Sermons

Epiphany 2 (Jn 2:1–11)

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

“Jesus did this first sign in Cana of Galilee and revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.”

INI + AMEN.

There’s no reason to go to a Feast where Jesus doesn’t provide His Wine. When Jesus provides His Wine, He’s being God for you, for your salvation. His provision, His delivering His Wine sustains faith in Him. If He doesn’t deliver His Wine, His disciples won’t believe in Him. Through His Wine, Jesus reveals His glory.

The Feast would come up short without Jesus. That’s how things go without Jesus. That’s because we come up short. We run out. We do things in life and in church only as long as we’re interested. How empty and without Jesus’ glory we are!

Jesus never runs out, though. Always more from Him! Always more for you, especially His Wine. It was like that in our Gospel reading: “six stone water jars…each holding twenty or thirty gallons.” Not just a lot, but the best: “you have kept the good wine until now.” That’s how Jesus reveals His glory.

You are His disciple. “Made” one when you were baptized “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Kept one by Jesus when you receive His “teaching.” But your believing, your being a disciple, also flows from Jesus’ Wine. It’s the same way today as it was in Cana.

Through His Wine and “the water become wine” Jesus reveals His glory. There is no Feast, no glory without Jesus’ Wine. Without it the Marriage Feast is empty. But when Jesus provides His Wine, He’s being your God and Savior because JESUS’ WINE REVEALS AND DELIVERS HIS GLORY TO YOU. Continue reading

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Sermons

Baptism of Jesus (Mt 3; 1 Cor 1; Is 42)

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

INI + AMEN.

“Peace on earth and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.” God and sinners together. God and sinners not apart, separate, far off, far away. Is that really the way of things? We say it is—sing it is!—, but is that how we live? Sadly, we don’t live that way.

It’s how Jesus lived. It’s why He came to the Jordan to be baptized by John. Jesus came for sinner’s baptism. He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Yes, John was confused by Jesus wanting to go through sinner’s baptism. But Jesus had to. That’s what He said: “In this way it’s fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” “All righteousness fulfilled” by Jesus being in the midst of the waters, in the midst of sinners, doused with sinner’s baptism.

That’s the sort of God Jesus is. There’s no, “Hey, you’ve gotta get your act together first” with Him. That’s not to say you shouldn’t repent of your sins. You should! So much so that you actually stop and want to stop doing them! But being so very repentant doesn’t actually get you anywhere with Jesus.

But He comes to the Jordan. He comes to be baptized by John. He comes to be in the midst of the waters, in the midst of sinners, in your midst. Your God, Your Savior comes to bring you to Himself so that you would dwell in the midst of His kingdom forever. That’s how JESUS IS YOUR “IN THE MIDST” GOD AND SAVIOR. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany of our Lord (Mt 2:1–12)

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

Featured Image (Animation)

INI + AMEN.

The body and blood of Jesus tells you everything you need to believe about God. That’s because Epiphany’s all about God revealing Himself in Jesus Christ. He reveals Himself in Jesus to be not only for Jews but also Gentiles. He wasn’t just for those in and around Bethlehem or in Judea—that’s Christmas. And He wasn’t just for “the Magi from the east.” He’s for you and me, too. We know that in the body and blood: given for you, shed for you. Continue reading

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Sermons

Baptism of Jesus—Observed (Mt 3:13–17)

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

INI + AMEN.

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him.” That didn’t sit well with John. (Maybe you’re confused, too!) We all know what John was about: blasting away at sinners with God’s judgment. Then Jesus shows up and acts like a sinner, just like us. What John had been doing didn’t fit with Jesus coming to sinners’ Baptism. John protested. He should’ve gone to Jesus for Baptism, not Jesus to John. So we and John think that Jesus must stay separate, and sinners must move to Him, by their doing, their repentance. He shouldn’t come and be a sinner with us. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany of our Lord—Observed (Mt 2:1–12)

Epiphany of our Lord—Observed (Mt 2:1–12)

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

INI + AMEN.

The prophet said, “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel.” That little point of light started Epiphany, and it brought the odd characters of the Magi to the toddler Jesus. Where’d they come from? No one knows. But these Gentiles, foreigners, outsiders were asking for the King of the Jews. Herod? No, not Herod. Quite troubling, indeed! We all know what he did…

The Lord promised where the Messiah, the Christ would be born. No star would tell that. These astrologer Magi needed more Word of God. They got it, and off they go to Bethlehem. They fell down and worshipped Him, gave Him their best. Then off to parts unknown. They had their 15 minutes of fame, and that’s it. No more Magi. Were they lost? No. The Magi were His men, His loyal subjects. It’s why they came: “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star…and have come to worship him.” Continue reading

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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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