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20th Sunday after Trinity + Matthew 22:1-14 + October 14, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Christ compares the kingdom of heaven to a king who has prepared a marriage for his son. When everything is prepared, he sends his servants to call those who had been invited to the feast. It should have been a joyous occasion for the king’s subjects. But “they were not willing to come.” The people despise the king and this wedding so they simply refuse the invitation. The king shows patience and mercy by sending out other servants. They are to tell those invited about the benefits of the wedding. “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle are killed, and all things are ready.” Many made light of this message and went their way. They had better things to do. One goes to his farm. Another goes off to his business. This first group is apathetic toward the wedding. They could care less. The rest though, they go much further than simply despising the king and His gracious invitation. They hate the ki…

19th Sunday after Trinity + Matthew 9:1-8 + October 7, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
They brought to Jesus a paralytic man lying on his bed. The men who carried the man, along with the paralytic himself, surely believed that Christ would give him a new life, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone to the trouble. And it was quite a trouble. St. Mark records that “when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying” (Mark 2:4). Great was their faith in Christ’s mercy. Invincible was their trust that Christ would grant the paralytic new life. This all happens in Capernaum, Jesus’ own city, where Christ dwelt, taught, and did many miracles. These men, the paralytic included, would have heard the good news about Jesus. They believed Him to be compassionate toward the poor, the infirmed, and brokenhearted. They go in faith in Christ’s mercy and His ability to save. This is what fa…

18th Sunday after Trinity + Matthew 22:34-46 + September 30, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The Pharisees question Jesus to test Him in today’s gospel lesson. This is something we’re used to hearing. The lawyer’s question centers on the Law. “Teacher, which isthe great commandment in the law?” He wants Jesus to take the entire Law, the five books of Moses with all its legislation and statues and commandments and distill it all down to the greatest commandment. We are familiar with Jesus’ answer. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the summary of the first table of the law, commandments one through three because the first three commandments teach man how he is to love God, how he is to use God’s name and hear God’s Word. “The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” With this Jesus summarizes the second table of the Law, commandments four through ten, by which the Lord teaches how we are to love our neighbor as ou…

17th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 14:1-11 + September 23, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
While most people wouldn’t rebuke the false beliefs and selfishness of their dinner hosts, Jesus isn’t most people. He is God in human flesh. He’s come to bring sinners to repentance, even these Pharisees. The Pharisees misunderstand the purpose of God’s Law. They assume God’s Law is the way they show God how righteous they are. If they do the things God requires, God sees how good they are and rewards them. Because they view God’s Law like this, they are proud, selfish, and contemptuous of others. There just happens to be a man afflicted with dropsy at this meal. Perhaps it was a set up. The Pharisees were fond of putting Jesus in tight spots to see if He would break God’s Law and teach others to do so. They present Him with a third commandment conundrum. The third commandment is: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LO…

16th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 7:11-17 + September 16, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Today’s Gospel lesson presents us with a beautiful picture of our salvation by Christ alone and our lives lived by faith in Christ and His gifts. There are four points from the Gospel lesson we want to consider this morning by the grace of God. First we need to consider how the mother and son in our Gospel lesson is a portrait of us all according to our sinful nature. Mother and son show us humanity apart from Christ. And humanity apart from Christ is dead. Just as this young man is dead, so all humanity is spiritually dead because of sin. St. Paul says the wages of sin is death. Not just physical death but spiritual death. This is the death Adam and Even earned when they disobeyed the Lord and tasted the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. “On the day you eat of it you will surely die,” said the Lord in Genesis 2:17. They were still physically alive after that. But they were dead spirit…

15th Sunday after Trinity + Matthew 6:24-34 + September 9, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
God our Father does not want us to be as the Gentiles who do not know God. Not knowing God or His promise to provide daily bread, unbelievers worry and fret about what they will eat, what they will drink, and what they will wear tomorrow. But not just tomorrow. Most everyone has food, drink, and clothing for tomorrow. Refrigerators and deep freezes are full of food and when they run low, the grocery store has plenty. Closets and wardrobes are full, often overly full, with all sorts of options for what they can wear tomorrow. Today people aren’t so much worried about tomorrow as they are next week, next month, next year, or every year for the rest of their lives. God promises to provide daily bread, not weekly, monthly, or yearly. But the Gentiles don’t believe this so they have to strive after mammon and worry over it.
There are two ways they strive for mammon and worry over it. The first is work. Many wor…

14th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 17:11-19 + September 2, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
It may be difficult to relate to these ten leprous men. Leprosy isn’t a common disease these days. These ten men outside a certain village have been stricken with this terrible disease in their flesh that is slowly killing them. Each day their flesh decays. They see the white blots on their skin. Their disease is obvious to them. They feel their living death. It’s also obvious to everyone who approaches them. So they are forced to live at the edge of village in the leper colony. When Jesus entered their village these ten men met Him but they “stood afar off” St. Luke says. That was because their disease separated them from life and their families lest the disease spread. It also separated them from God. Being ritually unclean, they are not allowed into the courts of the temple where God’s Word is taught. This disease of the flesh, visible to themselves and everyone who approached them, separated them from …