Sermons

Holy (Maundy) Thursday (1 Cor 11:23–32; Jn 13:1–15, 34–35)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

How do you gauge God’s love for you? We think all sorts of things about how you know that God loves you. If your life is generally pretty good, if you are generally pretty good (healthy or whatever), if you’re generally a nice person—in all these sorts of ways we figure out if God loves us and how much He loves us.

But what about experiencing God’s love? How would you go about doing that? We want to feel something. As if love is simply a feeling. (That’s what we think today.) Don’t get me wrong: if you feel something (joy, sadness, anything in between), that’s okay as far is it goes. But it’s not a sign of God’s love for you, nor is it a sign of how weak or strong your faith is.

“God is love:” each person of the Trinity putting the other two first. Anyway, experiencing that—God’s love: how? Well, we look inside ourselves. We meditate on whatever (Jesus, His death, His resurrection, whatever blessings we’ve received), and by our meditation, our works, our spirituality we try to drum up some sort of feeling because, we think that’s the sign of true faith.

We boil it all down to feelings: a quiver in the liver, a lump in the throat, a glistening of the eye. God’s love, Jesus’ love is something far different than all that, it’s more concrete. Faith is same way too, too. Continue reading

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Sermons

Holy Thursday (Jn 13:1–15, 34–35)

April 13, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Love. That’s what the Christian faith is all about: love toward God (that’s faith) and love toward those around you. Love—true love. Not what the world peddles as love. Love isn’t chemistry. It’s not physical attraction. But love is “the kind of thing that money just can’t buy.”

Love. Jesus’ love. It’s otherworldly love. Out of His great love for you and other sinners,” “He purchased and won you from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.”

That’s Jesus’ love. He makes the first move. What’s the song? “Love came down at Christmas.” But that’s only half the story. We’re in the thick of the story now. Lent. Holy Week. Holy Thursday. Jesus. Love. Body and Blood. This is the point.

JESUS’ LOVE IS LIVED AND DELIVERED. Continue reading

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Sermons

Holy Thursday (Jn 13:1–17, 31b–35; 1 Cor 11:23–32)

March 24, 2016
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Here we are deep in holy week, and there’s white on the altar? Really? Holy Week is like Lent on steroids. More repentance. More sorrow for sin. We’ve already put away our alleluias, we’ve put away our “Glory be to God on High,” and because it’s such a solemn time we don’t even say our “Glory be to the Father.” But not tonight. As good Lutherans, we just can’t help ourselves. Doing these things are good. They help teach the faith. So why lay some of them aside? Well, it all comes down to what we celebrate tonight! It’s all about what Jesus gives us. What sorrow can we have with a gift that some call Eucharist, that is, “Thanksgiving”? Jesus delivers His own body and blood. That’s what were given to expect and receive from the Lord. It’s how our Lord serves us, and when our Lord serves and we receive His service, we then know Him as He is.

YOU KNOW GOD PERFECTLY BY BEING ON THE RECEIVING END OF JESUS’ SERVING. Continue reading

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