Sermons

Trinity 19 (Mt 9:1–8)

October 22, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

What happened some 2,000 years ago in Capernaum is shocking! It was shocking back then. It didn’t go unnoticed by anyone. The pharisees noticed and grumbled. The crowd of people noticed, and they gave praise and glory to God. The paralytic noticed, too. Did we even notice why?

It’s not that the paralytic took up his mat and went home. We get hung up on that, but that’s minor compared to what Jesus said! Everyone saw the miracle, but they really took notice of what Jesus said. It was shocking! It was wonderful. More than all that: it was comforting. It still is! Still wonderful. Still shocking! Still quite noticeable. Should be, at least.

“Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 18 (Mt 22:34–46)

October 15, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

You are not your own. Sounds simple enough. Christianity is simple. The faith and life laid out in all the Scriptures is simple. It’s truly simple. “Love Yahweh your God with your whole heart, soul, and strength”—that’s faith. “Love your neighbor as yourself”—that’s fervent love toward your neighbor. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 17 (Lk 14:1–11)

October 8, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Rest. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? God created rest. “And God rested on the seventh day from all the work He’d done.” He rested. He sabbathed. He gave it as a gift. And it’s more than just not doing work. Because we need more than just a little time off, we need more than just a little RnR, more than just a little vacay. We need true and lasting rest. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 16 (Lk 7:11–17)

October 1, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

((5. Oops!: We can’t escape death.))

The tragedy of it all: a widow’s only son, dead. No wonder there was “a considerable crowd from the town with her.” But, as tragic as that was for her and that town, as tragic as those sorts of things are in our time, too, the real tragedy is something we don’t really want to think about. The real tragedy is: we can’t escape death. The funeral procession, the coffin, the grave awaits each and every one of us. One day, you’ll have your coffin, too.

But that’s not all. Each and every bump and bruise, every cold, every ache and pain, every exhaustion is just a preview of that certain and final end. Oh, we may get better and heal, but one day we won’t. Behind every physical pain lurks death. Suddenly or not so suddenly, the bell will toll for you. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 15 (Mt 6:24–34)

September 24, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. We don’t really understand these word. We don’t really trust ’em. We say the words. We know what each word means. But we don’t really get what it’s all about. We think it’s all about stuff, and that God is the source of that stuff. That He created everything and gives us everything.

We learn that in the Catechism, but that’s only the start of what God reveals to us. (It’s why continued study of His Word is so important.) Anyway, Jesus has more for us today. It’s not just that God’s the source of our stuff. Since you’re baptized, it means He’s your Father. We don’t think of our earthly fathers as just sources of stuff. Jesus’ Father really is your Father. So He acts like it. Jesus tells us

YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER CARES AND WILL CARE FOR YOU. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 14 (Lk 17:11–19)

September 17, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

((3. Where’s God?))

Where’s God? Simple enough question, right? So, where’s God? Our knee jerk answer, the first thing that pops in our head might be: “Well, He’s here. We are in church, after all.”

But that question (“Where’s God?”), the answer to that question, is a little bit broader than that. It’s still pretty simple. We’re all taught, rightly so, that God’s everywhere. He’s omnipresent. No matter where you are, where you go, what you do—God’s there. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 13 (Lk 10:23–37)

September 10, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“Blesséd are the eyes that see what you see. Many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see and hear what you hear,” and they did not.

((5. Oops!: We’re all lawyers.))

We don’t fully understand the joy of those words because we’re all lawyers. We may not ask the question “Who’s my neighbor,” but we all act as if some people are less our neighbor than others. “There are those whom [we] have failed to help.” There are those we don’t really want to help! We’d rather not. It’s too much of a bother. We’ve helped them enough, already. Oh, we may end up helping them in the end, but we don’t really like it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just write off helping them and not have to worry about it?

We “strain out the gnat and swallow the camel.” We’re supposed to love our neighbor, if we don’t like somebody close to us (family, church members, friends), well then I’ll help somebody else. We’ll move someone else (maybe people we don’t know, people far away, the poor, the homeless)—we’ll move them up the neighbor list and push those closest to us down. We pick and choose our love, but love should flow outward from us, like when a stone creates ripples in a pond—first those closest, then those farther away.

((4. Ugh!: “Go and do likewise.”))

Yet, we still think: “What must I do?” We want a Law answer. That’s just the human way. If you want a Law answer, Jesus has a Law answer. That’s what He gives the lawyer, what He gives to anyone who wants that sort of answer.

It’ll if we put modern characters into the parable. “A Lutheran pastor and Lutheran school teacher pass by the helpless fellow, but a Muslim helps him. Which do think was neighbor to that man?” “The one who showed him mercy.” “Go and do likewise,” Jesus commands.

Be the good Samaritan. Be the merciful Muslim. Be that way for people who probably hate you. Be that way to those closest to you. (It’s actually harder to love them.) “Go and do,” Jesus says. Not just outward action, either. A love from your heart for one and all. True love. Fervent love.

This “Go and do likewise” Law, the Law we should do from free and generous heart, this Law damns us.

((3. Aha!: JESUS IS YOUR MERCIFUL GOOD SAMARITAN.))

But what if Jesus’ Law answer isn’t the whole story? What if it’s not a Law parable at all! What if Jesus has something else in mind, has someone else in mind, has Himself in mind?

JESUS IS YOUR MERCIFUL GOOD SAMARITAN.

((2. Whee!: He “bears your burdens and binds your wounds.”))

The problem is that we’re in the ditch. Sin and devil did their worst. We don’t want to believe it. We’d rather make up for our failings in some way, and Jesus has to tell us, “If you want to be that way, well, be like Me. Perfect. Love the unloveable. Help those who hate you.” And we should be that way!

But for those beaten down, who want to love their neighbor but struggle day in and day out to actually do it, and who end up barely doing it, certainly not perfectly. Well, Jesus “bears your burdens and binds your wounds.” He dies and rises for our not having “fervent love toward one another.” Where our love for others fails and comes up short, His love for you does not fail. He has real, heartfelt, gut-wrenching love for you and for all. Only Jesus has that sort of compassion.

((1. Yeah!: Your ears and eyes are blessed.)) (23–24)

Your ears and eyes are truly blessed today! Jesus “pours on oil and wine.” He poured it on Korben today. Jesus anointed Korben with His own righteousness. He delivers His wine: His body to eat, His blood to drink for the forgiveness of sins. He gives newness of life, rescue from the ditch in His Baptism and His Supper. It’s not just a one time thing, it’s continual rescuing, daily rescuing, weekly rescuing, life-long rescuing in the inn of His Church. That’s the sort of compassion Jesus has.

He will return for you, too. As the Samaritan only gave two-days worth of money and would return on the third, so also Jesus rose on the third day, and because He did that, He will fulfill His promise to come back to take you to Himself.

“Blesséd are the eyes that see what you see.” An infant saved by Jesus. Jesus’ body and blood given to sinners for their forgiveness and life. “Many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see and hear what you hear,” to hear Jesus Himself say that He IS YOUR MERCIFUL GOOD SAMARITAN now and forever.

INI + AMEN.

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