Sermons

Quasimodo Geniti (Jn 20:19–31)

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

Jesus is alive—really alive! But He’s more than alive: not only will He never die again, but now He openly does things that only God can do. He certainly could do them before His resurrection, but, even though He’s God, He took on the appearance of a servant. Now that’s over, and He appears to His scared disciples behind locked doors. He knows word for word what unbelieving Thomas said even though He wasn’t standing there.

Now, what’s this resurrected and glorified Jesus up to? Why does He appear to the 10? Why does He appear again to them along with Thomas? Why does He gather us together today? Well, there’s one reason for all of it. There’s really only one thing Jesus is after. It’s why He was born. It’s why He died—really died! It’s why He came back to life. One thing: peace.

JESUS IS IN THE PEACE-DELIVERING BUSINESS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Easter Day (Mk 16:6)

April 16, 2017
Immanuel Lutehran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

He was dead. Dead dead. Crucified dead. “Nails, spear shall pierce Him through” dead. Heart-stopped, last-breath dead. He was corpse dead. Signed death certificate dead. Not half dead. 100% dead. Call the coroner dead. Wrapped in grave clothes dead. Buried dead. Sealed in a cold, dark tomb dead.

Then, He wasn’t. He was alive. Alive alive. Nail prints and spear gash were only scars alive. “Just a flesh wound” alive! Heart-beating, breath-breathing alive. He was flesh and bones alive. Eat some fish alive. Not zombie alive. 100% alive. More than alive!—never to die again. Grave clothes left behind alive. No stench of death alive. Tomb opened to show He was already gone alive. Continue reading

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Sermons

Easter Dawn (Jn 20:1–18, 1 Cor 15:1–11)

April, 16, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

Everyone look at the person on your right. Now, everyone look to the person on your left. They’re alive, right? … Are they alive? … Ok, good. Now, everyone take in a deep breath. Besides that breath, you’re about to go eat breakfast, right? So, you’re alive, too, then. Are you alive? …

That’s how it is with Jesus. He was alive, and then He wasn’t, then He was. At the time of His choosing, He said, “It is finished,” and breathed His last. On the cross His heart stopped. He was dead. Then three days later, He was alive again. Life returned to His lifeless, 3 day dead body. He wasn’t a zombie. His heart beat again.

He’s alive. Just like you are and the people sitting next to you. That’s our Easter joy! In fact, it’s even better than Jesus being alive like us because

RIGHT NOW JESUS IS EVEN MORE ALIVE THAN YOU ARE. Continue reading

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Sermons

Palmarum (Mt 21:1–9)

April 9, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna!” Not, “Alleluia!” No Easter praises today. The crosses are still covered. No “Glory bes.” Just, “Hosanna!” “Save us!”

Salvation: That’s why He’s come. Advent is fulfilled. Today’s reading is the same as the first Sunday in Advent. The prophecy’s fulfilled: “Look, your King is coming to you: gentle and mounted on a donkey.” Adventus: He comes. He comes to save.

They gather round; they cry out, “Save us, now!” “Save us now, Jesus! Save us, YAHWEH who saves.” That’s what Jesus means: YAHWEH saves. “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh!” Continue reading

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Sermons

Judica (Jn 8:46–59)

April 2, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Who’s JESUS? It’s a question many people want to answer. People come up with all sorts of answers, and they’re usually based on their own preconceived ideas. Most of the time, people don’t want to listen to what JESUS has to say about Himself. Now, in the Gospel of John, JESUS is really clear about who He is. He says the same things in the other Gospels, but Matthew, Mark, and Luke have JESUS being more subtle. But in John, JESUS lets the cat out of the bag.

And there’s one thing you get from what JESUS says, there’s one thing He can’t be: a great moral teacher. That’s not JESUS—not the JESUS of the Gospels, anyway. You can either believe what He has to say, but if you don’t, there’s only two options for who JESUS: He’s either crazy, or He’s a liar. If He’s either of those, then He can’t be a great moral teacher.

So, who does JESUS claim to be? Well, from our Gospel text this morning, we’re confronted by what JESUS clearly says about Himself. JESUS confronts us with this:

JESUS, THE GREAT I AM, HONORS THE FATHER AND KEEPS HIS WORD. Continue reading

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Sermons

Laetare (Jn 6:1–15)

March 26, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Laetare: “Rejoice!” Today, we lighten our Lenten repentance. Easter can’t help but shine through just a little bit. So, our purple is lightened to pink, to rose because He rose from the dead. Laetare: “Rejoice,” “rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her.”

Rejoice! “The passover was near, a feast of the Jews.” Rejoice! Good Friday and Easter are near, just around the corner. Rejoice! “Jesus knew what He was going to do.” Not only feed the multitudes—certainly that, but He was going to do much more. He’s going to His cross. He’ll travel the Calvary way. He passes through cross, death, and grave. He’ll rise.

“He’s the Prophet, who’s coming into the world,” after all. He’s more than that! He’s King. The one, true King. He’s not just some ruler with the best health care program, the best AG program, the best tax plan, the best subsidy. No, none of those things. He’s not that sort of King, at all.

Yesterday, the Holy Christian Church remembered that He was conceived, His life and all life is precious and holy even at only two cells. Then He was born in בֵּת‫-לֶחֶם‬, Bethlehem, “House of Bread,” but He’s no “bread” King. He’s King of Calvary. “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

Laetare! Jesus is King. Rejoice!

KING JESUS GOES THE CALVARY WAY. Continue reading

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Sermons

Oculi (Lk 11:14–28)

March 19, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“Eyeballs.” That’s what today’s name means. Oculi mei: “My eyes are ever toward the LORD,” as we sung in the Introit. David puts it in terms of sight, but eyes aren’t really the organ of faith. Now, unbelieving Thomas may have tried it, but there’s no “seeing is believing.” Eyes aren’t the organ of faith; Judas proves that.

But we do know that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.” Eyes may not be the organ of faith, but ears are! As the Father said at the Transfiguration, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”

C.S. Lewis once told this story: “I have known only one person in my life who claimed to have seen a ghost. It was a woman; and the interesting thing is that she disbelieved in the immortality of the soul before seeing the ghost and still disbelieves after having seen it. She thinks it was a hallucination. In other words, seeing is not believing.”

Jesus calls us to “see” with our ears. “My sheep hear My voice,” and all that. So then, the devil’s goal is to get you to not use your ears. He wants there to be silence. He doesn’t want you to hear—well, not Jesus anyway. But that’s exactly who the devil has to deal with. And we should know full well that

THE DEVIL’S “SILENCE” IS DROWNED OUT BY JESUS’ WORD. Continue reading

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