Sermons

Quasimodo Geniti (Jn 20:19–31)

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

Jesus is alive—really alive! But He’s more than alive: not only will He never die again, but now He openly does things that only God can do. He certainly could do them before His resurrection, but, even though He’s God, He took on the appearance of a servant. Now that’s over, and He appears to His scared disciples behind locked doors. He knows word for word what unbelieving Thomas said even though He wasn’t standing there.

Now, what’s this resurrected and glorified Jesus up to? Why does He appear to the 10? Why does He appear again to them along with Thomas? Why does He gather us together today? Well, there’s one reason for all of it. There’s really only one thing Jesus is after. It’s why He was born. It’s why He died—really died! It’s why He came back to life. One thing: peace.

JESUS IS IN THE PEACE-DELIVERING BUSINESS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Easter Day (Mk 16:6)

April 16, 2017
Immanuel Lutehran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

He was dead. Dead dead. Crucified dead. “Nails, spear shall pierce Him through” dead. Heart-stopped, last-breath dead. He was corpse dead. Signed death certificate dead. Not half dead. 100% dead. Call the coroner dead. Wrapped in grave clothes dead. Buried dead. Sealed in a cold, dark tomb dead.

Then, He wasn’t. He was alive. Alive alive. Nail prints and spear gash were only scars alive. “Just a flesh wound” alive! Heart-beating, breath-breathing alive. He was flesh and bones alive. Eat some fish alive. Not zombie alive. 100% alive. More than alive!—never to die again. Grave clothes left behind alive. No stench of death alive. Tomb opened to show He was already gone alive. Continue reading

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Sermons

Easter Dawn (Jn 20:1–18, 1 Cor 15:1–11)

April, 16, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

Everyone look at the person on your right. Now, everyone look to the person on your left. They’re alive, right? … Are they alive? … Ok, good. Now, everyone take in a deep breath. Besides that breath, you’re about to go eat breakfast, right? So, you’re alive, too, then. Are you alive? …

That’s how it is with Jesus. He was alive, and then He wasn’t, then He was. At the time of His choosing, He said, “It is finished,” and breathed His last. On the cross His heart stopped. He was dead. Then three days later, He was alive again. Life returned to His lifeless, 3 day dead body. He wasn’t a zombie. His heart beat again.

He’s alive. Just like you are and the people sitting next to you. That’s our Easter joy! In fact, it’s even better than Jesus being alive like us because

RIGHT NOW JESUS IS EVEN MORE ALIVE THAN YOU ARE. Continue reading

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Sermons

Tenebrae Vespers (John 19:1–42)

April 14, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

A Meditation on the Cross and Crucified

INI + AMEN.

The cross. The cross. There’s nothing but the cross: offensive, yet beautiful. Offensive to the perishing but beautiful to the saved. The cross—not just the cross.

The Crucified. Him—He’s the true weight of the cross. He’s the true offense—God naked, bleeding, dying, dead. Who wants such a King? Who wants such a God? Could He not save Himself? Could He not call down 12 Legions of angels? Could He not come down from that cross? Yes, then what of you?

You. Yes, you. He does it for you. He’s your King. You don’t choose and elect a King. He is your King. He created from nothing and stops at nothing to save you. He knitted you together and gives up His seamless robe for you. He raises up and brings down nations and is sentenced to death by one of them: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” What joy! What wonder! What mystery! Your King, Your God, bleeds and dies. No expense too great. No cost too High. “His Holy, precious blood”? “His innocent suffering and death”? We thank you, Jesus, for what you did for us upon the cross. Continue reading

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Sermons

Chief Service (Heb 4:14–16; 5:7–9)

April 14, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: Do you struggle with sin?))

Do you struggle with sin? Are there sins that you just can’t beat? It’s like they sneak up on you, right? You think you’ve got them licked, and then they happen…again. Like, without even knowing how or why, you’re on the other side again. “How did I end up here, again?” you say.

But most of the time, we only give lip service to being sinners. Now, none of us would be so bold as to say we aren’t sinners. But we separate “sinner” from “the sin” so much that it’s almost impossible to think of actual sins we’ve done. Continue reading

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Sermons

Holy Thursday (Jn 13:1–15, 34–35)

April 13, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Love. That’s what the Christian faith is all about: love toward God (that’s faith) and love toward those around you. Love—true love. Not what the world peddles as love. Love isn’t chemistry. It’s not physical attraction. But love is “the kind of thing that money just can’t buy.”

Love. Jesus’ love. It’s otherworldly love. Out of His great love for you and other sinners,” “He purchased and won you from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.”

That’s Jesus’ love. He makes the first move. What’s the song? “Love came down at Christmas.” But that’s only half the story. We’re in the thick of the story now. Lent. Holy Week. Holy Thursday. Jesus. Love. Body and Blood. This is the point.

JESUS’ LOVE IS LIVED AND DELIVERED. Continue reading

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Sermons

Holy Wednesday (1 Ki 17:8–16)

April 12, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

So, what’s left to talk about? We’ve confessed what the Sacrament of the Altar is, where that’s written, what are the benefits of the eating and drinking, how can bodily eating and drinking do such great things, and who receives this sacrament worthily. We’ve confessed all these things over the past few weeks. They’re good to confess, and it’s even helpful and a blessing to know by heart. So, what’s left?

Now, there could be a mishmash of things. Lots of different teachings on the Lord’s Supper—that either begin with the Lord’s Supper or end there. That’d be a great bible class, but not necessarily a good sermon—not one I’d want to listen to, anyway.

It all comes down to what Jesus says and gives. It’s all His Word and Gift, we simply receive and confess. We see this in His Supper, and the widow of Zarephath and Elijah saw it, too. When it comes to Jesus’ body and blood in the Supper, it all boils down to this point:

THE LORD JESUS ALWAYS ACTS ACCORDING TO HIS WORD. Continue reading

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