Sermons

Judica—Lent 5 (Jn 8:46-59)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“A ram for an Isaac.” That’s our focus now until Easter. Payment must be made. Justice served. “An eye for an eye.” “A tooth for a tooth.” “A ram for an Isaac.” That’s the glory of God—true glory. That’s Abraham’s joy—true joy. No other way than the Ram’s way, the Son’s way, the Calvary way. So, we put away trappings of other glory that shifts our eyes and minds away from the true joy and glory of the cross. First, no “Alleluia.” Then, no “Glory be to God on high.” And now, no “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.”

Judica. “Vindicate me, O Lord.” “Declare me innocent!” His glory is to do exactly that. No other way for Him. There must be payment, sacrifice. Justice must be served. That’s the Ram’s way, the Son’s way, the Calvary way. That cross really is Jesus’ glory, His coronation. The joy of Abraham, too! “A ram for an Isaac.” But not just Abraham, you too! Your joy! A Ram, the Lamb of God, for you. That’s Genesis and John, and it all—like everything else—comes together at the cross.

ABRAHAM’S JOY—YOUR JOY!—AND JESUS’ GLORY IS THE CROSS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Lent 4 Midweek (7th Commandment)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

[[Seventh Commandment]]

INI + AMEN.

“Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” All things are gift from the Lord. What He gives is a gift. What He doesn’t give is also a gift. In His giving and in His not giving the Lord is giving gifts. He’s gifting everything. He knows “how to give good gifts to His [baptized] children.” Whether He gives or withholds—all is received in the way of gift by His baptized children. He’s gifted to you; He’s gifted to your neighbor—also you to them and them to you. Everything, everyone is a gift from the Lord. The Lord has created us to live begiftedly—as, from, and through His gifts. This is the Seventh Commandment—gifts from Him to your neighbor through you. All things are gift from the Lord. Of course, they are! As James says, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Laetare—Lent 4 (Jn 6:1–15)

Laetare—Lent 4 (Jn 6:1–15)

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

INI + AMEN.

Rejoice! Laetare! We’ve lightened the Lenten purple to rose. We see the heart of Lent this week—the joy of it. Lent isn’t all about sadness, darkness, ashes, death. It is if you look at you, then only those things. That’s our trouble. We’re turned inward. If it’s not about me, I tend to not care, but Lent’s not about you or me. That’s where the joy comes in. Lent’s about Jesus. All eyes on Him—Him for you. With Jesus, eyes fixed on Him and His cross, there’s no mourning, there’s joy. We follow Him on His Calvary, salvation way. The royal banners forward go! Rejoice! “Rejoice with Jerusalem,” His Church, “all you who love her.” Rejoice! Laetare! Her King, your King is come! Continue reading

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Sermons

Lent 3 Midweek (6th Commandment; Ephesians 5:22–33)

Lent 3 Midweek (6th Commandment; Ephesians 5:22–33)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

[[6th Commandment]]

INI + AMEN.

Of all the Commandments besides the 1st Commandment, this is the most appropriate one to look at in Lent. The 1st Commandment (“You shall have no other gods”) would fit in Lent because Lent is all about what Jesus, your God, has done to save you. Jesus is the “God” of the 1st Commandment, who died and rose for you. But we looked at the 1st Commandment in Advent, so we’re left with the 6th Commandment (“You shall not commit adultery”). Continue reading

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Sermons

Oculi—Lent 3 (Lk 11:14–23)

Oculi—My Eyes (Lk 11:14–23)

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

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: The devil wants silence.))

The devil wants silence. He wants to silence God. He wants to silence you. To do it he speaks, he lies. His lies kill. His word creates unfaith, undoes God’s good creation. It’s why he speaks. It’s why he does anything.

He wants to silence God. He doesn’t want people, doesn’t want you to hear the Gospel. He doesn’t want anyone to hear about Jesus’ death and resurrection for them. That message sends the devil packing, and so it must be silenced. He doesn’t want people reading their Bibles. He doesn’t want people to be baptized, to hear that they are thus beloved children of God, “with whom I am well pleased,” as the Father says. He doesn’t want faithful pastors who will preach the Gospel, who will absolve sinners of their sins. He doesn’t want you to receive Jesus’ body and blood. Any day the Words of Institution are silent is a good day for the devil. Continue reading

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Sermons

Lent 2 Midweek (5th Commandment)

Lent Midweek 2 (5th Commandment)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

[[5th Commandment, p. 321]]

INI + AMEN.

“The Spirit” is “the Lord and Giver of life.” Life is a gift, a gift from the One who “hovered over the face of the waters,” fluttering over them, brooding like a bird so that those waters would produce light and life. That’s the Spirit’s job: to give life. To give, instill, “breathe” life into the dead and lifeless is what it means to be the “Lord and Giver of life.” And so it was that “Yahweh breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

The Spirit’s not alone: He “proceeds from the Father and the Son.” That Son, Jesus, is “the life of all the living,” as we sang earlier, and the Father sent Him in order “to bring life and immortality to light.” This is new life. Jesus is “the death of death, our foe.” His empty-grave, life-from-the-dead life is delivered to you: splashed on your forehead in the water, Spirit, and Word of your Holy Baptism. Continue reading

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Sermons

Reminiscere—Lent 2 (Mt 15:21–28)

Reminiscere—Lent 2 (Mt 15:21–28)

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

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: This is a hard text, because of Jesus!))

This is a hard text—our Gospel text. It’s not hard because of the woman, that she won’t take a hint, that she’s just too pushy, too demanding. She’s an outsider. Canaanite. Gentile dog of a woman. Lays claim to “Lord, Son of David.” Who does she think she is?

But it’s not the woman that makes this a hard text. The disciples are in some sense moved by her unending cries for help and mercy, but that’s not what gets them to speak up. What gets the disciples to finally speak up is the silence. Jesus’ silence. Jesus, the Word of God, is silent. “He did not answer her a word.” The disciples seem a bit embarrassed by Jesus’ lack of action, and maybe we’re embarrassed, too! It’s a hard thing to witness. “Don’t you hear her, Jesus? Can’t you see her distress? Her child’s demon-possessed. If you won’t say anything, then we’ll help you and her out by getting the ball rolling. Look, now, ‘she’s crying out after us!’ Say something! Do what she asks! ‘Send her away!’” It may even seem to us that Jesus is the opposite of our Sunday today. Not “Reminiscere” (“remember”) but forgotten who He is. Continue reading

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