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St. Mark's Lutheran
20 minutes | 21 hours ago
Satan’s Peace/Christ’s Peace
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Luke 24:36-49 The third Sunday after Easter is usually the resurrection account from Luke. Everybody’s favorite is the road to Emmaus. It has that air of mystery that tickles. But in year B you get Jesus’ appearance to the disciples after that. This appearance mirrors the 2nd Sunday’s account from John. Jesus appears and show the disciples his hands and feet. And while faith is always a point, Luke’s emphasis is on the peace of Christ and how we can be sure of it. What starts with the mystery of the road to Emmaus is explained by Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises of God. God desires us to know his peace which is distinct from that offered by Satan in that God is always revealing more of himself. This sermon looks at that revelation in the resurrection light.
21 minutes | 7 days ago
Sedes Doctriae (Seat of Doctrine)
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: John 20:19-31 Within the larger Thomas story is one of the the seed beds of Christian Doctrine. There are three places in scripture where Jesus gives to certain people the authority to bind and to loose sins. And it is really all three of them working together that gives us the full picture of God’s “superabundant grace and goodness.” This sermon starts from the seat in this text and preaches the forgiveness of sins specifically understood through the Office of the Keys and the Pastoral Office. With special attention paid to God’s both/and when we often desire an either/or.
25 minutes | 15 days ago
New Creation Day
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Mark 16:1-8 This Easter Day sermon picks up from the Good Friday one. One of Good Friday’s ponderings was on the Cry of Dereliction – “My God, Why have you forsaken me?” We probably all hear that in a certain way. This sermon attempts to point out the history of why we do, and why that history is wrong. Easter is the answer to the challenge of that cry. Easter is the eschatological inbreaking of the Kingdom, the first day of the new creation. This sermon proclaims what that means and what it asks of us.
61 minutes | 17 days ago
Full Sermon DraftDownload The recording is of the full tenebrae service. The sermon is by parts between the readings. The theme would be the dual apocalypse or revelation of the cross. The first is what the passion says about us, the second is what it says about God. And the day ends with the challenge, waiting for the Day of the Lord.
30 minutes | 17 days ago
Full Sermon DraftDownload Maundy Thursday is the night of the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The celebration of the Supper is, if not the central focus, one of only two in Christian Worship. Christian worship has since its beginning been divided into Word and Sacrament. The Word portion typically includes lessons and the sermon, but it can include things like the confessional address here which leads into corporate confession and absolution. The Word is where were hear both the teaching and the proclamation. The Word invites us to the sacrament, where God gives us himself. This particular sermon focuses on two pictures in the text. First, two unnamed characters that are necessary to prepare the meal, and second the table itself and what it tells us about this meal. How we are invited to be free members of the household of God. And the responsibilities of freedom.
44 minutes | 22 days ago
You Will Not Always Have Me
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Mark 14:1-10 (Mark 14:1-15:47) As my daughter said this morning “Palm Sunday has the best hymns”. I’ve left a goodly amount of them in the recording. But this morning’s service is also “Passion Sunday” and it contains a full reading of the Passion account from the Gospel of Mark. If you have never simply listened to it read aloud, here it is. The sermon is based on the first part of the that reading, the anointing of Jesus by a woman at Simon’s place. Jesus calls he actions a “beautiful work” and promises that is will be part of the gospel proclamation forever. The foil in this scene if Judas. The sermon examines the conflicts brought to the service between the woman’s beautiful act and Judas’ reaction. And then it meditates on how Jesus’ words “you will not always have me” might motivate our own beautiful works under the cross. It was a very good morning. Blessings on your Holy Week.
27 minutes | a month ago
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Jeremiah 31:31-34 The text is Jeremiah’s invoking of a new covenant. The sermon attempts to think about what we are talking about when we say the word covenant. What a covenant is is the Hebrew answer to the question: “How does God interact with man?” There are a bunch of other answer to that question. The sermon starts out cataloging some of them and how they came about. But the Hebrew answer is unique. And the Christian answer is the Hebrew answer. The trouble that Jeremiah is experiencing is similar I think to what we might be experiencing today. Just how good does the answer of the covenant fit with how we experience God? A big part of the word covenant is simply a way that God binds himself. If the covenants appear to be failing, as they could appear to Jeremiah, in what way is the God who bound himself actually God? Jeremiah’s prophecy is “the new covenant”, not a breaking of the old ones, but their fulfillment. And that fulfillment is in Jesus Christ. Christ has always been the fulfillment, but in the new covenant we have the greater revelation written on our hearts. It is no longer blood on the external posts and lintels, but blood taken in. The fulfillment is no longer an external obedience, but the obedience of the heart through faith.
25 minutes | a month ago
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:14-21 We talk about the sacraments as “the means of grace”, in the everyday world we might refer to someone as a person of means, but I don’t think we really know what that word – means – means. Nor do we really plumb its depths. We don’t for two reasons. The first is that most of us are secular. We have buffered ourselves from what what Nicene Creeds calls the invisible creation. Not that it isn’t there and doesn’t effect us, simply that we deny it, usually with some fantastical pseudo-science. Although for me the best denials are the straight up “didn’t happen, who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes.” The second though is a spiritual reason. We think we want God to act immediately. We think we want the lightning bolt. This sermon is an exploration of God working through means and or reactions to that fact.
29 minutes | a month ago
A New Want-er
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Exodus 20:1-17, John 2:13-22 (1 Corinthians 1:18-31) This sermon might be a bit intellectual, but it is lent which is a season for some challenging fare. The challenge here is to think about what does the cleansing of the temple of our body. Our first answer is always the law. We think that we can control the passions. We think that our heads control our hearts. After that falsehood breaks, I think we often pursue some “middle ground”. We want to build a temple or sacred booth in this world. We clear out a bit of the world. We put our hope in something like “beauty” or “the arts”. And it is not that the law, or “the arts”, or any of these things are wrong. It is just that tomorrow, all the money changers are back anyway. Our hope isn’t in anything in this world. Not in the law which is written on our stone hearts, although that dead thing can’t follow it. Not in the prettiest work of human hands, even though those might move the heart occasionally. Our hope is in faith in the cross and resurrection – the work of Christ – alone. We need a new heart, a new want-er. And that only comes about by the foolish work of the Spirit.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Signs of the Kingdom
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Genesis 17:1-21 The text focuses on two things, first the reiteration and extension of the covenant promise to Abraham and not explicitly through Sarah, and second circumcision as the mark of the old covenant. That first point focus is about the sovereignty of the God. The Kingdom of God comes how and when it wills. That second point invites the comparison of the old covenant and the new. What are the signs that the Kingdom has come to us? Namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Along the way we talk about ways we try to hurry the kingdom and where our hope comes from.
20 minutes | 9 months ago
You are His Treasured Possession
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Matthew 13: 44-52 This is the close of the parable sermon. And I’ve got a little bone to pick with how these are typically preached. They are typically preached as law. Now the law is good. Seeing Christ as the treasure encourages a fine piety, and piety is a good thing. But it is also something that ultimately fails. No, the person doing the action in the parables is almost always Jesus. Who is the treasure? Who is the pearl of great price? It is you. Christ sold everything he had to redeem you. The rest of the sermon teases out some of the implication.
26 minutes | 9 months ago
The Kingdom: As It Is Now
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Matthew 13: 24-43 Oops, I had some problems uploading this and I never came back to finish it after I solved them. This is the middle sermon of three on Jesus’ parable discourse. It cover mainly the Wheat and the Weeds, although I think the mustard seed and the leaven are important for rounding out the understanding. If the Sower addresses why the Kingdom seems to be failing, or at least encountering heavy opposition, then these address how we are to respond to it. And at this point there are two audiences: a) the disciples and b) the crowds who are on the fence. Both audiences are encouraged to patience. Don’t take rash action. But each a different type of patience. The disciples to not become “zealots” reaching for a sword. The crowds to watch the leaven/mustard work/grow.
26 minutes | 9 months ago
Full Sermon DraftDownload; Biblical Text: Mathew 13:1-23 Parables are strange little things. Everyone loves a good parable. If there is a part of the bible that remains common knowledge it is probably some of the parables, like the Sower and the Soils. But what makes them strange is that while the crowds might remember them, they don’t really hear them. If you are hearing the parables alone, it is because your ears aren’t working. The understanding, the explanation, only comes by faith. And that understanding is often at great odds with the surface friendliness. In the case of the Sower and the soils, them point is not really to identify soils which is what we so often do. The point is to recognize the overwhelming grace of the sower. And to understand that you are good soil. You who have heard and accepted the Word, you are good soil and will be made fruitful. Because the Word of God does what it intends.
27 minutes | 9 months ago
A God Who Chooses
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Matthew 11:25-30 This is my attempt to preach the doctrine of election which is way outside of the American Overton Window. Which is deeply odd and might explain our historical moment better than anything. For most of American history, the doctrine of election was born in the morrow of Americans. From the Shot heard round the world, through manifest destiny to the early progressive movement, Americans knew in their bones what being chosen was about. As Lincoln himself said “an almost chosen people”. But today, we insist not on a God who chooses, but we are free will maximalists. Which is how we’ve arrived at this deeply troubled day. Because it just ain’t so. The most important things in life aren’t our choices. This sermon, reflecting on Jesus’ words both about the Father’s good pleasure and the easy yoke, is my best attempt to proclaim election, and how it works itself out in time. The biggest step being that God chooses you in this hearing. You can’t choose Him, but he has chosen you. All you can do is opt-out of his grace.
27 minutes | 10 months ago
Swords and Rewards
Full Sermon DraftDownload Biblical Text: Matthew 10:34-42 The gospel text today is the end of Jesus’ missionary sermon, and it contains one of the hardest sayings of Jesus. “I have have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” That is actually understandable from Matthew’s Gospel, which I hope the sermon brings to life. It is just that we are more used to Luke’s Christmas story. Understanding peace and swords is the first part. The second part is about why anyone would take up the call and what that means. It is an expansion on what should be the greater phrase, but we go ho hum to “the one who received you receives me, and the one who receives me receives the one who sent me”. What that phrase tells us is that we get God. We get the Father. Our reward? God. That should be stunning.
25 minutes | 10 months ago
Things May Not Be This Way
Biblical Text: Matthew 10:21-33 Full Sermon DraftDownload Sometimes you have one of those spooky encounters. This includes mine floating in a pool a few years ago. But the points is about the warning and the blessing of being a follower of Jesus. The warning could cause fear, a little like my story. But it shouldn’t, because the blessing is so much greater. I also left in a great hymn at the end that captures everything. LSB 836
26 minutes | 10 months ago
Tools for the Work
Biblical Text: Matthew 9:35-10:8 Full Sermon DraftDownload The essence of the text is a list, a list of names. Sermonic suicide, right? I think the list, when you add the stuff around it is more meaningful than that. And it goes right at our problems with evangelism. We grumble, we come up with all kinds of excuses why we can’t, why things are going good. We look at this text and say, “if you gave me those powers.” But that is simply a surface reading. Give is a good read. List out what the tools for the work of mission actually are. And then ask yourselves, are you willing to pick up these tools? That is what the sermon does.
18 minutes | 10 months ago
Tell That Young Man
Biblical Texts: Zechariah 2:1-13 NLT, Lamentations 2 Full Sermon DraftDownload This was a sermon delivered for the pastors of the LCMS Rochester Circuits meeting. It is called occasional preaching. In the category with weddings, funerals, and some impromptu times people ask you to speak. What is special to me about these is the audience – preaching to preachers. So the measuring line is pulled a little tighter. But it is also a great occasion to “swing for the fences”. Things that don’t show up in the lectionary – like Lamentations. Things that are built on a deeper collective understanding of the text – like a solid biblical historical framework. Things that might make people mad. As one of the Lamentations verses has it: “You prophets have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes…”. It is an audience you don’t hold back with playing a longer game. (Note, I used selected verses from the Lamentations as a responsive reading introit. It didn’t come off well on the recording because the responses were mostly online and not mic’d.) So that is the background of this one.
35 minutes | 10 months ago
From, To, and In the Love of God
Text: Athanasian Creed, Texts of the Day (all in the worship folder) Full Sermon DraftDownload The Sunday after Pentecost is always set aside as Trinity Sunday. And the key piece of Trinity Sunday worship is the Athanasian Creed. Creeds can unfortunately be turned into dead letters. Something read or looked at, but not pondered within one’s heart. Not a symbol of a living faith. When they are dead letters they turn into checklists of mental assent or legalisms or even worse esotericism. What this sermon attempts to do is show them as invitations. “This is the catholic faith”. When you hear/say them as that, they become deadly practical. They help us remember what this sermon attempts to bring back. Note: Here is the “funny” that the sermon starts off describing.
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