Sermons

Transfiguration (Mt 17:1–9)

February 5, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Transfiguration’s a big deal, but not in a way you might think. That’s our problem. We get caught up in glory clouds, in bright shining faces, in power, in thunderous voices from heaven. That’s Old Adam, though. Our flesh likes that sort of thing. We’re naturally attracted to power. It’s what’s Old Adam understands. At our core, it’s pretty much the one thing we understand naturally.

It’s what we want. We want power. We tend to think: the world would just be perfect if I were running it. The only thing that keeps our ambitions in check is someone with more smarts, more money, more popularity, more connections, or whatever. But it’s all power.

So we take that understanding of power, and we apply that to JESUS and God. Transfiguration seems to play right into that, but the glory of the Transfiguration isn’t the point. JESUS knows that. That’s what He says! “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” If that sort glory were the point, He wouldn’t have said, “Don’t tell anyone.” He wouldn’t’ve cared if they said anything. Why does JESUS say this? He says it because

JESUS’ TRUE GLORY IS HIS CROSS AND EMPTY TOMB. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany 4 (Mt 8:23–27)

January 29, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Who Jesus is and what He did are two very important questions. As disciples of Jesus, followers of Him, we understand how important those two questions are—not only for us, but all people. To be a disciple of Jesus means to be baptized and have trust in Him. To have faith in Jesus means more than just being a good person. Way too many people think that’s what Christianity is all about: being nice, good people that God will bless for being nice, good people. Christianity’s not about being good, doing good. It’s more than that. Faith is receiving from Jesus, living from Jesus, striving to be around Jesus. That’s the cycle of faith: being around Jesus to receive from Him and live from Him. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany 3 (Mt 8:1–13)

January 22, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

I know you trust JESUS. You do. Then you’ve got your doubts. Whether it’s stuff in your own life, the lives of those you love, or just the general unpleasantness of the world that we sometimes have to endure, that stuff makes us doubt JESUS’ love for us, makes us doubt how our heavenly Father feels about us, and maybe even makes us question the truth of our faith. But I’ve got news for you, dear friends. When up is down and down is left, when the rocky turns stormy, when the storms gather, there is something—or rather someone—who is Way, who is Peace, who is the Light for your path: Jesus. He’s the Truth in the midst of uncertainty.

But I want you to know something else. Those things are certainly true, but there a bit abstract, not tangible. JESUS is more than just Truth. He’s trustworthy. You can put your trust in Him. He won’t let you down—not in the end. He’s your Savior. The Savior of all. In all times, but especially in hard times, He’s someone you can trust, have faith in.

JESUS IS A TRUSTWORTHY SAVIOR FOR ALL. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany 2 (Jn 2:1–11)

INI + AMEN.

What’s normal and natural? Water that becomes wine. “That’s not natural,” we think. We call that a miracle. There’s supposedly Laws against such things. Water is water, and wine is wine. And after Jesus turned 120–130 gallons of water into wine, they might’ve implemented the first blue laws in Cana of Galilee! There’s all sorts of laws for all sorts of times. Purification laws. Cultural laws—like running out of wine at a wedding is severely embarrassing for a new groom and bride! There’s God’s Law. The rules and laws we make for ourselves. All sorts of law, but in spite of such laws, breaking through them all, Jesus turns water into wine. He supplies for the wedding fest. It’s natural for Him to do so, and when He does, He gives the best.

JESUS ALWAYS GIVES THE BEST WINE FOR HIS BRIDE. Continue reading

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Sermons

Transfiguration (Lk 9:28–36)

February 7, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Jesus is God hidden in plain sight. Now, that might sound like an odd thing to say on the day we remember when our Lord Jesus was transfigured, but actually this is made even more clear by His Transfiguration. It’s like this: Jesus just looked like a normal guy before this. Sure, He did miracles like healing the sick, raising the dead. That’s not that special. Prophets did that. After His Transfiguration, Jesus looked like a normal guy again. So normal, in fact, He died! That’s pretty run of the mill. Ah, but the Transfiguration, Jesus’ Transfiguration lets you peek behind the curtain. Now “Peter, John, and James”—you too!—get to see that Jesus is who He really says He is. Well, you really know that Easter Sunday, but here’s a little foreshadowing and preview for Easter. But it’s not really about the glory. He hides it. His clothing flashes lightning white. He shines in glory, and then…nothing. Not until His resurrection does He do things never seen before: passing through doors, disappearing, ascending into heaven, appearing in glory to Paul. Anyway, Jesus being transfigured contrasts, in a very vivid way, that Jesus actually hides His glory. He hides it for you.

JESUS HIDES HIS GLORY TO SAVE YOU. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany 4C (Lk 4:31–44)

January 31, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

 

INI + AMEN.

The Lord Jesus brings the Last Day to His day. That’s what we see going on in our Gospel text. There are many magnificent promises that the Lord Jesus makes about what will happen on the Last Day. The dead in Christ will rise from the dead to eternal life with Him, and those with faith in Him who are alive will live forever with Him. Sin will gone forever. Sickness, pain, and death will die and pass away. The devil and all the other demons will be cast down forever. That will take place on the Last Day because of what Jesus did in His day, and also what He does in our day. It’s all based on what Jesus is doing. What Jesus does is based on what He was sent to do. “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jesus ushers in the Kingdom of God, His Kingdom. It’s why He was born. Jesus being sent to usher in His Kingdom means He was sent to supplant, conquer, and overthrow another kingdom. That’s what happens.

THE KINGDOM OF SIN, DEATH, AND THE DEVIL IS OVERTHROWN BY JESUS. Continue reading

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