, and right about the tax collector's? How do we make attempts to justify ourselves? How is the term justified related to the term righteous? What is the basis of God's mercy towards sinners? What is the posture of faith?

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17
Oct
2016

The Hiddenness and Nearness of God

Sermon on Genesis 32:22-30, for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, about Jacob wrestling with God, and being renamed Israel. When does it seem like God is "hidden" from us, or far away? How do we respond? What does God desire for us to do, and how has He given us great and certain promises? Who is the revealer of God the Father, and what does He show us about God, when we encounter Him?

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3
Oct
2016

Faith like a mustard seed

Sermon on Luke 17:1-10, for the 20th Sunday after Pentecost, about faith and forgiveness. What is one of the hardest things faith is called to do? What was Jesus teaching about faith, the size of a mustard seed? Where does the power lie? How does Jesus teach us about the nature of forgiveness? What's the only attitude and spirit in which we can rebuke a brother?

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26
Sep
2016

The one whom God helps

Sermon on Luke 16:19-31, for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, about the story of the rich man and Lazarus, and what the story teaches us about compassion and use of our possessions during life on earth, and also how it is a story about eternal life and salvation. How do we come as beggars to a feast?

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19
Sep
2016

Stewarding for our True Master

Sermon on Luke 16:1-15, for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, about the Parable of the Dishonest Manager. Why was the manager praised? What does Jesus want us to learn from this story, and how we are to steward and use money, wealth, or possessions? What are the positive goals He tells us to aspire to? What wisdom is there here for earthly life, and also eternal life as well? How does Jesus stand as a contrast and counterpart to the dishonest manager? How does He handle our debts?

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