Sermons

Pentecost 20B (Mk 10:17–22)

October 11, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

(1. Oops!: When the going gets tough, our heavenly treasure seems less secure.)

How does it feel when life isn’t going your way? It’s sort of a silly question, right? But how does it feel? Now, I don’t mean things like waking up on the wrong side of the bed, or you stub your toe, or you burned your dinner, or any small thing like that. I’m talking about really bad stuff. How would it feel if your farm went belly up? What about if you got diagnosed with cancer? Someone you loved died? You got laid off? I’m talking earth-shattering things. When our joy gets turned into sorrow, when something that should be a joy doesn’t go as planned, and then it’s a burden. Again, it’s a bit of a silly question because we all know the answer! We’d feel pretty bad. We might give up. When things go tragically wrong for us, we might get depressed, we might get angry. We’ll turn around and make people around us miserable, because misery loves company. Continue reading

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Sermons

Pentecost 18B (Mark 9:38–50)

September 27, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO (early)
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO (late)

INI + AMEN.

Jesus has a very elementary discussion for us today. It seems rather odd what He all ties together: His name, water, fire, salt, and, to top it all off, peace. But what Jesus is doing is very basic stuff, rooted in some Old Testament language. He’s really talking about unity, purity, and peace. That’s it. Those three things: unity, purity, and peace. When we see that, it’s very easy to understand what Jesus is talking about. All He’s saying is that

UNITY, PURITY, AND PEACE ARE FOUND IN JESUS AND HIS NAME. Continue reading

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Sermons

Pentecost 17B (Mk 9:30–37)

September 20, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
AUDIO (early)
AUDIO (late)

INI + AMEN.

(1. Oops!: Jesus teaches about His death and resurrection, but we don’t get it.)

In our Gospel text today Jesus teaches us about what it means to be first and last, the greatest and the least. He does it while He’s meandering His way through Galilee towards Jerusalem. He teaches it over and over again and in way we don’t quite expect. He’s continually teaching the same thing. He teaches that “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” That’s what He keeps going on and on about. That’s good because that’s the preaching and teaching that we are forgiven, that we are at peace with God. Continue reading

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Sermons

Pentecost 16B (Mk 9:14–29)

September 13, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
AUDIO (Early)
AUDIO (Late)

INI + AMEN.

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot in your lives about the enemies that we have as Christians. There’s the world of course. Even though God loves the world, the world doesn’t love Him, and it certainly doesn’t love His children. There’s also our sinful flesh. We’re our own enemies. Sin is certainly our enemy, but Christ has rescued us from that enemy through His death and resurrection. He’s saved us from ourselves, as Paul confesses, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” But there’s an enemy that doesn’t fit well into our modern sensibilities. Just because he doesn’t fit in with what we think doesn’t mean he’s not real because Scripture clearly tells us He is, and God’s Word clearly tells us that He’s our enemy. We have sin as our enemy. The world too is against us. But, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” The devil, the world, and our sinful flesh are our enemies. Today’s Gospel lesson focuses our attention to the devil and the demons in league with him. But there’s no reason to fear when it comes to the devil or the demons.

JESUS IS ON OUR SIDE TO DEFEAT THE DEVIL. Continue reading

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Sermons

Pentecost 15B (Mk 7:31–37)

September 6, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Our Gospel text today is a very familiar one. A man who is both deaf and mute is no longer deaf and mute because Jesus opens his ears and loosens his tongue. It’s truly a great miracle, and the crowds rightly praise Jesus: “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.” This was a great physical miracle, and it’s a comfort to anyone whose body needs healing. Jesus is the great physician. But in this miracle we can also see a great spiritual meaning, and this spiritual meaning has to do with how people hear and speak in relation to God.

This is why Jesus has come. Our ears want to turn all sorts of ways. But there’s no room self-help advice in the church, no 10 steps to more blessed life. That’s not why Jesus came. Our ears must be open to what He has to say, on His terms. Our ears and mouths must receive His healing. We must be led and called to it, just like that man had to be brought to Jesus. But when it comes to Jesus and ears and tongues, He’s got it under control. He created them. He heals and saves them. It’s why He’s come.

JESUS COMES TO OPEN EARS AND TONGUES. Continue reading

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Sermons

Pentecost 14B (Mk 7:14–23)

August 30, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Unwashed hands. That’s what had the Pharisees all up in arms last week. Jesus had taught His Disciples by word and most likely by doing it Himself that eating with unwashed hands was just fine. Why would a Rabbi with strong teaching and great miracles break these long-standing, ancient, well-intentioned customs?

The teachers of the Law were offended by what they saw, but St. Paul helps us out. Jesus lives it; Paul proclaims it. “Christ is the end of the Law for all who believe.” Christ is the end, the finishing, the completion, the final stop, the τέλος of the Law. He fulfills it: He does it for you. He does what we can’t. The Law is complete in Christ Jesus for all who believe. No need to work our way into God’s good graces. Through His life, His death, His resurrection the Law is done for. That’s what Paul says: Christ is the τέλος of the Law. That’s what Jesus says on the cross: “Τετέλεσται: It is finished.” Jesus is the “it is finished” of the Law. That’s what we see Jesus living out and preaching here in Mark 7. Continue reading

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Sermons

Pentecost 11B (Jn 6:35–51)

August 9, 2015
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS
AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer,” this is something that we learn first as children, but we continue to learn and study it our whole lives. Jesus in our Gospel lesson today tells us about God’s will for you. We see it in eating and drinking: “I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me shall never hunger, and the one who believes in Me shall never ever thirst.” The problem with seeing God’s will there is us. We get in the way. So many Christians are consumed with this question. Maybe some of you are. We’ve all wondered about it. So

3. What do we think God’s will is for us? Continue reading

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