Sermons

Reformation Observed (Jn 8:31–36)

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

“The slave does not remain in the house forever. The Son remains forever. Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you’re really free.” (35–36)

INI + AMEN.

Jesus sets you free. It’s why He came. It’s why He died for you, rose for you, too. It’s why He baptized you. It’s why He delivered the Absolution today. It’s why He gives His body and blood to eat and to drink. Jesus wants you to be free, and so He sets you free. And WHEN JESUS SETS YOU FREE, HE REALLY SETS YOU FREE. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 21 (Jn 4:46–54)

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

INI + AMEN.

JESUS’ WORD GIVES LIFE. What sort of life? Undending sort of life. Eternal, everlasting life. That’s what Jesus’ Word did for the ruler’s dying son. Jesus doesn’t just turn water into wine, but He and His Word make the sick well, the dead alive, the dying live.

Not just in Cana, here, too. JESUS’ WORD GIVES LIFE. Life to you. Unending life. Eternal, everlasting life. A life given that endures past sickness, death, and grave. The same thing Jesus’ Word did in Cana, it does here for you. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 20 (Mt 22:1–14)

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

INI + AMEN.

Called, chosen, clothed: that’s you, in Jesus. You’re in the Kingdom. You’re died for. You’re raised from the dead for. You’re redeemed. You’re holy. All those things taken care of for you by your Heavenly Father in and through His Son, Jesus.

That’s what the Parable’s all about because that’s what the Kingdom’s all about. The Parable doesn’t separate these things at all. In fact, Jesus joins them all together in Himself and His Father’s Kingdom forever. There’s no other hope or confidence than Him. There’s no other calling, choosing, or clothing than what the King provides freely as a gift.

It’s all gift—wedding gift, salvation gift, eternal life gift. That’s not just the parable; that’s the Kingdom. In Jesus that’s true—true for you. True of you only in Jesus:

CALLED, CHOSEN, CLOTHED—THE KINGDOM IS YOURS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 19 (Mt 9:1–8)

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

INI + AMEN.

Can men forgive sins or not? Or can “only God forgive sins” (Mk 2:7)? The answers to these questions should be very easy, especially considering our Gospel text today. But just because something should be easy, doesn’t mean it is. “Should” and reality aren’t always the same thing. And sadly that’s the case with this question: can men forgive sins or not?

Now, forgiveness of sins isn’t earned by the person receiving it. For it to be forgiveness it’s gotta be free, otherwise it’s not really forgiveness at all, but rather reward. And forgiveness is always delivered in the present tense. It may have been purchased and won at some earlier point, but forgiveness is always delivered in the here and now, otherwise, again, it’s not really forgiveness. Continue reading

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Sermons

St. Michael and All the Angels (Mt 18:1–11)

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

INI + AMEN.

Our Lord says, “Let the little children come to Me” because He lifts up the lowly, the nothing. He makes the strong serve the weak. That’s what our dear Lord’s about. What His Kingdom, His reign, His rule is all about, too. That’s even what St. Michael’s Day is all about!

It’s white today—not to rejoice in the purity of angels, their might, their greatness. It’s white to point us to a purity more pure than the angels have—the purity, holiness, and righteousness of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The righteousness—His righteousness that He gave you at the Holy Font in Holy Baptism.

And so He says, “Let the little children come to Me.” And so He says in our Gospel text today: “Whoever receives one such child in My name, receives Me.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 17 (Lk 14:1–11)

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

INI + AMEN.

JESUS HEALS AND EXALTS. He did for that man with dropsy. He HEALS AND EXALTS you, too. It’s why He came. It’s why He was born, was crucified, died, and was buried. It’s why He establishes His Gifts: His Baptism, His Absolution, the Supper of His body and blood. It’s why He moved all of human history so that this place would be right here, right now, so that He could exactly that—HEAL AND EXALT. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 16 (Lk 7:11–17)

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

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: The widow has grief upon grief.))

The sadness of it all. The grief. The anguish. It’s not supposed to be this way—not ever! It’s horrific, tragic. “A dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow.” Who can really imagine her grief? She’s got grief upon grief. Her husband’s dead, and now her only son is, too. Death. Endless grief.

Who would’ve been absent? Probably not many. A large portion of Nain mourned with her. Everything brought to a standstill by the grief and tragedy of this woman’s life. But they’d move on. They’d pay their respects to her, to her son, just like they did with her husband, I’m sure. But in a day or two, there’d be other news, other things to do. But not for her.

Who’d care for her now? A hard life awaited her. No insurance. A childless widow would only have what Yahweh promised through Moses: “When you reap your harvest…and forget a sheaf in the field, don’t go back to get it. When you beat your olive trees, don’t go over them again. When you gather your grapes, don’t strip [the vine] afterward.” A lifetime of gleanings, leftovers for this widow’s grief upon grief. Continue reading

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