Sermons

Christmas Day (Jn 1:1–18)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Jesus is the Word. Jesus is God. He’s “full of grace and truth.” He’s the true light, true life. “Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings,” as Hark! The Herald Angels puts it. Jesus, the Word, created everything, and then He took on the flesh He created to save us—die and rise for us. “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.” “He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him.”

Jesus is the Word made flesh. He was sent from His Father to make Him known to you. He came from the Father to deliver you back to His Father. That’s what’s wrapped up in the Christmas story—and one more surprise! And so, Christmas is no different than any other Sunday, and yet everything’s eternally different because of Christmas.

CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT WHAT JESUS, THE WORD, DOES FOR YOU. Continue reading

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Sermons

Christmas Dawn (Lk 2:1–20)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Infant holy, Infant lowly, For His bed a cattle stall. Oxen lowing, Little knowing Christ the child is Lord of all. (LSB 393:1)

That’s what happened. We know the story. Heard it last night from the children. We heard it this morning, too. “The decree went out” that “all the world should be taxed.” So, Joseph also went up with Mary, too. She was great with child. That child is holy—the Holy One of Israel! But certainly “lowly.” Subject to Rome. Subject to taxes. Born just like you and me. Manger, feed trough for that child’s bed. Cows. Oxen. Messy. That’s what happened. But why? Continue reading

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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 1 (Lk 2:33–40)

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

INI + AMEN.

Today, the Seventh Day of Christmas, we’re given to ponder Simeon’s prophecy that deals with who this Child is and what He came to do. If his words bother us because it’s Christmas time, then we’ve misunderstood Christmas entirely. “Behold, this child is appointed for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against…that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Christmas Day (Jn 1:1–14, 15–18)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Some of the greatest Words ever written. No other religion has that. There’s no one like Him: Word…flesh…among us. Set up shop among us. Pitched His tent among us. Tabernacled among us. Walked and talked among us. But not just Word among us—Word one of us! As we joyously sang, “God is man, man to deliver, And the Son Now is one With our blood forever.” “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Christmas Dawn (Lk 2:1–14, 15–20)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“It happened.” That’s how the Christmas story begins in the Gospel. “It happened.” It’s just so matter-of-fact and ordinary that most translations—like ours today—leave it out. Normally reporters don’t have to say, “It happened.” But when the event has been turned into a pretty little myth, a pretense for gift giving, for reindeer games, and an elf on the shelf, then it’s important to hear, “It happened.” 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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