Sermons

2nd Last Sunday (Mt 25:31–46)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Ever since the Garden of Eden, the Lord Jesus has done things a certain way. Well, actually, the same way. What He does today, He did then. What He did then, He’ll continue to do, even till the Last Day, Judgment Day. Then the Lord will do forever what He’s always done.

Ever since the Fall into sin, mankind has also done things a certain way. The way it’s been done is the same today as then, and it’s opposite of what the Lord has always done, still does, and would continue to do in and through us.

The Lord always does things by way of Gifts and Promise. We do things by way of works. The Lord’s gifting way is selfless. It’s completely, 100% selfless and self-giving. Our way is inherently selfish—looking out for us, or those people, things, or causes that we like and are meaningful to us.

The Scriptures show us God’s selflessness. He does things that are against His own self-interest, even His own life. He’s crucified for people who turn from Him, hate Him, kill Him. Gift and promise alone. We give only as long as we get something out of it. Some people get more us, get more effort, more patience than others. It’s all works. This, of course, should not be the way of things. This is what it means to be sinful—turned in on myself, selfish. Continue reading

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Sermons

2nd Last Sunday—Mission Fest (Mt 25:31–46)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

The message of the Kingdom is the message of the King. The message of the King tells us what He thinks and what He wants. The message of the Kingdom tells us how the King is toward us. When we hear the message of the Kingdom, we find out that the King and His Kingdom are completely different than how you or I are hardwired to think.

The Lord always does things by way of Gifts and Promise. We do things by way of works. The Lord’s gifting way is selfless, self-giving. Our way is selfish—looking out for us, or those people, things, or causes that we like and are meaningful to us.

These are the competing messages today, the two ways of thinking, two ways of doing, two ways of believing. There’s the way of the king, and the way of the goats. Continue reading

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Sermons

3rd Last Sunday (Mt 24:15–28)

3rd Last Sunday (Mt 24:15–28)

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

INI AMEN.

((5. Oops!: The world’s going to end, and it’ll be bad.))

The’s world’s going to end. Everything we put stock in: our country, our monuments, our accomplishments, our wealth, our strength, our power. It’ll all end. It’ll all come crashing down. It’ll all be destroyed. Burned up. Gone. Nothing. Won’t even exist. Won’t ever exist again. We get so worked up about so much in this life, we think so many things are so very important, but the Last Day will show them for what they are: empty, meaningless, vain hope and worry. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 21 (Jn 4:46–54)

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

INI + AMEN.

JESUS’ WORD GIVES LIFE. What sort of life? Undending sort of life. Eternal, everlasting life. That’s what Jesus’ Word did for the ruler’s dying son. Jesus doesn’t just turn water into wine, but He and His Word make the sick well, the dead alive, the dying live.

Not just in Cana, here, too. JESUS’ WORD GIVES LIFE. Life to you. Unending life. Eternal, everlasting life. A life given that endures past sickness, death, and grave. The same thing Jesus’ Word did in Cana, it does here for you. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 20 (Mt 22:1–14)

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

INI + AMEN.

Called, chosen, clothed: that’s you, in Jesus. You’re in the Kingdom. You’re died for. You’re raised from the dead for. You’re redeemed. You’re holy. All those things taken care of for you by your Heavenly Father in and through His Son, Jesus.

That’s what the Parable’s all about because that’s what the Kingdom’s all about. The Parable doesn’t separate these things at all. In fact, Jesus joins them all together in Himself and His Father’s Kingdom forever. There’s no other hope or confidence than Him. There’s no other calling, choosing, or clothing than what the King provides freely as a gift.

It’s all gift—wedding gift, salvation gift, eternal life gift. That’s not just the parable; that’s the Kingdom. In Jesus that’s true—true for you. True of you only in Jesus:

CALLED, CHOSEN, CLOTHED—THE KINGDOM IS YOURS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Trinity 19 (Mt 9:1–8)

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

INI + AMEN.

Can men forgive sins or not? Or can “only God forgive sins” (Mk 2:7)? The answers to these questions should be very easy, especially considering our Gospel text today. But just because something should be easy, doesn’t mean it is. “Should” and reality aren’t always the same thing. And sadly that’s the case with this question: can men forgive sins or not?

Now, forgiveness of sins isn’t earned by the person receiving it. For it to be forgiveness it’s gotta be free, otherwise it’s not really forgiveness at all, but rather reward. And forgiveness is always delivered in the present tense. It may have been purchased and won at some earlier point, but forgiveness is always delivered in the here and now, otherwise, again, it’s not really forgiveness. Continue reading

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Sermons

St. Michael and All the Angels (Mt 18:1–11)

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

INI + AMEN.

Our Lord says, “Let the little children come to Me” because He lifts up the lowly, the nothing. He makes the strong serve the weak. That’s what our dear Lord’s about. What His Kingdom, His reign, His rule is all about, too. That’s even what St. Michael’s Day is all about!

It’s white today—not to rejoice in the purity of angels, their might, their greatness. It’s white to point us to a purity more pure than the angels have—the purity, holiness, and righteousness of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The righteousness—His righteousness that He gave you at the Holy Font in Holy Baptism.

And so He says, “Let the little children come to Me.” And so He says in our Gospel text today: “Whoever receives one such child in My name, receives Me.” Continue reading

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