A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in and how many want out. Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American G. I.; one died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
‹Tony Blair›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
26Apr
2015
Sun
17:45
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Jubilate

John 16:16-22

Jubilate 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”

With these words, Jesus sought to comfort His disciples. Up to this point, He had been telling them that the world would hate and reject them. This is the case because the world hates and rejects Him, and, “A servant is not greater than his master.” (John 16:20a) Jesus continued, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you...all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake because they do not know Him who sent Me.” (John 16:20b-21)

The way of life will be difficult for the disciples, but first, “a little while,” and they will not see Jesus. Jesus is making His way to the cross. There He will be crucified. There He will die for the sins of the world—the propitiation, shedding His blood for the remission of sins. He will be taken down from the cross and placed in a grave. And the disciples will cower in fear and sorrow, hiding from those who hated Jesus because they will come after them.

“Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”

Jesus is dead and buried. The disciples weep and lament and are sorrowful. The world rejoices.

12Apr
2015
Sun
19:13
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Quasimodo Geniti

John 20:19-31

Quasimodo Geniti 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The open tomb, the empty bench, the unoccupied grave cloths, the folded handkerchief—these are all negative evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. They don’t necessarily prove that Jesus rose from the dead. They merely prove that Jesus is not in the grave.

4Apr
2015
Sat
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Easter Vigil

Mark 16:1-8

Easter Vigil 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

It is finished! (John 19:30) Jesus commended His spirit into the Father’s hand, breathed His last, and died. The work of your salvation is accomplished, completed, finished. Christ has died, and in His death is the remission of all of your sins.

Now, the nails are removed and the corpse is taken down from the cross. His tattered body, full of holes, is cared for. A man named Joseph was given the task to care for the boy Jesus; another man named Joseph assumes the task to care for the body of Jesus. (cf. John 19:38)

His body is spiced and wrapped by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, to whom Jesus said that he must be born again by water and the Spirit. (cf. John 3:1-8) They place the body of Jesus in Joseph’s new tomb; no one else is buried there yet—it’s empty. The stone is rolled in front of the tomb, closing in the lone corpse.

The Jews, claiming to be afraid that Jesus’ disciples would rob His grave and claim that Jesus had risen, as He claimed He would, petition Pilate to secure the grave. Pilate gives them a guard to place at Joseph’s tomb. One must wonder, though, were they really afraid of people going into the grave or that Jesus might actually rise from the grave?

3Apr
2015
Fri
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Good Friday

John 19:16-42

Good Friday 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Up to the top of the mountain the pair trudged. Fire in hand, the father leads the son. On the son’s back, a bundle of wood. “Father, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering,” the father replies.

The father must have had a frog in his throat as he said that. The son might just be getting an idea of what is going on. Nevertheless, onward and upward they go. Along the way, there is no lamb. What was the father thinking, then? What images were going through the son’s mind the whole way up?

They get to the place. The father builds an altar and puts the wood in place. Then, the heartbreak really begins for the pair: the father binds the son. A coil of rope keeps the boy’s hands together; a coil of rope his feet. He’s not going anywhere but on the altar. The father must have been fighting back tears. The son’s screams must have been hard—nay, impossible—to ignore. But this is the Word of the Lord.

The father unsheathes the ceremonial knife. The son is pleading for his life. A deep breath, and the knife goes up. The son screams again. The father was just about to strike the killing blow when a voice calls out to him—the Angel of the Lord: “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Tears of sorrow and screams of fear and mercy are turned in the wails of joy and relief.

2Apr
2015
Thu
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Maundy Thursday

The Lord's Supper

Maundy Thursday 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On this night on which the Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed, on which He instituted the Supper of His body and blood, it does us well to review what it is the believe, teach, and confess with regard to His Supper.

We can simply begin with what the Sacrament of the Altar is. As just said and heard, in fewer words, “it is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.” What Luther taught here, and which we have learned by heart, is confirmed in the words of Christ Himself. Again, these are words you have been taught, the primary text of the Sacrament, and which you hear every Sunday:

[Our] Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)