Sermons, Uncategorized

Questioning

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

All eyes—all ears!—on the Lord. That’s the life of faith; that’s the life of a disciple. He speaks. We listen. He delivers; we receive. That, too, is faith. To trust Jesus is to hear and receive from Him. To His disciples He gives life. (He gave His life—not just for His disciples, but as a ransom for many, for all.) The life Jesus gives is delivered in His Word and Gifts. Jesus leads His followers to His Word and Gifts—to hear, receive, and believe. This isn’t a before confirmation sort of thing. It’s a life-long sort of thing. It’s really the life of a Christian: all eyes—all ears!—on the Lord. Continue reading

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Pentecost 19B (Mk 10:2–16)

October 4, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

(1. Oops!:) Marriage is all screwed up.

That’s what we see out in the world today. It’s obvious things aren’t as they once were. If we wanted to talk in terms of natural law, things have gone all wrong. It’s seen also in the theological view of marriage: that marriage is a living picture of the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church. That’s what Paul talks about in Ephesians 5: Christ saves His bride. The Church is saved by her husband. Christ doesn’t die for Himself, He doesn’t save Himself, but He dies, He saves His bride, the Church. So also the Church doesn’t save herself, she doesn’t make herself perfect, but she is saved, made perfect by her husband, Christ. The putting together of two Christs, or two Churches breaks the living picture God made, as Jesus says, “From the beginning of creation, “Male and female He created them.’” Continue reading

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Pentecost 8B (Mk 6:30–44)

“Called and Sent”
July 19, 2015
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
AUDIO (Early) || AUDIO (Late)

INI + AMEN.

Today’s a good day. It’s a good Sunday. It’s good for you. It’s good for me. Jesus, the Lord of the Church, has blessed us. He has sent me into your midst to be His under-shepherd, your pastor. It’s a blessing for me. And He’s blessed you so that you once again have a pastor. The Lord Jesus loves you and me, and that’s why He’s done this. Jesus is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Now, we can bottle all of that up in one word: compassion. Jesus is compassionate, and in our text today we see it. It’s not just about what happened some 2,000 years ago in Galilee but about what Jesus is doing even now in Bremen. You see,

JESUS HAS COMPASSION AND GIVES HIS GIFTS THROUGH HIS CALLED AND SENT ONES. Continue reading

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Pentecost 3A—Matthew 10:34–42

INI + AMEN.

(1. Oops!: The sword comes against the church.)

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” That’s a hard pill for us to swallow. Jesus did come to bring peace, but it’s not peace as the world would have it. It’s not even as we want to define it. There’s a result or an effect that Jesus’ peace has—a sword. The sword comes against the Church. Think about Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman, who was imprisoned for being a Christian and threatened with death, even while pregnant, because she believes that Jesus died and rose again for her. Think about the Church in Denmark. Denmark is forcing Churches to Conduct Gay Marriages. Think about our own country. Where will we be heading?

It shouldn’t surprise us. Continue reading

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Does L + G + e really = C?

Christian preaching isn’t a math equation. As a Christians pastor, I want to see my sheep and even myself abound in good works, but, again, Christian preaching isn’t a math equation. It’s not L + G + l = C. Where L is “preaching of the Law”, G is “preaching of the Gospel”, l is “little bit more law” (this variable can also be expressed with “e”, i.e. exhortation), and C is “the Christian acting the right way.” Proper Christian preaching is a constant dynamic of declaring both Law and Gospel to the Christian. Continue reading

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Women are saved how?

1 Timothy 2:1–15
“For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.  Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

Say what?  Oh no Paul didn’t!  Obviously he’s just thinking with his archaic 1st century sensibilities.  Women saved through childbirth, that’s just preposterous.  We’ve progressed past such archaic ways of thinking.  But Paul isn’t speaking about what he knows about his culture, or what will be with our culture.  He speaks about what he knows from Scripture.

There was Adam and Eve—man and his woman.  There was a tree.  And there was a problem.  The serpent came and made them both eat of the tree which God had commanded them not to.  Suddenly there was sin, shame, and death.  Man was supposed to stick his neck out for his wife, to save her from the dragon, and he didn’t—woman deceived, man deceived, humanity falls.  Yet, “she will be saved in THE childbirth” as Paul puts it, or “I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

Paul precisely proclaims the promise, how all men are saved.  As he says, “For which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”  Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and men.  All woman are saved, just as men are saved by Him who was promised to THE woman—first spoken to Eve and then fulfilled in Mary.  Jesus’ death and resurrection save humanity.  All are saved “if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control” not just women, but men too.

Set free in Christ each can pray and rejoice in their own particular way.  Woman humble.  Men sticking their necks out.  But all pray that they “we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”  For if that takes place Christians may gather to pray, of course, but come together to continually receive Him who came and died and rose for them, the one who baptized them, who gives them His body and blood to eat and drink all for the forgiveness of their sins.  They can come together to sing with Paul: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”  In the Name + of Jesus.  Amen.

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Sermons, Uncategorized

Pentecost 15C—Proverbs 25:2–10

INI + AMEN.

            The cross. The glory of God. Jesus. God. Dead on the cross. This is the glory of God.  His glory is seen, seen in Jesus, in Jesus bloody, beaten, hanging dead on a cross. Indeed God’s true glory is seen in the cross of Jesus, in the cross of sorrow. It is seen, yet unseen; revealed, yet hidden. The cross where, as we just sang, “The King of all the ages, Throned in light ere worlds could be, Robed in mortal flesh is dying, Crucified by sin for me.” That is the glory of God. Solomon says so, “It is God’s glory to hide a thing.” God’s glory is hidden, yet revealed in God’s dying, in Jesus’ dying, for you. Continue reading

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