Sermons

Transfiguration of Our Lord (Mt 17:1–9)

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

INI + AMEN.

On the sixth day after Jesus talked about His death, He went up a mountain like many other times, but this time He didn’t travel alone. There were always people, crowds, mobs pressing in, just trying to get a glimpse, a snippet, a brush of Him or His garments. On this sixth day, no crowds were with Him, just Peter, James, and John. Continue reading

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Sermons

Baptism of Jesus—Observed (Mt 3:13–17)

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

INI + AMEN.

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him.” That didn’t sit well with John. (Maybe you’re confused, too!) We all know what John was about: blasting away at sinners with God’s judgment. Then Jesus shows up and acts like a sinner, just like us. What John had been doing didn’t fit with Jesus coming to sinners’ Baptism. John protested. He should’ve gone to Jesus for Baptism, not Jesus to John. So we and John think that Jesus must stay separate, and sinners must move to Him, by their doing, their repentance. He shouldn’t come and be a sinner with us. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany of our Lord—Observed (Mt 2:1–12)

Epiphany of our Lord—Observed (Mt 2:1–12)

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

INI + AMEN.

The prophet said, “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel.” That little point of light started Epiphany, and it brought the odd characters of the Magi to the toddler Jesus. Where’d they come from? No one knows. But these Gentiles, foreigners, outsiders were asking for the King of the Jews. Herod? No, not Herod. Quite troubling, indeed! We all know what he did…

The Lord promised where the Messiah, the Christ would be born. No star would tell that. These astrologer Magi needed more Word of God. They got it, and off they go to Bethlehem. They fell down and worshipped Him, gave Him their best. Then off to parts unknown. They had their 15 minutes of fame, and that’s it. No more Magi. Were they lost? No. The Magi were His men, His loyal subjects. It’s why they came: “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star…and have come to worship him.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Christmas 1 (Lk 2:33–40)

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

INI + AMEN.

Today, the Seventh Day of Christmas, we’re given to ponder Simeon’s prophecy that deals with who this Child is and what He came to do. If his words bother us because it’s Christmas time, then we’ve misunderstood Christmas entirely. “Behold, this child is appointed for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against…that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Christmas Day (Jn 1:1–14, 15–18)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Some of the greatest Words ever written. No other religion has that. There’s no one like Him: Word…flesh…among us. Set up shop among us. Pitched His tent among us. Tabernacled among us. Walked and talked among us. But not just Word among us—Word one of us! As we joyously sang, “God is man, man to deliver, And the Son Now is one With our blood forever.” “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Christmas Dawn (Lk 2:1–14, 15–20)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“It happened.” That’s how the Christmas story begins in the Gospel. “It happened.” It’s just so matter-of-fact and ordinary that most translations—like ours today—leave it out. Normally reporters don’t have to say, “It happened.” But when the event has been turned into a pretty little myth, a pretense for gift giving, for reindeer games, and an elf on the shelf, then it’s important to hear, “It happened.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Christmas Eve (Lk 2:1–14, 15–20)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

The story you’re hearing again tonight is also being heard in countless other churches. It’s got all the trappings of a good story, a great story. The complete story—beginning to end—is full of twists and turns, of darkness and sadness that speaks to our deepest longing, of light and joy that we think can’t possibly be true. It’s got flesh and blood characters. Characters who’d feel just like you and I would if we were in their shoes. Continue reading

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