Sermon - Pentecost 3 - Luke 9:51-62 - What Comes Before We Follow Jesus?

It is only because Jesus set his face resolutely and unconditionally toward Jerusalem and the cross that today he can set his face resolutely toward you as a face of unconditional grace and peace. “The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace” Numbers 6:25–26.

Sermon - Pentecost - Acts 2:1-11 - The Day the Tower of Babel was Turned Upside-Down

Today the Holy Spirit manifests His power in the preaching of the Word and the administration of the sacraments in a variety of languages.  All believe and worship God, by the action of the same Spirit, in the language of their hearts.  We are one in Christ and one in the Spirit.  This is the day that the tower of Babel turned upside-down…and the Gospel was able to be brought to you.  

Easter 6 - Processional Crucifix Cross - 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2:2 - Christ Crucified...FOR ME!

This processional crucifix cross was blessed for use in our worship. It was purchased with the memorial funds from and in memory of Russ Cramm, Paul Erickson, Wayne Dunn and Val Dynes. This cross was also specifically made, upon request, for THIS congregation! It took a few months for us to receive it after ordering it because it was carved, by hand, for your eyes.  In the process of going through our worship today, I pray that we may answer a few question: 1) Why do we use a processional cross? To answer that, we use it on feast days, large festival days within the church year; Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, Christmas, etc. The second question is this, “Why do we have a crucifix? Why not an empty cross?” For this question, I will allow the worship service itself to give the answers.  But, to be sure, we do not hold any superstitious fantasies about a piece of wood on which our Lord may or may not have actually been crucified – any more than we hold any superstitious thoughts about the cross on our altar or the cross I wear around my neck or the cross jewelry we wear. These are only 'symbols. And the purpose of 'symbols' is to point to something beyond themselves, and not to the thing itself.  It's not the cross itself that we worship and adore – but all that the cross points to – which is the indescribable love of the almighty God that He was poured out onto this fallen, corrupt and sinful world through His perfect, innocent, holy Son, who suffered the punishment that we deserve, by bearing them in His body unto death, even death on a cross.

This processional crucifix cross was blessed for use in our worship. It was purchased with the memorial funds from and in memory of Russ Cramm, Paul Erickson, Wayne Dunn and Val Dynes. This cross was also specifically made, upon request, for THIS congregation! It took a few months for us to receive it after ordering it because it was carved, by hand, for your eyes.

In the process of going through our worship today, I pray that we may answer a few question: 1) Why do we use a processional cross? To answer that, we use it on feast days, large festival days within the church year; Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, Christmas, etc. The second question is this, “Why do we have a crucifix? Why not an empty cross?” For this question, I will allow the worship service itself to give the answers.

But, to be sure, we do not hold any superstitious fantasies about a piece of wood on which our Lord may or may not have actually been crucified – any more than we hold any superstitious thoughts about the cross on our altar or the cross I wear around my neck or the cross jewelry we wear. These are only 'symbols. And the purpose of 'symbols' is to point to something beyond themselves, and not to the thing itself.

It's not the cross itself that we worship and adore – but all that the cross points to – which is the indescribable love of the almighty God that He was poured out onto this fallen, corrupt and sinful world through His perfect, innocent, holy Son, who suffered the punishment that we deserve, by bearing them in His body unto death, even death on a cross.

English: Jesus Christ

Latin: IHCOYC   XPICTOC  

Greek: Ἰησοῦς Χριστός

The fingers of Jesus’ right hand spell out “IC  XC”, a widely used four letter abbreviation of the Greek for Jesus Christ.  It is by the name of Jesus that we are saved and receive blessings: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” (Phil 2:10).

 

The fingers of Jesus’ left hand is an indication of the trinity.  You see one finger extended while three are tucked, hidden or less prominent.  All of this is simply to affirm the doctrine of the trinity that is found many places in Scripture, to which Jesus affirmed in our Gospel text from last week, “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30.

Sermon - Easter Sunday - 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 - Without Easter?

Without Easter, we have nothing to celebrate because we didn’t get the news!!  Easter is that day that we know that God’s promise will come to us.  That we get to live…in bodies…without that stuff that makes life difficult. So thank God for Easter, thank God for Jesus, and thank God for the resurrection—his, of course…but ours as well!

Sermon - Lent Midweek 4 - Psalm 105:8 - Remember the Covenant

We have rules for the way covenants and other legal contracts are written. We try to apply those rules to God’s covenant, and they don’t fit.  God makes exceptions to the way he makes covenants . . . not for his benefit, but for our eternal benefit!  If we have a hard time remembering covenants, that’s not so serious.  As long as God remembers.  God remembers his covenant so that all generations are blessed forever.

Sermon - Lent 3 - Luke 13:1-9 - The Good Gardener

What becomes of the fig tree that was reluctant to bear fruit?  As in many of Jesus’ parables, this one ends leaving us in suspense.  Was it dig up?  Cut down?  Transplanted to another Vineyard?  We don’t know. That’s not the point. What we do know is that there is a good gardener and that the fig tree is in his hand.  That he will continue to feed and nourish and care for it. But the grace it is richly given day upon day, week upon week, year upon year will keep it. And sustain it. And make it prosper. Wherever it may be planted.

Sermon - Lent 2 - Luke 13:31-35 - Believe

It’s common when people have difficulties and pain in life that they come to the Church.  The seek comfort and they rightly turn to God. The Kingdom of Heaven is defined by Jesus as a kingdom of hearts that trust (have faith in) God’s promises. Who is in this kingdom? Who can be in this kingdom? Are you ready for Jesus’ reply?

παιδίον (paidion) – Common child

μικρoν  (mikron) – “small one”

τέκνον (teknon) – Child

θηλάζω (thalazo) – Nursing one

νήπιος (napion) – Infant

βρέφος (brephos) – Nursing Infant/unborn baby

 

 

Which word(s) occur in the verses below?

Luke 18:15-17                    

Matthew 18:1-6       

Matthew 21:15-16  

Matthew 11:25-27 

2 Timothy 3:14-15–

Luke 1:15; 41           

Sermon - Lent Midweek 2 - Psalm 111:4 - Remember Wondrous Works

It was a miracle the night Jesus walked on water. It proved that he is God, with all the powers of God. But then Jesus performed another perhaps even more wondrous work. He made it possible for Peter to walk on water as well.  So, consider Philippians 2:13: “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”  God was at work in Peter!  God is at work in you!  What has God done in you lately?