Sermons

Easter Day (Mk 16:1–8; Job 19:23–27)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

Their eyes had seen so much. They’d seen Him crucified and die. They’d seen Him dead and buried. They’d seen the very large stone rolled in front of the tomb. Now, it was a new day, a new week, and Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome came to the tomb. Mark chose the testimony of these three women who could see that the sun was rising. But they saw more, and what they saw was astonishing!

They didn’t have to worry about the large stone. They saw that the stone had already been rolled away. They saw “the young man,” the angel “clothed in a white robe.” (Mark highlights the one who spoke.) They heard him! “You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He’s not here.” They saw the place, and they left to “tell the disciples and Peter.” Then they saw Him. They saw Jesus! Alive! (That’s Matthew, though.)

Their eyes saw so much! They’d shed tears of sadness and tears of gladness all because of what they’d seen. But I’ve got news for you today. Their eyes really aren’t any different than your eyes. Their eyes were created just like your eyes, and your eyes were created for the exact same thing as theirs, the exact same purpose.

YOUR EYES WERE CREATED TO SEE JESUS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Easter Sunrise (Jn 20:1–18; 1 Cor 15:1–11)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE DEAD PEOPLE DON’T STAY DEAD. That’s a fact. 2+2=4. What goes up must come down. Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor of Judea. George Washington crossed the Delaware river. And dead people don’t stay dead. That’s the sort of universe you live in. That’s reality, not make-believe. How do I know that we live in that sort of universe? It’s pretty simple. It’s earth shattering. It’s actual, factual, true. Jesus actually came back to life from the dead. Continue reading

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Sermons

Good Friday—Tenebrae (Jn 19:1–42)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Lift up your eyes and see the salvation of God. The Lord God from heaven above with a mighty hand and outstretched arms has saved His people, all people. “My eyes look up to the hills,” from there, from above our help and salvation come. As Jesus says, “You are from beneath; I am from above.” Salvation isn’t just “from above;” it is above! That’s today. Salvation was up. Jesus, your Savior was up: on a hill, lifted up, crucified, “from aboved.” Good Friday is good because of that. Yeah,

JESUS IS “FROM ABOVED” THAT YOU WOULD BE BORN FROM ABOVE. Continue reading

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Sermons

Good Friday—Chief Service (2 Cor 5:14–21)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN

So many things comes together at the place of the skull. In Jesus cross things that are opposites are joined together. Jesus’ cross being like one giant addition symbol. We rejoice in this joining. This divine plus sign means our eternal salvation. It’s what makes today Good Friday.

So, what sort of things are joined at Jesus’ cross? Well, for starters, God’s justice and His mercy. Sin must be paid for, justice served. God’s justice demands this. He is also merciful and gracious, and He pardons iniquity, transgression, and sin. So often people want to pit these two things against each other. But in one divine action, Jesus’ death for sinners, God’s justice and mercy meet.

Our Epistle points us to two other things that are joined at the cross. Sin and righteousness. For your salvation they’re united at the cross in Jesus, in His flesh and blood. How are they joined? Well,

JESUS WAS YOUR SIN, AND, IN HIM, YOU ARE GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Holy (Maundy) Thursday (1 Cor 11:23–32; Jn 13:1–15, 34–35)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

How do you gauge God’s love for you? We think all sorts of things about how you know that God loves you. If your life is generally pretty good, if you are generally pretty good (healthy or whatever), if you’re generally a nice person—in all these sorts of ways we figure out if God loves us and how much He loves us.

But what about experiencing God’s love? How would you go about doing that? We want to feel something. As if love is simply a feeling. (That’s what we think today.) Don’t get me wrong: if you feel something (joy, sadness, anything in between), that’s okay as far is it goes. But it’s not a sign of God’s love for you, nor is it a sign of how weak or strong your faith is.

“God is love:” each person of the Trinity putting the other two first. Anyway, experiencing that—God’s love: how? Well, we look inside ourselves. We meditate on whatever (Jesus, His death, His resurrection, whatever blessings we’ve received), and by our meditation, our works, our spirituality we try to drum up some sort of feeling because, we think that’s the sign of true faith.

We boil it all down to feelings: a quiver in the liver, a lump in the throat, a glistening of the eye. God’s love, Jesus’ love is something far different than all that, it’s more concrete. Faith is same way too, too. Continue reading

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Sermons

Holy Week Wednesday (9th & 10th Commandments)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

[[9th and 10th Commandments]]

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: Our hearts are the problem.))

“The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” You aren’t without, you don’t lack, you do want for anything when you’ve got the Lord. Yeah, right… Oh, it sounds great, and we want to believe it. (Lord, help our unbelief.) But day to day we don’t think that, don’t believe that, don’t act like it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t crave, desire, or want what we want. That’s what coveting is all about: craving or desiring what you don’t have, wanting what those around you have.

These two Commandments (Nine and Ten) tie in with the First Commandment. You can really study them together, take them together, they go hand in hand. Commandments Nine and Ten get us to the heart of the matter, the heart of our spiritual problem: our hearts! Continue reading

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Sermons

Palmarum—Palm Sunday (Mt 21:1–9)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Well, here we are again—Jesus riding into Jerusalem. And, I’m saying “again” not because we’re in another Holy Week, or we’re winding down to another Good Friday and Easter. I said “again” because we have this reading twice in the Church Year. Jesus riding into Jerusalem is the Gospel reading for Advent 1 and Palm Sunday. Using this text twice shows us how important this reading is! This text embodies everything of the Christian faith. It embodies everything about Jesus, too. Bethlehem and Golgotha, the coming of our Lord (Advent and Christmas), the dying of our Lord (Lent and Easter) are all embodied in this one account. Almost everything contained in nine verses!

Continue reading

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