Sermons

All Saints’ Day—Observed (Rev 7:9–17)

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

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 7:13–14)

INI AMEN.

They’re countless. They’re like the sand on the beach, the stars in the night sky. They’re Abraham’s promise fulfilled. In fact, he’s there, too. They’re “a thousand thousands.” (Dan 7:10) They’re “ten thousand times ten thousand.” (Dan 7:10) They’re countless—”a great crowd that no one can number. But they’re not nameless, faceless.

You know them. Well, some of them. You know their names. You know their faces. You know them. They know you. They’re your family members, your friends, but they’re also your brothers and sisters in Christ. They’re your fellow baptized. They trusted in the Lamb slain for them, they were given the white robe of His righteousness, they were washed, they were purified by the blood of the Lamb. Now, they are those “who have come out of the great tribulation” of this life. You know that about them. But you also know them, and because of what you know or maybe in spite of what you know about them, you love them.

But more important than you knowing them, or them knowing you is that the Lord knows them. John doesn’t quite know who they are, the elder knows who they are, but the Lord knows them, knows you, too. They’re His saints, His holy ones. You’re a saint, too. The Lord sanctifies you, He holies you, He “saints” you. He’ll also bring you through “the great tribulation” of life to Himself in heaven.

It might be “a great multitude that no one can number,” but they’re not nameless, faceless. They aren’t indistinguishable to the Lord. He knows them. He names them. He saves them. He “saints” them, holies them, sanctifies them. You, too!

THE LORD KNOWS HIS SAINTS AND SAVES THEM. Continue reading

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Sermons

Reformation Observed (Jn 8:31–36)

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

“The slave does not remain in the house forever. The Son remains forever. Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you’re really free.” (35–36)

INI + AMEN.

Jesus sets you free. It’s why He came. It’s why He died for you, rose for you, too. It’s why He baptized you. It’s why He delivered the Absolution today. It’s why He gives His body and blood to eat and to drink. Jesus wants you to be free, and so He sets you free. And WHEN JESUS SETS YOU FREE, HE REALLY SETS YOU FREE. Continue reading

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Sermons

St. Michael and All the Angels (Mt 18:1–11)

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

INI + AMEN.

Our Lord says, “Let the little children come to Me” because He lifts up the lowly, the nothing. He makes the strong serve the weak. That’s what our dear Lord’s about. What His Kingdom, His reign, His rule is all about, too. That’s even what St. Michael’s Day is all about!

It’s white today—not to rejoice in the purity of angels, their might, their greatness. It’s white to point us to a purity more pure than the angels have—the purity, holiness, and righteousness of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The righteousness—His righteousness that He gave you at the Holy Font in Holy Baptism.

And so He says, “Let the little children come to Me.” And so He says in our Gospel text today: “Whoever receives one such child in My name, receives Me.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Winkel—Holy Cross Observed (1 Cor 1:18–25; Jn 12:20–33)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

We’re all a bunch of fools! We’re morons! Can you think of anything more ridiculous than what we do? There isn’t much, according to the “wisdom of the world.” Those who are high and lofty, those who are wise, those who are strong, those who are something, want to be something, can be something may grant some foolishness—foolishness for the sake of entertainment. Society needs people who make life not so serious, after all. Comedians, actors, entertainers, magicians, circus ringmasters. Funny. Not fools.

But we—we are bunch of fools! We really are! Not because of us, but because of Him. Because we preach—preach Him. But not just Him. What He did. “We preach Christ crucified, which is scandal to Jews and foolishness to Greeks, but Christ, God’s power and wisdom, to those who are called (whether Jew or Greek).” Christ is “God’s power and wisdom” because Christ “is God over all, blessed forever.” The eternally blessed God, the Creator of the universe “for us and our salvation came down from heaven,” and “was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.” Continue reading

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Sermons

St. Mary Magdalene (Jn 20:1–2, 10–18)

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

INI + AMEN.

Seven demons. Not just one, or even two, but seven demons. That’s how many demons Jesus cast out of Mary Magdalene. He rescued her from the power and kingdom of the devil. From her prostituting herself, and her many other sins, He also saved her. He’s yet to save her body from death. He will, though. We know that from her. She saw Him crucified, she saw Him dead and buried, and she didn’t just see an empty tomb. No, she saw Him—alive! Easter in July! We celebrate and rejoice on St. Mary Magdalene’s day because she’s a picture of your own salvation.

She’s a picture of your salvation because JESUS SAVES YOU LIKE HE DID MARY MAGDALENE. Continue reading

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Sermons

The Visitation (Lk 1:39–56)

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

INI + AMEN.

Well, here we are again, continuing our story from last week. Well, actually moving back a little, picking it up at an earlier point. Today, Mary visits Elizabeth when she was six months along, and she stays three months. Did Mary go to get advice from Elizabeth? Did Mary go to help Elizabeth in her delivery? We aren’t told. We know the end of the story, though. John’s born, and Mary, then in her second trimester, journeys back to Galilee only to turn right back around in six months time to go to Bethlehem. And we all know how that ended.

But today, important stuff, miraculous stuff going on. Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy pales in comparison, and Elizabeth knew it. She knew her young cousin was mother number one, that in Mary, through her womanhood, the Lord was coming. In fact, the Lord God was there, in her womb. Continue reading

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Sermons

Nativity of John the Baptist (Lk 1:57–80)

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

INI + AMEN.

We aren’t just an isolated little group of people here. We are part of God’s people who’ve lived through the centuries and all over the world. Within this company of Christ’s people we have our place and identity. Around the world today millions of Christians are remembering, as they’ve done for centuries, that today is six months before Christmas Eve and the birth of our Savior. That means we are also remembering the birth of John the Baptist, our brother in this company of God’s people where he also has his place, identity, and task. Continue reading

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