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Showing posts from June, 2018

4th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 6:36-42 + June 24, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Scriptures teach us faith and love. When the Scriptures speak of what we are to believe about Christ, His work, the benefits He earns and gives to us, they teach us faith. When the Scriptures teach us how we are to behave toward our fellow man, they teach us love. Today’s Gospel lesson teaches love. Jesus commands His disciples to refrain from maliciously judging their neighbor and frivolously condemning them. Instead, those who trust in Christ are to forgive their neighbor and give to them in good measure. The text isn’t speaking to us about faith, what we are to believe. Many today misuse Christ’s words as if they were about faith, as if Jesus were saying that we can’t judge doctrines as true or false, but we must let everyone believe however they want. The same Christ tells us in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets” who teach things contrary to Christ but use Christ’s name to do so. Christ’s ap…

3rd Sunday after Trinity + Luke 15:1-10 + June 17, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
St. Luke tells us how tax collects and sinners drew near to hear Jesus teach. He wasn’t teaching that these public sinners were fine just as they were, that they could stay in their sins and be welcomed into the kingdom of God. His message wasn’t “God loves you just the way you.” His teaching had teeth. After Herod silenced John the Baptist by locking him up in his dungeon, Jesus entered Galilee and began preaching, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). His message contained Law and Gospel. The Law was that sinners were not fine as they are. Sin separates men from God. So sin must be repented. Change your ways. Be different people from now on. The Gospel was that God the Father does love sinners, not in a mushy, toothless way that excuses sin and overlooks it, but with a love that causes Him to send His only-begotten Son into the sinful …

2nd Sunday after Trinity + Luke 14:16-24 + June 10, 2018

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
This week someone asked me how I selected the texts for each Sunday. I explained the Lectionary, that is, the series of readings that we’ve received and how it works. The entire year has been crafted so that you’ll hear every doctrine you need to know within a year. The woman asking me this then asked me how I preach about current events if I follow predetermined readings. I told her that if the event really needed to be preached on I could “free-text,” though I really don’t care for that. It is more than that, however. The church’s business isn’t all that much about current events. You get enough of that from the television news networks, the newspaper, and the internet. The conversation reminded me of St. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” On the Lord’s Day we gather in the Lord’s house to hear the Word of the Lord and …

1st Sunday after Trinity + Luke 16:19-31 + June 3, 2018

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Two very different men live two very different lives. The first man is very wealthy. He wears the color of kings. His clothing is soft and luxurious. His table is always filled with good things to eat. The second man is the opposite in every way. Instead of great wealth he has great poverty. Instead of being clothed with the finest linens, his body is covered in terrible sores. Instead of full table, Lazarus has a perpetually empty stomach. The rich man’s crumbs would have been a feast to Lazarus, but none fell from the rich man’s table. The rich man lived a life of comfort and ease. The only comfort poor Lazarus received was from dogs who came and licked his sores. As they are very different in life, so they are very different in death. The beggar Lazarus dies and angels carry him away to paradise, the bosom of Abraham, where finally receives comfort and rest from his burdensome life. The rich man dies a…

Feast of the Holy Trinity + Athanasian Creed + May 27

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Trinity Sunday is the only Feast day in the entire church calendar which is not about a specific event in the life of Christ. Instead, it is a day set aside for us to contemplate in a deeper way what we confess every other Sunday of the year: the catholic faith. Not the Roman Catholic faith. Just catholic, meaning universal. The catholic faith is not bound to one specific place, even Rome. The catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.” One God. Three persons. Each person coeternal, uncreated, and incomprehensible. That’s the unity. But there is a distinction of persons within the unity. The Father is unbegotten. The Son is begotten of the Father from all eternity, of the same substance as the Father, while the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. You see this ineffable doctrine the most clearly in your baptism. You were baptized in the name of the Father…