Sermons

Septuagesima (Mt 20:1–16)

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

INI + AMEN.

The Lord is true to His Word and Promises. He does what He says. He can’t not! He is merciful and gracious. From Him flow all manner of Gifts that deliver salvation and eternal life. He’s the true Source. Like with the Israelites, it wasn’t the rock itself, but Yahweh who “stood on the rock.” From Him flows the Gift. He gives. We receive. “Without any merit or worthiness” in us. Continue reading

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Sermons

Transfiguration (Mt 17:1–9)

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

Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
Jesus touching them said, “Rise and don’t be afraid.”
“This is My beloved Son; with Him I’m well pleased. Listen to Him.”

INI + AMEN.

((3.)) Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”

He did rise from the dead. That’s what Transfiguration’s really all about. Jesus doesn’t want to be known for Sinai type glory or mountain of transfiguration glory. He doesn’t want to be known as the big, powerful, almighty God. (He is those things, of course. He’s one with the Father, after all.) No, He wants to be known for His Calvary glory, His cross and death glory, but also His risen from the dead glory. It’s why He says don’t tell anyone until after “the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” It’s why the angel says to the women, “You seek Jesus who was crucified. He’s risen. He’s not here.”

We’re getting a preview of that today—80 days or so ahead of time. (It’s about 80 days until Easter Sunday.) But before He heads up Mt. Calvary, before He’s buried and raised on the mountain Jerusalem’s built on, Jesus heads up this “very tall mountain.” There He shines in glory. There a preview of what Jesus is all about: not just death, but resurrection, too—His FOR YOU.

Jesus is raised from the dead, and so we can rejoice today when looking at the movie-trailer version: the mountain of transfiguration.

((2.)) Jesus touching them said, “Rise and don’t be afraid.”

We live lives of fear. We’re afraid of so many things. Maybe we’re afraid of what the world’s coming to. Maybe we’re afraid of God and judgment because of our sinfulness like the disciples were. And each of us should consider how we don’t “fear, love, and trust in God above all things” when it comes to how we act in our day to day lives, but there is something we’re all afraid of: dying and death.

We’re afraid of death. Our heart stops, then what? Blackness. Nothingness. Death. But it’s not just that split second we worry about, that we’re—pun intended—scared to death of. We’re also afraid—maybe more so—about what happens before that. We’re afraid of dying. What if I get cancer? What if it’s Alzheimer’s? What if I linger? What if there’s pain? The list goes on and on.

He says to you, “Don’t be afraid.” Someday, the Last Day, He’ll tell you, “Rise!” Then no more fear. No more death. Not for you. Not ever. Why? Jesus has died and risen. He did it for you. He makes it yours. His death is your death. His resurrection is your resurrection. You will live forever. You will see Him face to face. You’ll be in your Father’s presence forever.

You will be raised from the dead. Jesus is raised, and His resurrection is yours. “Don’t be afraid.”

((1.)) “This is My beloved Son; with Him I’m well pleased. Listen to Him.”

Beloved Son of the Father: baptized for sinners, suffered for sinners, died for sinners, raised for sinners. The Father’s pleased with Jesus not just because He’s His eternal Son, but because Jesus does all that He does not for glory’s sake but for your sake—to save you from the dead.

We should listen to what He says. He’s risen from the dead, after all. Probably good to listen to someone who does that. We listen not only because He says, “Rise and have no fear.” His resurrection is your resurrection, and listening to Him is exactly how He makes His resurrection your resurrection.

“Listen to Him.” “I baptize you into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “Whoever believes and His baptized will be saved.”

“Listen to Him.” “I forgive you all your sins.” “If you forgive anyone His sins, they are forgiven.”

“Listen to Him.” “This is My Body and Blood, given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins.” “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will resurrect Him on the Last Day.”

“Listen to Him.” Listening to Him is resurrection, eternal life, and eternal peace.

((Conclusion.))

The Son of Man is raised from the dead. He died for you. Rose for you. We get a preview of that today.

We don’t need to be afraid of death. He will raise us from the dead “to live before Him in righteousness and purity forever.” His resurrection didn’t just happen. His resurrection is yours. He makes it yours, and so we’re never afraid. Not of the world, not of death or even dying. Not anything. Because Jesus isn’t just about death. He’s about resurrection, too—His FOR YOU.

It is yours. “Listen to Him.” That’s how He makes it yours. Over your forehead. Into your ears. Into your mouth. We listen to Him not just cause it’s a good idea, not just cause we’re told to, but because in His Word is resurrection, eternal life, and eternal peace.

LISTEN, JESUS’ RESURRECTION IS YOURS!

It has to be. He not only did it. He makes it yours. “Listen to Him.” “I baptize you.” You are baptized! “Listen to Him.” “I forgive you.” You are forgiven. “Listen to Him.” “My Body and Blood for you; I will resurrect you.” You are bodied and blooded. You will be resurrected. One day He’ll do it. One day, He’ll touch your grave and say, “Rise.” You don’t need to be afraid. LISTEN, JESUS’ RESURRECTION IS YOURS! He says so.

INI + AMEN.

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Sermons

Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord (Lk 2:22–40)

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

INI + AMEN.

The Lord’s Word gets filled up. It gets fulfilled. It gets done. Laws cherished and obeyed. Promises kept, made good on. The Lord takes care of it all Himself. It’s all done in Jesus. Jesus cherished the Laws and did them purely and with a pure heart. Jesus kept the promises of salvation. He not only did them, He finished them.

It doesn’t matter if the Lord spoke a command or a promise, either way Jesus fulfilled it: filled it up. He fills up the Laws 100%. He fills up the Promises, too—past overflowing. That’s what happens when Jesus comes. Everything gets filled up. Nothing’s left empty.

Continue reading
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Sermons

St. Titus—Observed (Acts 20:28–35)

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

[Paul said to the Ephesian pastors,] “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers in order to pastor the Church of God that He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

INI + AMEN.

Red like blood. Jesus’ blood. Blood that was shed for you. Red like fire. The Spirit’s fire. Tongues of fire at Pentecost. Red for Titus. Titus’ day. The color of the holy ministry, the color of pastors.

These aren’t separate, at all! We’re seeing red today because of Jesus’ blood shed for you. We’re seeing red because of the Holy Spirit’s work for you. We’re seeing red because of pastors’ work, too. Jesus’ blood, the Spirit’s work, the pastor’s work are all connected. They’re connected because

THE SPIRIT USES PASTORS TO DELIVER JESUS’ BLOOD TO YOU. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany 2 (Jn 2:1–11)

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

“Jesus did this first sign in Cana of Galilee and revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.”

INI + AMEN.

There’s no reason to go to a Feast where Jesus doesn’t provide His Wine. When Jesus provides His Wine, He’s being God for you, for your salvation. His provision, His delivering His Wine sustains faith in Him. If He doesn’t deliver His Wine, His disciples won’t believe in Him. Through His Wine, Jesus reveals His glory.

The Feast would come up short without Jesus. That’s how things go without Jesus. That’s because we come up short. We run out. We do things in life and in church only as long as we’re interested. How empty and without Jesus’ glory we are!

Jesus never runs out, though. Always more from Him! Always more for you, especially His Wine. It was like that in our Gospel reading: “six stone water jars…each holding twenty or thirty gallons.” Not just a lot, but the best: “you have kept the good wine until now.” That’s how Jesus reveals His glory.

You are His disciple. “Made” one when you were baptized “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Kept one by Jesus when you receive His “teaching.” But your believing, your being a disciple, also flows from Jesus’ Wine. It’s the same way today as it was in Cana.

Through His Wine and “the water become wine” Jesus reveals His glory. There is no Feast, no glory without Jesus’ Wine. Without it the Marriage Feast is empty. But when Jesus provides His Wine, He’s being your God and Savior because JESUS’ WINE REVEALS AND DELIVERS HIS GLORY TO YOU. Continue reading

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Sermons

Baptism of Jesus (Mt 3; 1 Cor 1; Is 42)

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

INI + AMEN.

“Peace on earth and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.” God and sinners together. God and sinners not apart, separate, far off, far away. Is that really the way of things? We say it is—sing it is!—, but is that how we live? Sadly, we don’t live that way.

It’s how Jesus lived. It’s why He came to the Jordan to be baptized by John. Jesus came for sinner’s baptism. He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Yes, John was confused by Jesus wanting to go through sinner’s baptism. But Jesus had to. That’s what He said: “In this way it’s fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” “All righteousness fulfilled” by Jesus being in the midst of the waters, in the midst of sinners, doused with sinner’s baptism.

That’s the sort of God Jesus is. There’s no, “Hey, you’ve gotta get your act together first” with Him. That’s not to say you shouldn’t repent of your sins. You should! So much so that you actually stop and want to stop doing them! But being so very repentant doesn’t actually get you anywhere with Jesus.

But He comes to the Jordan. He comes to be baptized by John. He comes to be in the midst of the waters, in the midst of sinners, in your midst. Your God, Your Savior comes to bring you to Himself so that you would dwell in the midst of His kingdom forever. That’s how JESUS IS YOUR “IN THE MIDST” GOD AND SAVIOR. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany of our Lord (Mt 2:1–12)

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

Featured Image (Animation)

INI + AMEN.

The body and blood of Jesus tells you everything you need to believe about God. That’s because Epiphany’s all about God revealing Himself in Jesus Christ. He reveals Himself in Jesus to be not only for Jews but also Gentiles. He wasn’t just for those in and around Bethlehem or in Judea—that’s Christmas. And He wasn’t just for “the Magi from the east.” He’s for you and me, too. We know that in the body and blood: given for you, shed for you. Continue reading

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