Sermons

Trinity 10 (Lk 19:41–48)

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

INI + AMEN.

Peace! That’s what the Lord wants. Not just peace of mind. But actual peace. He doesn’t want some human idea of world peace. That’s just an empty substitution, an idol, instead of the true peace He wants. He wants peace between Him and all humanity. He wants “peace on earth”—no more separation between God and men. He wants His mercy, “peace, goodwill” to be “toward men,” that is, for men, for you—each of you.

What the Lord wants, He gets. He moves all of human history to do it. Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. The children of Israel. Egypt. Exodus. David. Prophets. Priests. Blood sacrifices. Tabernacle. Temple. All waiting for, all preparing for, all pointing to One—Jesus, God with a body. There, in Him, is the Lord God getting what He wants for you—peace.

Jesus is our “Peace-maker,” but how? What are “the things that make for your peace,” as Jesus says today? Certainly, all of history that Jesus moved in order to come, but more specific than that. Jesus “made peace by the blood of His cross.” His body given and His blood shed are the things that make for peace. That’s the Lord’s way. Where all the Old Testament pointed. Where even you, today, should look for peace.

JESUS’ BODY AND BLOOD MAKE FOR YOUR PEACE. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Trinity 9 (Lk 16:1–9)

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

INI + AMEN.

Jesus is the king of parables. No one can tell story quite like He can. He’s the author of Life. Writing, weaving, tying all stories into His one salvation story. Jesus, the master story teller, can always tell a story that makes heads turn. Certainly our Gospel text, today, does that. Jesus told his parable, and said a few more things about money, and Luke tells us, “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him.” In fact, Jesus told all His parables to make people scratch their heads. He tells a parable about a Sower, and we get hung up on the soils. He tells a parable about Him saving 100% and not works, and we get hung up on being the Samaritan. And today, He tells a parable that involves a manager forgiving debs, and we get hung up on the money. Continue reading

Standard
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

Standard
Sermons

Trinity 7 (Mk 8:1–9)

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

INI + AMEN.

Eden. The Decapolis. Here. The Lord always has a place for His Word. A Word to a place, a Word to a person, a Word through a person, a Word of promise—now, that’s the Lord’s way of doing things. Place, person to, person through, and promise all come together according to the Lord’s gracious provision, blessing, and working. All that’s left for us is to receive and rejoice. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Trinity 6 (Mt 5:20–26)

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

INI + AMEN.

“Unless your righteousness is abundantly more than the scribes and pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Righteousness. Right-ness. Holiness. Purity. There is no other way. That’s the Lord’s way. That’s who He is: holiness, purity, and righteousness. He’s set apart from everything else, different from everyone else.

We’re not that. Not in ourselves. Ours isn’t the set apart way, the holy way, the right way. We’re common. Just like everyone else out there. As a Christian you’re completely holy and righteous in Jesus—only in Jesus—but in yourself, left to yourself, you live just like people who want nothing to do with Jesus.

The Lord’s gracious and merciful. He’s kind. He delivers steadfast love to those who “fear, love, and trust in Him.” His steadfast love is everlasting. As long as Jesus lives, that’s how long steadfast love lasts. Jesus is steadfast love: His death and resurrection for sinners, for those who hate Him. Talk about being merciful, kind, generous, and loving! Continue reading

Standard
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

Standard
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

Standard