Sermons

Christmas Eve (Mt 1:18–25)

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

“The Virgin will conceive and have a son, and they will call His Name Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.”

INI + AMEN.

God with us sounds wonderful. It’s a perfect Christmas card. But it’s not just some Christmas wish. It’s not just a nice sounding idea. It’s not something that’s pie in the sky. It’s not something we say, but we secretly know it’s not really true, at least not true enough to affect our actual—flesh and blood—day to day lives.

God doesn’t do things like that. He never gives nice sounding but empty words. He never talks about nice but meaningless ideas. We turn them into that. We highjack the Lord’s Word and Promises, we take control of what the Lord does, and we call the shots. We make Christianity all about ideas, ideas we have control of. We set up our answers, our feelings, our thoughts, our ideas, and they become our gauge for what God does for us.

By taking God and moving into the realm of ideas, we manipulate God. We’re living the devil’s lie. “You will be like God.” We set up all sorts of answers and reasons of why God’s with us and not against us. We also have all sorts of ways of thinking about HOW God’s with us. Just ideas again. God’s with me because my life’s good. God’s with me because I’m more nice than naughty. God’s with me because I think He is. Still ideas. Ideas we’ve got control over. 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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Sermons

Christmas Eve (Mt 1:18–25)

December 24, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

(1. We’ve all experienced people not keeping their word.)

Here we are at another Christmas Eve. We’re celebrating the birth of the Lord God Himself. He’s been born to save us, and so Alleluias, Hosannas, and Glorias fill our songs! But for some, there’s something putting a damper on their Christmas joy. There’s many reasons for this, but there’s one that’s highlighted by the Christmas story in general and in our text from Matthew 1 specifically. It doesn’t just affect us during the holiday season either. We experience it all times of the year. From the gifts you were promised and didn’t get, to the visits that didn’t happen as planned or expected, to even the honey-do list that’s more of a honey-didn’t list. We’ve all experienced people not keeping their word. Continue reading

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