Advent 1 Midweek (Gal 3:26–4:7)

Small Catechism: Lord’s Prayer Introduction and First Petition

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO


Holy Baptism. We don’t fully grasp the benefits given to us in Holy Baptism. In fact, we don’t really believe that all the benefits and blessings that Scripture attaches to Holy Baptism are really true.

Christ, His cross and death for you, His empty tomb, His resurrection from the dead, the Holy Spirit with all His gifts, salvation itself, eternal life, a new heart, being born from above—all these things (and more!) are poured out wholesale in the water and Word of Holy Baptism. All these things are given you as a gift, and so they’re all yours!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Pastor, you’re supposed to preach about the Lord’s Prayer. We even confessed some of what it means. Why are you talking about Holy Baptism?”

The Lord’s Prayer—and all prayer for that matter—is also a gift. The gift of praying to God isn’t just some right that you have as a human being. No, the Lord’s Prayer is a gift to the Baptized. In fact, it was prayed over you and given to you when you were baptized! The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of those who are baptized into Christ Jesus. Continue reading


Advent 2 Midweek (Mal 4:1–6)

December 9, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO


Judgment comes. We prayed it in the Psalm this evening: “the LORD knows the way of the | righteous,* but the way of the wicked will | perish.” They will perish because they “are like chaff that the wind | drives away.” We hear about this judgment again in our reading from Malachi: “Behold the day comes, burning like an oven, and all the proud and all workers of wickedness will be stubble, and the coming day will burn them,” says Yahweh Sabaoth, “It will not leave them root or branch.”

Judgment will come upon those who look to themselves, who look to their own works, their own feelings, how well they’re doing in their life in order to tell how their standing is with God. If they feel good about themselves, they think they’re on the up and up with God. It’s not based on God’s Word or His Gifts of Baptism, Absolution, and His Supper, but rather on their own selves that this determination is made. There will be judgment for those whose deeds are evil. Those who hate their neighbor, who get drunk and gossip, who desire not their spouses, who secretly go about the internet for unseemly things—in short, every sinner who sins and wishes to white wash it, “who flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.” He covers it up. Hides like Adam did. Blames others. Instead of just confessing His sin and receiving Jesus’ absolution for that sin. It’s as Jesus says, “Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” This judgment comes as surely as Jesus comes. It’s advent, after all.

We know from Malachi 4 when that judgment comes, and, of course, it’s all tied to Jesus. “But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise.” For those who are outside of Christ, for those without faith in Him, He arises as a hot, burning sun, and “there is nothing hidden from its heat.” But for you, dear Christians, it’s entirely different.