Sermons

Trinity 9 (Lk 16:1–9)

August 13, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

What in the world is Jesus talking about? This parable doesn’t make any sense! There’s no business owner who first fires a manager for wasting his stuff, and then praises that manager for stealing his stuff afterward. The fired manager is giving the whole business away! Slashing debts he doesn’t have a right to.

Didn’t you hear it? First, the manager doesn’t collect the debts; so he’s fired. Then, he slashes the debts and gets praised. Praised! This doesn’t happen in the real world. He’s a thief! He should’ve been arrested, punished, condemned, maybe even killed!—at least in the ancient world. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Trinity 8 (Mt 7:15–23)

August 6, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: We’re afraid of the Last Day and final judgment.))

The Last Day. The Final Judgment. Not a happy topic. We’d rather not think about it. Standing before the judgment seat of Jesus—the judgment seat! Sounds like a fun place to be, right? Not so much. We’d rather not.

Well, what about your last day? We don’t want to think about that either. Death. Certainly not a fun thing to talk about. Then you meet your Maker. You meet Jesus. Then, what will He say? What will He do? Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Trinity 5 (Lk 5:1–11)

July 16. 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Body and soul. That’s you. That’s how God made you. That’s how Jesus made you. He’s God, after all. That’s what we learn from our Gospel text. Only God could make and deliver on such a promise: “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And, boy, did He deliver! “When they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.” Peter gets what’s going on. He heard the preaching. He saw the miracle. “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Yahweh, who knitted Peter together, who made him body and soul, was standing right there in front of him. That’s your God, too! The eternal Son of the Father, come from the Father, to care for you. That’s really what this is all about. This isn’t just some whiz-bang miracle for Jesus to flex His God muscles, His divine power. No, none of that. It’s about how Jesus relates to Peter, to each of you, and to the whole world—everyone He, the Father, and the Holy Spirit have created body and soul.

In our text we see that

JESUS CARES FOR YOU BODY AND SOUL. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Trinity 4 (Lk 6:36–42)

July 9, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Be good. Behave. Don’t mess up, but if you do, make up for it. God will reward you for it, bless you for it. Eternal life awaits those sorts of people: the good, the behaved, those whose virtues outperform, outweigh their vices.

To the world, that’s the Christian faith. Us, too! We think this way. It’s ingrained in us. It’s ingrained in everyone. God saves good people, the put-together, those who do their best and God will, of course, do the rest, the small part that’s left to be done.

Oh, sure, we’d say that Jesus saves sinners, but those who’ve made a mess of their life? Those who’ve fallen off the wagon, again. Those in the ditch? Those who aren’t put together? People with sins that they just can’t kick. People with hypocrisy. What about those sorts of people?

Repeat after me: “I’m forgiven.” “I forgive you.” That’s what it’s all about. That’s Jesus. Jesus FOR YOU and other sinners. That’s Christianity. Repeat it again: “I’m forgiven.” “I forgive you.”

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS BEING FORGIVEN AND FORGIVING. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Trinity 1 (Lk 16:19–31)

June 18, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Jesus is quite the story teller. He’s a poet of parables. He’s a master craftsman with His captivating characters, powerful prose, and vivid imagery. He tells them for one reason, and one reason alone: “that seeing they may not see and hearing they may not understand.” The Lord Jesus suffers Himself to be rejected, missed, and misunderstood. He preaches Himself (especially in the parables!), but He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. For those who don’t want Him, they won’t have Him. They’ll find something else entirely, put their trust in something else entirely.

The problem is—left to ourselves—we miss Him, too. We turn the parables to our advantage. Find what puts us first, Jesus second. We do this most of all when Jesus, apparently, hides Himself the most, but yet He’s really there plain as day! Right in front of us! Just like our “problem” parable today. Continue reading

Standard
Sermons

Trinity Sunday (Jn 3:1–15)

June 11, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the Undivided Unity.

INI + AMEN.

The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. We don’t have three Gods but one God. The Father is merciful. The Son is merciful. The Spirit is merciful. We don’t have three Merciful’s but one Merciful. The Father is forgiving. The Son is forgiving. The Spirit is forgiving. We have not three Forgivings, but one Forgiving.

One God, three persons. One God who saves. One God who redeems His people. One God who shows mercy.

The Father sends the Son, not to condemn or judge the world but to save it. The Son obeys His Father’s will and dies for the sin of the world. The Spirit delivers the Father’s love for us in the death of His Son to you in the waters of Holy Baptism. “Whoever is born of water and the Spirit shall enter the kingdom of God.” Continue reading

Standard