01-07-2018 Sermon - Standing With Sinners


The account in Mark's Gospel of Jesus' baptism is brief, and like the rest of his Gospel Mark lets the action tell the story. And the action we see taking place is our Lord Jesus standing in the Jordan along side sinners who need the forgiveness of sins. And what we learn as Mark's Gospel unfolds is that Jesus stands with sinners accomplishing on our behalf all that God requires of us.

12-24-2017 Sermon - From Heaven to Earth


When it comes to the Christian Faith it is important to note the direction of the action, and the subject of the verbs. Is the direction heaven to earthward? Or is it earth to heavenward? In the most important action, who is the subject of the action? And who is being acted upon? Our lessons this morning will help us to see the primary direction is from heaven to earthward, and that our Lord is the most important actor, and we the one's being acted upon...

12-17-2017 Sermon - Redeemed And Full of Everlasting Joy


The Third Sunday of Advent emphasizes one of the themes of the Advent Season, and that is the matter of joy and rejoicing. As we await the coming of King Jesus we are reminded of the promise to the people of God of a fully redeemed creation and our being full of everlasting joy. In our texts today we learn how it is that the rejoicing already begins even before the consummation of all that is promised. Truly we wait patiently with sure and certain promises, and with a foretaste of the feast to come...

12-10-2017 Sermon - On Preparing the Royal Highway


In week two of Advent we gloriously learn of God's own preparations for making a way to come to our lives and then to take us to be with him in our heavenly home. This preparation involves a messenger who cries out God's Word in the wilderness of this age. God's messengers continue to this day to speak this word bringing us baptismal repentance and the promised forgiveness of sin.

12-03-2017 Sermon - Our Lord Comes Down to Save Us


The ancients had a lot better sense of how to prepare and make ready for the arrival or advent of a guest. That is because before the age of trains, planes, and automobiles along with cell phones, you had to be ready over a lengthy period of time. So we can learn a lot from the likes of the Prophet Isaiah who lived some 2700 years ago on how to make ready and be prepared for the Advent of the Lord in his return to earth. And adequate preparation can be summed up in a word...

11-26-2017 Sermon - The Shepherd King Comes In Judgment


Jesus promised his followers that he will come again at the end of the age, only with his second advent (coming) his status of being both the Good Shepherd and the King over all will be apparent in all its glorious splendor. At his return all the dead will appear before him, and he will judge all people according to their deeds. And we will all being justly condemned. However, those whose name are recorded in the Book of Life will be pardoned and welcomed into the eternal kingdom. In this sermon we learn a little of the difference between the righteous and the wicked, those who will fair well in the judgment, and those who will not...

11-21-17 Sermon - Thankful for Daily Bread


In Luther's Small Catechism he reminds us that we ask in the Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread" so that we realize where our daily bread comes from and that we receive the same with thanks. Interestingly, "faith" is nearly synonymous with the giving of thanks to God, because in humility we look to God as the source of every good gift, including the forgiveness of sins and the bread of Life onto life eternal. So sincere gratitude is indeed one of the truest signs of a living and active faith.

11-19-2017 Sermon - Since We Belong to the Day


The Day of the Lord, that is, Christ's promised return at the end of the age, will come unexpectedly as a thief in the night. For Christ will come in all his royal splendor and he will judge the inhabitants of earth. Even for baptized believers, it is important that their faith is living and active. Such a faith lives in the light of God's Word, continually repents of sins, and continually trusts and hopes in what Jesus' death and resurrection accomplished for us.

11-12-2017 Sermon - What Kind of Day Will it Be?


Every great story has a plot and a climax. And the climax is not always predictable, just as it is not always predictable in real life. This morning we will consider the climax of the human story. The plot involves a sinful rebellion and resulting brokenness. The climax is called "The Day of the Lord". Just what kind of day will this be? Our three lessons will help to answer this question...

11-05-2017 Sermon - Our Place in the Communion of Saints


People have accused others of "being so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good." But as C.S. Lewis points out, history confirms that those who have done the most good in this age are often those who have thought the most of the age to come. All Saint's Sunday helps us to set our minds on the things above, particularly as we focus on "the communion of saints" and the beautiful portraits provided in our readings this morning. They only scratch the surface of what has been promised to us as baptized believers in Christ Jesus.

10-29-2017 - Put Right with God as a Gift

Martin Luther was terrified by "the righteousness of God" as well as he should be. He knew a righteous God could not coexist with sin, but that his wrath would be vented against sin. Gloriously, Luther came to discover in Scripture that the righteousness of God is something we are given in faith, and that even the faith needed to receive this gift was a gift itself! Truly we are saved by grace, through faith, on account of Christ and what he accomplished for us.

10-22-17 Sermon - The Mysterious and Providential Rule of God

 The way God guides and cares for us is often mysterious and not obvious at the moment. There is a word for this. The word is "Providence". And the way God would care for Israel, even in their punished condition as exiles in Babylon, is a case in point. This is especially true when we consider the promise of deliverance that Isaiah the prophet declares through an unusual messiah some 200 years beforehand...

10-15-2017 Sermon - The Coming Feast on Mount Zion

Thanks to the children at church for picking this week's sermon picture...

Thanks to the children at church for picking this week's sermon picture...

There are a number of images of the fulfillment of the Lord's promises on that day when Jesus returns to consummate his Kingdom. One of those pictures is of being invited to a rich feast. Not only does this glimpse, light at the end of the tunnel, help to sustain us in this present age, but the Lord has already arranged to give us a foretaste of the feast to come.

10-08-17 Sermon - Rejection And Vintage Wine


One of the consistent pictures in the Bible of God's work through his people is that of a vineyard. And the vineyard is cultivated for the purpose of making wine, that which gladdens the heart, satiates the senses, and becomes important as an enhancement for people coming together and celebrating. An interesting image of salvation! But with human agency in the vineyard, instead of fine wine the vineyard yields vinegar! Find out how God uses our stubborn rejection to yet make his vineyard fruitful.

10-01-2017 Sermon - On Finding A Gracious God


Of course it is good news that if we repent and turn from our wickedness that we can live, live eternally. But what of the fact that we keep turning away from God and doing what is right and just! Does our repentance and amendment of life depend on us? Or is there yet additional good news wherein we indeed find a gracious God in Scripture? Listen to how Ezekiel hinted at and anticipated such good news.

09-17-2017 Sermon - Forgiving the Trespasses of Others


One of the most difficult tasks we have as Christ's disciples is that of forgiving those who have sinned against us. And as Jesus spoke to Peter, we are not to do so just once, not just seven times, but seventy times seven! So if we fail in this task does that mean our sins won't be forgiven? Is God's forgiveness conditional? And if it is, then is it something we earn?