A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.
‹anonymous›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
29Dec
2013
Sun
14:00
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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First Sunday after Christmas

Luke 2:22-40

Christmas I 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD.”

In this morning’s Gospel lesson, 40 days have passed since Wednesday. For Mary, it was the time appointed for mothers who have given birth to sons to purify themselves, according to the law, and when firstborn sons were presented to the LORD. (cf. Leviticus 12:2-6) Therefore, on this first observance of the Presentation of Our Lord this year, for 40 days after Wednesday falls on a Sunday this church year, we begin in Egypt, to the time just after the first Passover.

25Dec
2013
Wed
14:48
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Nativity of Our Lord

John 1:1-18

Nativity of Our Lord 2013 Wordle

Note: This sermon is an update to this one.

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

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

Is that not an interesting way to begin a Gospel? St. John points to the very beginning, using words that would have us look at the very beginning of our Scriptures—Genesis. More than that however, he tells you that your Savior was there when the heavens and the earth were created: “In the beginning was the Word...” Jesus is the Word! He was with God in the beginning, and He is God.

24Dec
2013
Tue
21:17
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord

Matthew 1:18-25

Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What is a just man to do?

18Dec
2013
Wed
13:54
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Advent III

Philippians 4:4-7

Mid-Week Advent III 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

It’s quite a stark contrast. As chapter four of St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians begins, he urges the church in Philippi to help two sisters in Christ of the congregation to “be of the same mind in the Lord.” Euodia and Syntyche are at an impasse, it would seem. They are butting heads. They are at odds with each other. Paul never says what’s gotten between them, but these ladies are mad at each other. Paul implores them to get along. He points out that their names are written in the Book of Life. (cf. Philippians 4:1-3)

And then tonight’s pericope starts. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Wait, there’s quarreling going on...why rejoice? Because their names are written in the Book of Life. Because the Lord is at hand. Because the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

15Dec
2013
Sun
13:46
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Gaudete

Matthew 11:2-11

Gaudete 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There are two questions of interest in today’s Gospel. The first is the question John sends his disciples to ask Jesus: “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” The second is the question Jesus asks of the crowds around Him: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see?” Both questions deal with perception and reality, desire and the truth, and set these in opposition to each other. And both can be asked today, as well.

11Dec
2013
Wed
11:41
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Advent II

Malachi 3:1-2; Philippians 1:6, 11; O Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee (TLH #58)

Mid-Week Advent II 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“’And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears?’”

The prophet Malachi, the prophet who closed the Old Testament, at which time there was about 400 years of silence—no prophet appeared among the people of Israel (cf. 1 Maccabees 9:27) until the new Elijah, John the Baptist (cf. Malachi 4:5)—first tells of the coming of the Lord. YHWH would appear suddenly among His people, whom they seek and in whom they delight. He will come to his temple.

4Dec
2013
Wed
11:31
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Advent I

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

Mid-week Advent I 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

On Sunday, we marveled at the humble coming of Jesus in the flesh and into Jerusalem to die for the world. With an eye toward celebrating that first coming, that first appearing of Jesus in the flesh to man—to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem—we always do so with an eye to His coming again in the clouds with judgment—to the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” For, as we confess, this same Jesus, “Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary...shall come [again] to judge the quick and the dead.”

On that great and dreadful day, we shall see Him as He is. “He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; and He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age” (Athanasian Creed)...”very God of very God,” (Nicene Creed) and true Man. And on the day of Resurrection, we shall be as He is: true Man—for on that day, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes (cf. Revelation 7:17), this corruption will put on incorruption, this mortality immortality (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:53-54), and we will be whole; no more Old Adam, no more sin, no more death—in a word, perfect!

But you get that way through no work of your own. In this corruption and mortality, you are powerless and weak to effect such perfection in yourself. No, the Lord makes you...

1Dec
2013
Sun
16:44
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Ad Te Levavi

Matthew 21:1-9

Ad Te Levavi 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dear people of God, “Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” Your King is coming to you humble.

On that first Palm Sunday, that is exactly how the King of kings entered into Jerusalem—humble. This is no way for a king to enter into the city. Of course, a week later, we find the King crowned in a way that no king should be crowned or enthroned in a way that no king should be enthroned. But here is the King of kings’ chariot: a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. And there is the King of kings’ crown: thorns. And there is the King of kings’ throne: a cross. This King is executed as a common criminal after He had entered into the city as a common peasant. His coming then was humble...lowly.

24Nov
2013
Sun
22:51
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Last Sunday of the Church Year

Matthew 25:1-13

Last Sunday of the Church Year 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

It’s the end of the church year. Following the observance of the Festivals of the Reformation and All Saints, the church finds itself in the last two or three Sundays of the year, before the first Sunday in Advent. Appropriately, our attention turns to the end of all things, the return of Jesus Christ to judge the quick and the dead, and the resurrection of all flesh.

10Nov
2013
Sun
22:35
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Matthew 24:15-28

Trinity XXV 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet,” Jesus says, “run for the hills.”

I suppose that it’s fitting that in the One-Year lectionary, this lesson appears around Election Day on these shores. Jesus is very much making a political statement. When you see the abomination of desolation, run for the hills!

13Oct
2013
Sun
22:12
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity

John 4:46-54

Trinity XXI 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.

I’m not one who has taken a current event and molded a sermon around it, spare once, following the wildfires last summer. I have mentioned a current event in sermons in connection with the text, but never has an event such as this meshed so well with a text for a Sunday morning.

JesusTatoo.org

There is controversy in Texas over a billboard. While it has drawn some supporters, the overwhelming reaction has been outrage. On the billboard is a man portraying Jesus. He is crowned with thorns. His outstretched arms bear hands with holes in them where it would appear there once were nails. Covering the body of the Jesus figure are tattoos. Outcast, addicted, jealous, faithless, and cheat some of them read. It would appear to be a great representation of what Jesus’ death means for you. These tattoos show you that Jesus has taken these conditions and illnesses and struggles—these sins—from you and bore them Himself in His passion and death. Of course, where it falls short is that the nail holes would indicate that this Jesus is a post-resurrection Jesus, and following His resurrection, Jesus would not be carrying the sins of the world in (or on) His flesh.

29Sep
2013
Sun
23:48
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Michaelmas

Matthew 18:1-11

Michaelmas 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Jesus said, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

How dear to God are these little ones! Jesus says that their angels always see the Face of His Father. There are angels assigned to His little ones, and they are always before the throne of God. These angels, messengers of God, are much more than part of God’s creation that merely gaze upon the Face of the Father. St. John tells us that under the leadership of Michael the archangel, the angels of God cast Lucifer and those angels who followed him from the Face of God. Lucifer is the devil and Satan, that serpent of old. (cf. Revelation 12:7-9) The prophet Daniel also wrote of Michael, the great prince who watches over the sons of the children of Israel, who on the last day will come at the time of great conflict, but that the people of God would be delivered through it. (cf. Daniel 12:1-2) It is these warrior-messengers of God that keep watch over the little ones, and they are always before the Face of the Father.

15Sep
2013
Sun
21:41
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 7:11-17

Trinity XVI 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We are in the midst of death. The death procession is all around us. We have come through one of the most destructive fire seasons in history; the Black Forest near the Springs has been ravaged by fire, and the land bears the scar that has the look of death. And this, merely a year after the fire across the interstate in Waldo Canyon (not to mention the many other fires that have burned around the state). Wednesday evening into Thursday the area was subjected to much rainfall and places experienced flooding, including the burn scarred areas down south. Life was washed away in those floods, especially for the person whose house collapsed on them, and others who succumbed to the flood waters. Four dead so far; 150 whose whereabouts are still unknown.

This past Wednesday we remembered a very deadly day in the history of our nation. It was just a year ago when terrorists stormed the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing the ambassador and three others, while 12 years previous to that many men and women were killed and gave their lives as terrorists flew planes into the towers of the World Trade Center, toppling them, into the Pentagon, and into a field in Pennsylvania. Of course, many more lives were taken in the warring that has occurred since then, as a result of these acts.

Certainly, we cannot begin to count the death toll of the countless tragedies that have happened since and long before these events. Auto accidents, train derailments, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, murders and massacres, wars, abortions—death surrounds us. “Come quickly, Lord Jesus,” we are wont to pray; “See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet,” He replies. (Matthew 24:6b)

Our own bodies testify to being in the midst of death. From the moment we take our first breaths, we slowly make our way to our final day. Along the way, we fall ill, scrape our knees or shed our blood in various ways, and break bones. Such fragile creatures are we, marching ever onward toward death and decay. Some of us die “naturally,” while others give in to horrific and painful diseases.

We are in the midst of death, and we cannot escape it. “All have sinned,” (Romans 3:23) St. Paul wrote, and, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a) “[T]hus death spread to all men, because all sinned...” (Romans 5:12b)

1Sep
2013
Sun
17:05
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 17:11-19

Trinity 14 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We have today a lesson which occurs twice in the lectionary, in both the One-Year Series and the Three-Year Series, year C. Jesus heals the ten lepers on His way to Jerusalem passing through the region of Samaria. We know the lesson well enough, as we hear it every year on the National Day of Thanksgiving, appropriate for the day based on the one leper who, as he is being cleansed on his way to the priests, turns around and bows at the Great High Priest’s feet in thanksgiving.

11Aug
2013
Sun
16:26
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Luke 18:9-14; Genesis 4:1-15

Trinity 11 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There are only two religions in the world. Many of you are probably surprised to hear me say that, given the fact that there is this -ism and that -ism and many other -isms out there, but the fact remains that there are only two religions in the world. They are polar opposites in many ways, yet at times they are indistinguishable to the point that those who claim to be of the one are really of the other. One is right, and one is wrong. Today’s Old Testament and Gospel lessons show us examples of adherents to these two religions. Today’s Epistle tells of the consequences of both religions.

4Aug
2013
Sun
15:57
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Tenth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 19:41-48

Trinity 10 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The ancient Hebrew scholar and historian Joseph ben Matityahu, better known as Titus Flavius Josephus, recorded the Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem in AD70:

Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done), Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and Temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as they were of the greatest eminence...and...the wall [that] enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest...it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.
And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing; for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change. For the war had laid all signs of beauty quite waste. Nor had anyone who had known the place before, had come on a sudden to it now, would he have known it again.

He claims, even, that 1.1 million people were killed during the siege, and another 97,000 were captured and enslaved. When describing the massacre, he wrote,

The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination.
28Jul
2013
Sun
15:34
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 16:1-13

Trinity 9 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Of all the parables of Jesus, this one has to be the most fun for theologians; at least, from what I’ve read before, many have spent so much effort explaining this parable, and the explanations are widely divided. Much of the explanations are always an attempt to explain who the characters in the parable are supposed to represent. Most everyone agrees that the master is supposed to represent the Father, but they quickly diverge from there. Some would suggest that the manager is supposed to represent the Son and that the debtors are supposed to represent mankind which Christ saved. “Then why,” some ask, “did the manager only cancel part of the debtors’ debts? Christ paid the price for our sin in full, there should be nothing left!” This second group offers the idea that the manager is the believer and the debtors are unbelievers. “Then why,” some ask, “was master angry at a believer? If we believe in a loving God of grace and mercy, He wouldn’t be angry at believers, but forgive them.” And the suppositions go on and on and on from there; back and forth bickering over why one character could represent this person and not the next, and so on and so forth, ad nauseam.

14Jul
2013
Sun
14:58
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Seventh Sunday after Trinity

Mark 8:1-9

Trinity 7 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

One of the hoops I had to jump through upon entering the seminary was to take some psychological exams. While I found the exams tedious and mostly spurious, I suppose there is some merit to administering them to men who are seeking to undertake the noble task of being an overseer. (cf. 1 Timothy 3:1) For one thing, there is a high rate of depression among the clergy, across all Christian confessions—even I have dealt with bouts of it—and these exams could be helpful in identifying men most susceptible to depression (or other issues) and provide them with tools and resources to help them deal with whatever issues may pop up when they do.

7Jul
2013
Sun
18:31
author: Stingray
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Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Matthew 5:17-26

Trinity 6 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.”

16Jun
2013
Sun
17:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Third Sunday after Trinity

Luke 15:1-10

Trinity III 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”

Oh, those Pharisees...so right, yet they get things so wrong! We tend to pick on them a bit, don’t we? With good reason, I suppose. These are the hyper-righteous folks of Jesus’ time. They are at the temple as often as they can be. They know Moses and the Prophets forward and backward. They speak long prayers. They give generously to the temple. They teach the law without reproach. They follow the law to high precision (no, not perfectly, but nearly perfectly). This all sounds well-and-good, doesn’t it?

2Jun
2013
Sun
17:21
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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First Sunday after Trinity

Luke 16:19-31

Trinity I 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

When it comes to the rich man and Lazarus, you probably hear it with some preconceived misconceptions. You are not alone in that regard, though the way you come at those misconceptions likely differs from the people who first heard of them from Jesus.

26May
2013
Sun
16:51
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Holy Trinity

John 3:1-17

Holy Trinity 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What does the Holy Trinity have to do with Holy Baptism? In an answer: EVERYTHING!

12May
2013
Sun
23:27
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Exaudi

John 15:26—16:4

Exaudi 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

You know it’s coming, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve dealt with the pain for far too long, and nothing you’ve done has been able to settle it. It’s time to have it taken care of. The appointment was made, and good for you it is same-day. You arrive, are ushered to the back. There’s a pinch. Your breath-rate increases as you hear it; the whine of the drill. Finally, the cavity is being filled. It’s agonizing and unpleasant, but you know the end result will be good; in a little while, the pain will be gone, and you will be able return to normal oral activity.

9May
2013
Thu
23:48
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Ascension of Our Lord

Mark 16:14-20

Ascension of Our Lord 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

What a strange text for this evening; today, we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord, and today’s Gospel lesson mentions the Ascension only in passing: “So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” We get almost nothing with regard to what it meant for Jesus to ascend into heaven and sit down at the right hand of God.

5May
2013
Sun
23:10
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Rogate

John 16:23-33

Rogate 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

These last three weeks we have been jumping around through the 16th chapter of St. John’s Gospel. It’s the day of Jesus’ betrayal into the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes; the day He will celebrate His last supper with His disciples. Jesus is preparing His disciples for the time that He will no longer be with them and His church as He had in the three or so years since His baptism. While He will soon be taken from them to be crucified and die for their sins and the sins of the world and on the third day rise again—events which on a few occasions He had told them would happen—Jesus’ tenor would indicate that what He is referring to this time is something different.

28Apr
2013
Sun
22:38
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Cantate

John 16:5-15

Cantate 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

It’s been four weeks since we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. In three weeks, we will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter as it will have been 50 days since the Resurrection—Pentecost! We hear of Jesus speaking about precisely this moment in the history of the church:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

However, He said this before He was crucified and died.

14Apr
2013
Sun
21:41
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Misericordias Domini

John 10:11-16

Misericordias Domini 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

What do you hear when you hear those words? You likely hear about a gentle and self-sacrificing Savior giving to you in the picture of a shepherd—the Good Shepherd. You likely hear of the tender-hearted mercies of God—the Merciful Heart of the Lord, Misericordias Domini. I hear that, too, and it is quite a comfort. But there is something else that I hear, that I’m sure many other pastors also hear. If we are completely honest with ourselves and our God, we pastors hear a little of ourselves in the hireling. Now, before I continue, I will say that I do care about God’s sheep, though certainly not as I ought, and definitely not to the best of my ability. We pastors also hear what it is we ought to be doing. We all hear comfort with Jesus as our Good Shepherd while clergy also hear a job description.

7Apr
2013
Sun
18:32
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Quasimodo Geniti

John 20:19-31

Quasimodo Geniti 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dr. Normal Nagel, in bridging the gap between systematic theology, that is, doctrine, what we believe, teach, and confess, and practical theology, how it is that we express what we believe, teach, and confess, asks two questions of Biblical texts:

  • How does this text give us Jesus?
  • What prevents us from receiving Jesus in this text?

These are practical Gospel and Law questions which force us to delve into a text and explain how it is that we get from it to what we believe, teach, and confess.

30Mar
2013
Sat
20:23
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Easter Vigil

Baptism and Eighth Day

Easter Vigil 2013 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

The nails are gone. The crown of thorns removed. The body of God is wrapped in linens and spiced, and laid in a rock-hewn tomb.

29Mar
2013
Fri
19:59
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Good Friday

John 19:30

Name Year Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

The lifeless body of God hangs on the cross. It was a short life of 33 years for the eternal Word. “The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) Humbly, the Son of God began His fleshy existence in a house when Gabriel visited Mary; gloriously, it reaches its conclusion on a hill outside of Jerusalem called Golgotha. At the third hour on a Friday morning, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, saw to His appointed duty to die for the sin of the world, and was nailed to a cross. In the matter of a few hours, it was done—it was finished. Satan was humiliated, brought low, his head crushed by the bruised heal of the the Seed, declared in one last word from the cross: τέτελεσται. One little word has felled the devil, and we translate it as “It is finished,” or, “It is completed,” or, “It is ended” (perhaps this is the word Luther had in mind).

20Mar
2013
Wed
19:07
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Lent 2013

The Stigmata

These are the five sermons preached over the course of the five Wednesdays of Lent, not including Ash Wednesday or Holy Wednesday. Rather than posting them individually, I post them together because they are connected by a theme, which are the five wounds of Christ in His Passion, the Stigmata: His Back, His Head, His Hands, His Feet, and His Side.

I have long wanted to do something like this for Lent, but could never get myself into gear early enough to have it completely planned. This year, I started thinking about this and putting it together in January. You can see the supplied lessons for the services and the suggested hymns for each evening by reading this .pdf file.

10Feb
2013
Sun
17:47
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Quinquagesima

Luke 18:31-43

Quinquagesima 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today’s Gospel reading is a two-part story on blindness. It tells us about the two types of blindness with which the world is or can be afflicted. And, in both cases, it shows us the cure to the blindness.

3Feb
2013
Sun
17:13
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Sexagesima

Luke 8:4-15

Sexagesima 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Would it surprise you to know that the reason Jesus spoke in parables was to keep the hidden things of God hidden from unbelievers? Would it surprise you to learn that the reason Jesus wanted to keep the hidden things of God hidden from unbelievers is so that they would not become believers? This is a very hard saying, and one which should give you pause, even as you contemplate how it is that God is merciful and gracious. It would seem to go against the very notion that God desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4)—to come to understand the hidden things of God.

27Jan
2013
Sun
19:54
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Septuagesima

Matthew 20:1-16

Septuagesima 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Here’s the thing about God: when He deals with His creation—when He deals with you—He’s not fair, but He is just. That should be welcome good news to your ears, dear listeners. If God were to deal with you fairly, He would deal with you solely by the law; in His fairness, you would receive from His hand exactly what you deserve, in fullest measure. But, He deals with you justly—out of His divine righteousness, which is His Son, Jesus Christ—with all grace and mercy. If what God had to give you depended on His fairness, then what you receive from Him depends solely on you—not the least of which concerns your eternal salvation. But, since He deals with you out of His divine justice, you are declared forgiven and given all the benefits of salvation for the sake of Jesus Christ.

20Jan
2013
Sun
19:22
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Transfiguration of Our Lord

Matthew 17:1-9

Transfiguration 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

When I was growing up, I used to play with Legos; in a way, I still do, from time to time. However, when I was young, Lego introduced a new system called Light and Sound. These sets included a box into which you could put a 9-volt battery which would power tiny lights and pieces which, when turned one way or the other, produced a siren-like sound. Why do I bring this up? Well, when I read accounts of the Transfiguration of our Lord, I’m struck by the fact that we are informed of the lights (or sights) and sounds of the event.

6Jan
2013
Sun
18:29
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Epiphany of Our Lord

Matthew 2:1-12

Epiphany 2013 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

There is something that is often overlooked when it comes to the visit of the magi. These men from the east, called wise by Matthew, travel to Jerusalem, supposing the new king to be born there. They had at least part of the Hebrew Scriptures when the Hebrews were exiled in their land. The connected the dots: seeing the star that led them to Palestine, they surmised that the promised King was born. Jerusalem was the capital, so it would make sense that the King, in the line of David, would be born and live in Jerusalem. They arrive at the palace and find Herod there, but no baby.

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”