Sermons

Good Friday—Tenebrae (Jn 19:1–42)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Lift up your eyes and see the salvation of God. The Lord God from heaven above with a mighty hand and outstretched arms has saved His people, all people. “My eyes look up to the hills,” from there, from above our help and salvation come. As Jesus says, “You are from beneath; I am from above.” Salvation isn’t just “from above;” it is above! That’s today. Salvation was up. Jesus, your Savior was up: on a hill, lifted up, crucified, “from aboved.” Good Friday is good because of that. Yeah,

JESUS IS “FROM ABOVED” THAT YOU WOULD BE BORN FROM ABOVE. Continue reading

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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 Week Wednesday (9th & 10th Commandments)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

[[9th and 10th Commandments]]

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: Our hearts are the problem.))

“The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” You aren’t without, you don’t lack, you do want for anything when you’ve got the Lord. Yeah, right… Oh, it sounds great, and we want to believe it. (Lord, help our unbelief.) But day to day we don’t think that, don’t believe that, don’t act like it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t crave, desire, or want what we want. That’s what coveting is all about: craving or desiring what you don’t have, wanting what those around you have.

These two Commandments (Nine and Ten) tie in with the First Commandment. You can really study them together, take them together, they go hand in hand. Commandments Nine and Ten get us to the heart of the matter, the heart of our spiritual problem: our hearts! Continue reading

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Sermons

Tenebrae Vespers (John 19:1–42)

April 14, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

A Meditation on the Cross and Crucified

INI + AMEN.

The cross. The cross. There’s nothing but the cross: offensive, yet beautiful. Offensive to the perishing but beautiful to the saved. The cross—not just the cross.

The Crucified. Him—He’s the true weight of the cross. He’s the true offense—God naked, bleeding, dying, dead. Who wants such a King? Who wants such a God? Could He not save Himself? Could He not call down 12 Legions of angels? Could He not come down from that cross? Yes, then what of you?

You. Yes, you. He does it for you. He’s your King. You don’t choose and elect a King. He is your King. He created from nothing and stops at nothing to save you. He knitted you together and gives up His seamless robe for you. He raises up and brings down nations and is sentenced to death by one of them: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” What joy! What wonder! What mystery! Your King, Your God, bleeds and dies. No expense too great. No cost too High. “His Holy, precious blood”? “His innocent suffering and death”? We thank you, Jesus, for what you did for us upon the cross. Continue reading

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Sermons

Chief Service (Heb 4:14–16; 5:7–9)

April 14, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: Do you struggle with sin?))

Do you struggle with sin? Are there sins that you just can’t beat? It’s like they sneak up on you, right? You think you’ve got them licked, and then they happen…again. Like, without even knowing how or why, you’re on the other side again. “How did I end up here, again?” you say.

But most of the time, we only give lip service to being sinners. Now, none of us would be so bold as to say we aren’t sinners. But we separate “sinner” from “the sin” so much that it’s almost impossible to think of actual sins we’ve done. 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 Wednesday (1 Ki 17:8–16)

April 12, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

So, what’s left to talk about? We’ve confessed what the Sacrament of the Altar is, where that’s written, what are the benefits of the eating and drinking, how can bodily eating and drinking do such great things, and who receives this sacrament worthily. We’ve confessed all these things over the past few weeks. They’re good to confess, and it’s even helpful and a blessing to know by heart. So, what’s left?

Now, there could be a mishmash of things. Lots of different teachings on the Lord’s Supper—that either begin with the Lord’s Supper or end there. That’d be a great bible class, but not necessarily a good sermon—not one I’d want to listen to, anyway.

It all comes down to what Jesus says and gives. It’s all His Word and Gift, we simply receive and confess. We see this in His Supper, and the widow of Zarephath and Elijah saw it, too. When it comes to Jesus’ body and blood in the Supper, it all boils down to this point:

THE LORD JESUS ALWAYS ACTS ACCORDING TO HIS WORD. Continue reading

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