I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse.
‹Emperor Charles V›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
27Dec
2015
Sun
21:39
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

John 21:20-25

St. John, Apostle and Evangelist 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

As Jesus is being led to His trial before the temple priests, Peter followed, probably at a distance, as does another disciple, whom many think to be John. John was known to the high priest, so he was able to enter the courtyard with Jesus, but Peter could not. John spoke to the servant girl and brought Peter in. This servant girl thought she recognized Peter and pressed him, “You are not also one of this Man's disciples, are you?” Peter replied, “I am not,” and with that denied Jesus the first time. (cf. John 18:12-17)

Twice more, Peter denied knowing Jesus—denied His God and Savior. Then, the rooster crowed. Peter remembered Jesus’ words, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” He went out from the courtyard and wept bitterly. (cf. Matthew 26:75)

23Dec
2015
Wed
22:22
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Advent IV

Mary, Mother of God

Mid-week Advent IV 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

What is confessed in tonight’s sermon is quite simple, yet profound.

It begins by confessing and acknowledging that Jesus is true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true Man. You cannot separate the two natures of the Christ—Jesus is one person, God and man—but you can confess each nature separately.

Jesus is true Man, of that there is no doubt. These past few weeks, Jesus’ human nature has been stressed, perhaps to the neglect of His divine nature. Jesus has a human name, given to Him by His guardian and mother. He has a human frame, assumed in the womb of His mother. He was conceived, born, and grew just like you. He ate and drank, laughed and cried, ran and walk, slept at night, learned the Ten Commandments, prayed the Psalms—He did everything a normal man would do, except what a normal man after the fall does: sin.

But, Jesus is true God. As the angel announced to the virgin, that which was conceived in her would be called the Son of the Highest. Gabriel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her as the power of the Highest would overshadow her and she would conceive a Son. And because of all of that, the Son she would conceive and bear would be called the Son of God.

16Dec
2015
Wed
22:22
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Advent III

Mary, One-flesh and God

Mid-week Advent III 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

When God instituted the holy estate of marriage, He blessed it as a separation and joining. In so doing, it is written, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) Man and woman separate from their parents, headship changes, authority shifts, and a new home is created. And the manifestation of the estate of marriage, a chief purpose for it’s institution, is the procreation of children. Man has a part to play in the creation, as in marriage man and wife are blessed to make another in their image.

This day and age, that doesn’t always work out. Simply put, since the fall, not all marriages are blessed to bring forth children. Medically, the reasons are numerous, as one person or the other or both are unable to conceive, but they all boil down to one reason in the end: sin. Thankfully, God provides another purpose for marriage—mutual enjoyment and consolation—even as He also provides other means by which a childless couple can care for and raise children.

However, even in marriages that are able to conceive, sin plays a part in that conception. For one thing, there is pain in conception and child birth, as God had cursed the first woman. (cf. Genesis 3:16a) For another thing, there are complications, still, in conception and development of children, as they can be conceived and born with any number of maladies and deformities. But, most atrociously, this sin-sickness, which our Confessions call concupiscence, is passed on from father to child in conception, and the child is a sinner from the moment it is formed in the womb—a child made in the image and likeness of their parents. “I am a sinner like my father before me, and his father before him, and his father before him...”

9Dec
2015
Wed
22:22
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Advent II

Mary, a New and Better Eve; Luke 1:26-38

Mid-week Advent II 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

It was the Sixth Day. YHWH was at the pinnacle of His creative work. He had just made livestock and all creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds. It was good. It was time to unveil His masterpiece, His pièce de résistance: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...” (Genesis 1:26a)

God took a little of the virgin, red earth and formed a man from it, then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He gave the man the name Adam, after the red earth from which he was formed. A little later that day, God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, took a rib from his side, closed the place up with flesh, and fashioned a woman from the rib. (cf. Genesis 2:7, 21-22)

2Dec
2015
Wed
22:22
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Advent I

Mary, model hearer of God's Word; Luke 1:26-38

Mid-week Advent I 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

When Moses was called to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, YHWH told him, “Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10) Moses, perhaps the greatest person in the history of the Old Testament, responds with excuses. God spoke to Moses, and Moses lists off reasons why that Word cannot be.

  • “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
  • “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13)
  • “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’” (Exodus 4:1)
  • “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)
  • “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” (Exodus 4:13)

Finally, Moses is convinced to do what the Word of God commanded Him to do.

When the prophet Ezekiel was called to proclaim the justice of God to the people of Israel, it almost seems as if he had to be convinced by vision of heaven unlike anything described elsewhere in the Scriptures, spare the Revelation given to St. John. After the frightening vision, showcasing the might and majesty of God over creation, YHWH tells the priest,

Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD.” As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you. (Ezekiel 2:3-8)

Rather than just being told what he was going to do and going, one can read the vision as being that little extra nudge that Ezekiel needed to heed the Word of God.

And there’s Jonah—obstinate Jonah. This prophet was told to go to the land of Nineveh and proclaim the judgment of God to the people there: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” (Jonah 1:2) What does Jonah do instead? He flees to Tarshish, as if to hide from God, perhaps in the hopes that God would send someone else to Nineveh instead. But God had none of it. A great storm arose and tossed the boat on which Jonah had booked passage. Knowing that he was the cause of the boat’s problems, he pleads with the crew to throw him overboard, which they finally do. “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17) After being vomited by the fish, Jonah makes his way to Nineveh, proclaims the Word of God there, and the city repents, much to Jonah’s surprise and dismay.

What about Zecharias? Here is a priest, no less, someone who should know the Word of God when it comes to him, one would think. He is well advanced in years, but childless; his wife Elizabeth is barren. It was his turn to serve in the temple, and as he was doing so, the archangel Gabriel appears to him and tells him that Elizabeth is pregnant. “You will call his name John.” (Luke 1:13) The priest asks, “How shall I know this?” He gives excuses how this cannot be: “I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” (Luke 1:18) You can almost hear him scoffing and mocking the angel. For not believing the Word of God sent to him, Zecharias is made a mute until he names his son John.

29Nov
2015
Sun
22:07
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Ad Te Levavi

Matthew 21:1-9

Ad Te Levavi 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The prophet Zechariah declared, “Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” And so it is, that as He makes His way to Golgotha and the cross, Jesus enters Jerusalem looking like anything but a king. He is atop a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Is that any way for a king to make an entrance? Perhaps it is for a king in the line of David. As David neared death, his eldest living son, Adonijah, decided to declare himself king. But David was reminded of his promise to name Solomon his successor. So the elderly king declared,

Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon. There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, “Long live King Solomon!” Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, and he shall be king in my place. For I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah. (1 Kings 1:32-35)

The priest and prophet did as the king commanded. Solomon rode to his coronation on a donkey—a mule, the translation says. These words are repeated two more times in 1 Kings, underscoring the importance of the event, not only of Solomon’s coronation, but also, as some speculate, Solomon’s ride upon a donkey. Though there is no other textual evidence of the practice, they assume that all of the kings in David’s line rode to their coronations upon a donkey or mule, as if to connect themselves and their reigns with David and Solomon beyond their blood succession.

22Nov
2015
Sun
14:27
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Last Sunday of the Church Year

Matthew 25:1-13

The Last Sunday of the Church Year 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

It’s the parable of the ten virgins. Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They had gone to the house of the bridegroom to celebrate his wedding, but he was delayed in returning. This is what distinguished the wise virgins from the foolish: the wise had oil in their lamps to last through the wait, the foolish had none.

On the outset, it seems a silly example. Who goes out into the night, not expecting to be back home soon, without oil for their lamps? That’s like hopping onto the interstate for a long road trip with your gas tank near empty. That’s like trying to use your computer, tablet, or phone to watch a movie with almost no charge left on your battery. That’s like trying to do your day’s work without having eaten breakfast and without eating lunch—on an empty stomach. Well, for the sake of what Jesus was trying to teach, that’s exactly what five of the virgins did. They went to wait for the bridegroom to return without bringing enough oil for their lamps. No one could be that foolish, right?

15Nov
2015
Sun
14:40
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Seventh Sunday after Michaelmas

Matthew 25:31-46

The Seventh Sunday after Michaelmas 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” This text can be one of great terror for you or one of great comfort. It all depends on how you hear it. And how you hear it depends on whether you are a sheep or a goat.

For, when Jesus returns on the Day of Judgment, all people will be divided before him, like sheep and goats. Jesus will welcome the sheep on His right into everlasting life. The goats on His left, on the other hand, will be commanded to depart from His presence into everlasting fire.

8Nov
2015
Sun
15:57
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Sixth Sunday after Michaelmas

Matthew 24:15-28

The Sixth Sunday after Michaelmas 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In 168BC, the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes IV led an attack on Egypt. He was one in a line of kings who ruled a third of the empire that Alexander the Great had created; after his death, his empire was split into smaller kingdoms, one of which was ruled by the Seleucids. Anyway, Antiochus was blocked before entering Alexandria by a single Roman envoy. This envoy, drew a line in the sand, encircling Antiochus, and warned him that if he crossed the line without a pledge to withdraw from Egypt and Cyprus, he was effectively declaring war on Rome. Antiochus decided to withdraw.

However, while he was busy in Egypt, a revolt arose in Jerusalem. A rumor had spread that Antiochus had died in his campaign against Egypt. A deposed high priest took this opportunity to gather an army and sack Jerusalem. The high priest that Antiochus had put into the office fled the city to save his life. As the army found out, however, Antiochus did not die, and he retaliated in 167BC, restoring his chosen high priest and killing many Jews.

Additionally, Antiochus outlawed the Jewish religion and rituals. He set up a statue of Zeus in the temple and sacrificed swine on the altar. So was fulfilled the words of the prophet Daniel: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Daniel 12:11) The right sacrifices were taken away and an abominable sacrifice set up in their places. It was the abomination of desolation. For this reason, many equate Antiochus with the eleventh horn on the beast of Daniel’s prophecy.

1Nov
2015
Sun
15:18
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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All Saints' Day

Matthew 5:8

All Saints' Day 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A fact of life in this, our little congregation, is that there are very few funerals. Since I have been here, I’ve only buried two, though we’ve lost three. As is usually customary on this day in our churches, we like to commemorate our blessed dead from the past year, and thank God for the life that they were given, both here on earth and in eternity in Christ. But we have had none this past year.

So, we count all of our blessed dead among the many. And we rejoice with St. Job that, like him, they will see God. (cf. Job 19:26-27) With their own eyes they will look upon the face of God and live! Sin is gone, done away with, for the sake of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They have all passed from this vale of tears and sorrows, from death to life, from this temporal existence to eternity.

25Oct
2015
Sun
15:38
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Festival of the Reformation (Transferred)

Matthew 11:12-19

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

It’s what I call the quintessential hymn of the Reformation, even though it was written some 24 years after Luther posted 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door. It speaks volumes about what the Reformation was all about: The Word of God, God shielding His people from forces opposed to the Gospel, being kept in faith until death, and salvation by grace through faith alone. Today’s translation leaves out some more politically incorrect verbiage, but that does not make Luther’s original any less true, even today. Sadly, many Lutherans push this one aside for an earlier Luther hymn, which is pulled out in all of it’s glory on this day and sung with militant, Lutheran gusto.

18Oct
2015
Sun
15:35
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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St. Luke, Evangelist

Luke 10:1-9

St. Luke, Evangelist 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On the outset, today’s text appears to be a text for pastors. Or, it might seem as if Jesus is talking to pastors, or men that He is sending out as pastors. The list of things he tells them are words worthy of a pastor to keep in mind as he ministers to God’s people.

  • These men are being sent out as lambs among wolves. Jesus says and does some neat things, but He also has a way of rubbing people the wrong way. It’s not that He’s being mean or mischievous—He’s the Truth, and what He says and does is the truth, and fallen man cannot handle the truth, at least not always. These men are being sent out to proclaim the Word of God, and they can expect to be treated like lambs by wolves. This is a reality for pastors today, too.
  • These men are to bring no provisions with them; instead, they are to expect to be provided for by a “son of peace,” for “the laborer is worthy of his wages.” Where the truth is proclaimed and received by a “son of peace,” the reaction by that son is the support of the proclamation. This is, essentially, the opposite of being treated like a lamb among wolves—this is being treated like the emissary of righteousness, life, and salvation. So, these men will be taken care of by those who receive the Word of God. Likewise, this is the case for pastors, today, too, insofar as the sons of peace today are able in some places.
  • These men are told to heal the sick and say, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” This is the task for which they are sent. It’s all that they are to do, and it’s simple. The healings will all be by the power of Jesus; the word proclaimed will be nothing more or less than Jesus. For it, they will either be hated to the point of death, or loved to the point of being cared for, esteemed, and revered. Jesus doesn’t ask much of them, though it is a difficult, yet simple, task. The reward, on the other hand, is life for them and for all who would receive them. Once again, pastors today are to do the same thing, administering the medicine of immortality in the Lord’s Supper and proclaiming the great day of the Lord in the words of Holy Absolution.
27Sep
2015
Sun
15:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Michaelmas

Revelation 12:7-12; Luke 10:17-20

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

“Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

The good ol’ days, that’s what people call them. Days past which were, in myriad ways, better than today. People were friendlier, the moral compass of society wasn’t as far off as it is now, and things generally went better. Compared to the good ol’ days, today is anything but good. Now, you read and hear of wars and turmoil, the political climate of the country is ever more divisive, and it’s harder today to get by than it was mere decades ago. “Those were the good ol’ days; things are getting worse.”

Yet, “there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9c) Today is no worse off than yesterday. The moral compass of society spins just as it spun decades and centuries ago. People get along, or they don’t; they agree, or they don’t. Getting by is hard at times and easier at other times, just as it always has been.

13Sep
2015
Sun
15:04
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

Matthew 6:24-34

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Worrying is a part of life, or so it seems. People worry about paychecks and taxes. People worry about security and freedom. Some people even worry about the food they need for their next meal, whether they’ll be warm that night to sleep, or even if they’ll have a roof over their head and a bed to sleep in that night.

Then Jesus comes along and says, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” I suppose you could add shelter, security, and freedom to that list, too. When it comes to the necessities of life, you need not worry.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

The birds are fed by the providence of God. Even the lilies of the field are decked out in raiment more glorious than anything that Solomon ever wore. These need not worry—these creatures of the third and fifth days—and you, more valuable than they, a creature of the ultimate day of creation, need not worry either about food or clothing. God gives these “lesser life forms” what they need; He will certainly give you everything that you need.

30Aug
2015
Sun
15:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 10:23-37

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

What if the parable of the Samaritan and the traveler isn’t all we make it out to be?

It’s a simple story, really. It tells a moral tale. A certain man was traveling to Jericho. Along the road, some thieves stripped him of his clothing, beat him senseless, and left him for dead, naked, alone, and broke. Two of Jerusalem’s religious elite pass by him. Neither of them helped him, but did their best to avoid the man by walking around him on the other side of the road. It wasn’t until a Samaritan came along—a half-breed lowlife, according to the Jews—that the man finally received some help.

This certain Samaritan bandaged the man’s wounds, salving him with wine and oil. Then, placing him on his own animal, he takes the man to an inn, pays for his room and board, and sees to it that the innkeeper takes care of him, promising to repay him any extra expenses upon his return. It was certainly a good thing that the Samaritan had done, but you’ll notice that nowhere in the parable does Jesus call him good, as has become part of our parlance—the Good Samaritan.

26Aug
2015
Wed
22:45
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Prayer Service of Remembrance for Victims of Abortion

Matthew 2:16-18

Prayer Service of Remembrance for Victims of Abortion 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Rachel weeps...

Matters of convenience have long trumped life. Throughout the history of the world, whenever it suited the desires and perceived needs of a person, he or she has had no problem taking a life. And the people around them? Well, they have often been complacent or incapable of doing anything different.

16Aug
2015
Sun
15:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Luke 18:9-14

The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

As was usually the case, you might imagine that the Pharisees left Jesus dejected after He had told them the parable that is today’s text, if not angry and ready to stone Him. It’s a simple parable, yet if they did walk away dejected, one that they got so wrong. Nevertheless, be it simple, it’s one that you can easily get wrong, too.

9Aug
2015
Sun
16:59
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Tenth Sunday after Trinity

Luke 19:41-48

The Tenth Sunday after Trinity 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The prophet Jeremiah was called at a young age to warn the people of Judah of danger coming from the north and east. God’s wrath would come upon His people via the Babylonians. As Jeremiah warned them, however, he told them that a remnant would remain. Consequently, the message to the people of Judah was to repent. Repent, and they would be counted among the remnant—they would be the remnant.

12Jul
2015
Sun
17:44
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Matthew 5:17-26

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

You all know the proof texts. We are saved by grace, not by works. (cf. Acts 15:11; Ephesians 2:5, 8; 2 Timothy 1:9) You all know what Lutherans confess according to the Third Article of the Creed. “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him...” Through no merits of your own are you saved. Your salvation is wholly and completely dependent upon Jesus Christ and the work He has done.

From the cross, you have heard the completion of that work. As the last words of Jesus from the cross are numbered to 7, His penultimate word was τέτελεσται—it is finished! (cf. John 19:30) With that, He commended His spirit to the Father and breathed His last. The work of your salvation was accomplished, completed, finished. And if Jesus has completed the work, then there is nothing left for you to do. It is finished, and salvation is yours by completely and wholly by the grace of God.

It is for that reason that many Lutherans today balk at all talk of works. The Ten Commandments become little more than a list for confirmands to memorize. Outside of catechesis and confirmation, though, there is no practical use for the Ten Commandments for many Lutherans.

21Jun
2015
Sun
15:48
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Third Sunday after Trinity

Luke 15:1-10

The Third Sunday after Trinity 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Last week, you heard me paraphrase the synodical president, Rev. Matthew Harrison. “Jesus lives in the hearts of sinners, so you better be one.” The idea, as I used it, was that Jesus came to save sinners, something that St. Paul once wrote (cf. 1 Timothy 1:15), so if you’re looking for salvation or hoping to be saved, then you had best be a sinner. The Good News is that Jesus has come for you, dear sinner. But there are those who have no need for Jesus. If you say you have no sin, you only deceive yourselves (cf. 1 John 1:8); in this state of self-deception, you would believe that Jesus is unnecessary.

Shortly after last week’s text is today’s Gospel. Jesus is still teaching at tables. This time, He’s eating with tax collectors and sinners, the people for whom He came to earth. The Pharisees and scribes grumbled, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”

14Jun
2015
Sun
15:53
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Second Sunday after Trinity

Luke 14:15-24

Second Sunday after Trinity 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Jesus is in the home of the enemy. He is eating at the table of a Pharisee, surrounded by many of this Pharisee’s friends—more Pharisees. They were watching Him intently. A man walks in with dropsy, and Jesus asks them, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” They are silent. Jesus heals the man, then asks the Pharisees, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” They are unable to answer Him. (cf. Luke 14:1-6)

Being at the table, Jesus then teaches them proper table etiquette. When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, don’t take the first seat, take the last. It’s better to be told to move up than to be told to move down. When you give a dinner or supper, do not invite those who can repay you, but those who are unable to repay you; then, you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just. There are eschatological implications in what Jesus is teaching them, for the wedding feast to which He is referring to is ultimately the Feast of Victory of the Lamb in His Kingdom which has no end and the dinner or supper is ultimately the Lord’s Supper where those who are unable to repay Jesus for His body and blood are stooped at His table receiving from Him forgiveness, life, and salvation which prepares them for the resurrection as the just. (cf. Luke 14:7-14)

They are both the same feast, for in taking the Lord’s Supper, you are partaking of the Feast of Victory. It would seem one of the Pharisees understood this, if only in part. “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

7Jun
2015
Sun
15:31
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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First Sunday after Trinity

Luke 16:19-31

First Sunday after Trinity 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:14-17)

Jesus had just told the crowd the parable of The Prudent Steward of Unrighteousness. It’s a story demonstrating mercy and forgiveness, where a steward, fearing for his job, has his master’s debtors reduce the amount they each owed to his master. Now, the steward, if he were to be kicked out of his master’s service, would have made friends of those debtors to the point where his mercy toward them would be repaid, or he would have saved his hide by giving them a more favorable opinion of his master. “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.” (Luke 16:9)

The Pharisees heard this and, naturally, heard it as a condemnation against them. They and Jesus were constantly at odds, not the least of which was that they followed the commandments of men as if from God (cf. Matthew15:9)—their doctrine was not that of God. In addition to this point of contention, Jesus also nails them on being lovers of money, and if lovers of money, then not ones who loved God and their neighbors—He tells them the parable of Dives and Lazarus.

24May
2015
Sun
15:05
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Whitsunday

Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2:1-21; John14:23-31

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

It was several generations after the flood that the people, who all spoke with one voice, decided to make a name for themselves. On the plains of Shinar, the began to build a great city—a tower reaching into the heavens at it center. Concerned at what was happening, YHWH came down to see what the children of man were building.

Now, it has to be an eerily ominous thing when God descends to see what is going on. In the Garden, God was taking His walk in the cool of the day, and asks where Adam was. As if He didn’t know, He asks as if to give the man a chance to reveal and explain himself. Things take a turn for the worse from there. Adam blames the woman; the woman blames the serpent—all three received a curse; to mankind, it is the promised curse of death, which, having now fallen into sin, is something of a blessing: man does not have to live forever under the sting of sin. (cf. Genesis 3:8-19)

In today’s Old Testament reading, God did not have to come down to see what the children of man had built. But His condescending that day resulted in punishment for sin. The people on the plains of Shinar thought too highly of themselves. It’s the same sin of Adam and the woman, who thought that they could be like God—maybe better than God—simply by eating the fruit that He had commanded them not to eat. These people thought themselves God’s equal or superior by the might of their hands and handiwork. “[N]othing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.”

Once again, God’s condescending results in the condemnation and punishment of sin. The people were scattered from Shinar. Their language was confused. One day, neighbors could speak to each other; the next, there was confusion, and neighbors were separated, perhaps they even became enemies. From there, God dispersed the people over the face of the earth.

17May
2015
Sun
15:35
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Exaudi

John 15:26—16:4

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

“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, ‘Seek ye my face;’ my heart said unto thee, ‘Thy face, LORD, will I seek.’ Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.” (Psalm 27:7-9, KJV)

10May
2015
Sun
15:32
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Rogate

John 16:23-33

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

For the past two week and today, we have jumped around St. John’s 16th chapter. We even had a little look into the 15th chapter. In these chapters, Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure.

Now, it would seem that the departure He’s preparing them for His crucifixion and death. It’s the day of Jesus’ betrayal, after all. He had just washed their feet after supper, knowing that “His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father.” (cf. John 13:1) Up to this time, Jesus had spent about three years with them, catechizing them, giving them their seminary education, so to speak, even though their minds would not be open to His instruction until after His resurrection. On at least three occasions, Jesus had told them that He would be betrayed and delivered to death, and on all three times He was not understood. (cf. Matthew 17:22; 20:18; 26:24)

On the night of today’s text, however, there is something else going on. Jesus’ tenor is different than in His Passion predictions.

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)
25Mar
2015
Wed
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Lent V

Mark 15:6-20

Mid-week Lent V 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Yom Kippur had arrived—the Day of Atonement. The priest made the usual preparations. He washed and put on the holy garments. He sacrificed a bull as a sin offering for himself and his house so he could enter the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle. He also takes two goats from the congregation of the children of Israel and presents them before YHWH at the door of the Tabernacle. The priest then casts lots over the goats; one lot falls for YHWH, the other for Azazel. (cf. Leviticus 16:1-8)

18Mar
2015
Wed
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Lent IV

Mark 14:53--15:5

Mid-week Lent IV 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

So it has begun. Of course, the beginning of Christ’s Passion started the day before the events of tonight’s text, though it most certainly has roots in the fall of Adam, and it was known to happen before the foundation of the world. But on this night, Jesus stands before the council, and He is put on trial. To this point, however, your place in His Passion may have been difficult to see.

15Mar
2015
Sun
17:27
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Laetare

John 6:1-15

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

Laetare, rejoice!

Jehovah Jireh has provided. As it is written, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22:14b) The hand was stayed, the sacrifice prevented, and caught in the thicket was a ram to take the place of the boy. Vicariously, the ram is sacrificed, and the boy lives. There was much rejoicing of the two that day as they made their way down the mountain.

Laetare, rejoice!

Jehovah Jireh has provided. The people had been freed from oppression and slavery. They were allowed to leave and go into the wilderness to sacrifice and freely worship YHWH, though they were pursued for a time. The LORD had provided freedom, but His provision didn’t end there as He provided bread from heaven, manna, and quail—flakes of sustenance and meat from the throne of the Almighty. Surely, there was much rejoicing as the people left the land, as Pharaoh and his host drowned in the sea, as they gathered the bread the first few times.

Laetare, rejoice!

Jehovah Jireh has provided. On a mountain across the Sea of Galilee Jesus had retreated to find some solitude, but a multitude followed Him. Jesus had taught them for a few days, and they followed Him because of the great miracles He had performed. They were hungry by this point, and it was too late to send them home, so Jesus asks, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Their coffers couldn’t supply what was needed, but there was a boy with five barley loaves and two small fish, “But what are they among so many?” The answer is a banquet at the hands of Jesus, with more leftovers than when they had started. There was much rejoicing that night as the people were fed with bread from One from heaven.

11Mar
2015
Wed
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Lent III

Mark 14:26-52

Mid-week Lent III 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel had spoken against the shepherds of Israel and Judah. These men—prophets, priests, and kings—whom God had set up to lead His people, care for them, feed them with His Word were not seeing to the tasks to which He had sent them. So He declares woe upon them.

Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. (Ezekiel 34:2b-4)
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1-2)

Because they have done this, God declares that He will be their shepherd. (cf. Ezekiel 34:23; Micah 5:2) In a stable outside the little town of Bethlehem, that Shepherd is born. Conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary, Jesus is God-with-us, the Shepherd promised of old. He is the one who will fulfill the promise made through the prophet Ezekiel:

“Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down," says the Lord GOD. “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:11-16)
4Mar
2015
Wed
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Lent II

Mark 14:12-25; Exodus 12:1-14

Mid-week Lent II 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

It must have been an interesting day. Things happened that day that had never happened before. I know, that sounds a bit loaded; new things happen every day. But this day was...different.

The whole assembly of the Israelites had gathered lambs to slaughter them. The Israelites were great in number, and each family had a lamb to slaughter, or one to share with another small family. At the same time, in all of Goshen, the throats of the lambs were slit, and the blood was used to cover the lintel and doorposts of their houses.

And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. (Exodus 12:29-30)
25Feb
2015
Wed
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Mid-week Lent I

Mark 14:1-11

Mid-week Lent I 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

As the travelers stooped into the house, they presented their gifts to the Child. Among the gifts were gold and frankincense. The gold the family likely used to flee into and survive in Egypt. Apart from knowing that these men were guided to the Child by God Himself, it would seem that the gift of gold was fortuitous. They received the money they would need to flee a tyrant’s blade and stay in that country long enough to outlive the tyrant. Frankincense is the perfume burned in deference to a god—here, the travelers give the gift to God-in-the-Flesh.

There was one last gift: myrrh. Myrrh is one of the perfumes used to prepare a body for burial. Wrapped in linen and spiced with myrrh and cassia and aloes (cf. Psalm 45:8), the body would be placed in the tomb perhaps more pleasantly fragrant than he had been in life. It was a ritual performed in mourning to honor the dead. After the wise men visit, God-in-the-flesh is about to flee into Egypt; the gold and frankincense make sense. (cf. Matthew 2:1-12)

18Feb
2015
Wed
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Ash Wednesday

catechetical instruction

Ash Wednesday 2015 Wordle
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

The actions and condition of men does not hold sway to who God is or what He does. Whether men pray to God or not, whether they keep the commandments (if only in part) or not, whether they believe or not, it does not change who God is or what He does.

  • God gives for all of your needs whether you are good or evil, without your prayer. Jesus said as much when He taught, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)
  • God’s will is done whether you pray for it or not.
  • God’s kingdom comes of itself, without your prayer.
  • God’s name is holy regardless of how you treat or view it.

It is clear from this that you have no influence over who God is or what He does.

15Feb
2015
Sun
15:33
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Quinquagesima

Luke 18:31-43

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

The question begs to be asked, “Who are the real blind people?”

8Feb
2015
Sun
17:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Sexagesima

Luke 8:4-15

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

Dear hearers, what follows today is adapted from a sermon by Martin Luther, with some revision.

This parable speaks of the disciples and the fruits, which the Word of God develops in the world. It does not speak of the law nor of human institutions; but, as Christ himself says, of the Word of God, which He Himself the sower preaches. The law bears no fruit, just as little as do the institutions of men. In the parable, Jesus tells of four kinds of disciples of the divine Word and their fruit.

1Feb
2015
Sun
19:25
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Septuagesima

Matthew 20:1-16

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

It’s a good thing that God does not deal with you out of a sense of fairness. If that were the case, it’s a safe bet to assume that no one would be here, that He would have smote everyone long ago. The world would be a desolate place, and hell would be overcrowded.

No, you still live, not because God is fair, but because He is just, merciful, and gracious. You know that. You can sit there and recite it left and right. You believe it with all of your heart. But there is still a constant nagging voice in the back of your head that says it is unfair that God would treat and gift the newest Christian the same as He would you—that the newest Lutheran has the same standing before God as you who have been a Lutheran since the day you were baptized as an infant. The Father is completely indifferent to whether or not you were born into the faith or baptized when you were in your eighties; thief on the cross or apostle; Saul or Luke; early morning, third hour, sixth hour, ninth hour, or eleventh hour. It just isn’t fair.

Yet, this unfairness is exactly what the kingdom of heaven is like. This says more about the King of heaven than the kingdom, as the master in the parable even says, “I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?” The master can do whatever He pleases with His own things, even if that seems unfair to you.

It says that the King of heaven is not bound by fallen humanity’s silly idea of fairness. He doesn’t care how long or how short one has been Christian—for Him, what matters is that this one has faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, this faith which apprehends the grace that Jesus Christ has won for him and made it his own. For such a one as this, the Father looks down and calls out, “Call the laborers and give them their wages: to the last, the forgiveness of sins and entrance into my everlasting kingdom; to the first, the forgiveness of sins and entrance into my everlasting kingdom.”

I could end the sermon right there. It would make for my shortest sermon ever, at about half a page. But there was something about this text that was brought to my attention which is often overlooked. No matter when the laborers were hired, they worked.

25Jan
2015
Sun
18:13
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Transfiguration of Our Lord

Matthew 17:1-9

Transfiguration of Our Lord 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here…”

Could you imagine being there? How glorious it must have been! Jesus takes you to be with Him up to the top of the mountain where a most radiant light shines from Him. To top it off, Moses and Elijah appear—only two of the greatest figures in Scripture! “This is cool,” someone might say these days. Or, you could just say what Peter says, and mean the same thing: “It is good for us to be here.”

Of course, there have been many more opportunities for Peter or another disciple or follower to say such a thing.

18Jan
2015
Sun
17:55
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Confession of St. Peter

St. Mark 8:27—9:1

Confession of St. Peter 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If we were to review all the accounts of St. Peter from Scripture, we could make this generalization: sometimes he is so rock solid, but sometimes he is soft and wavering.

Sometimes, Peter is solid as a rock. And well he should be given that his name “Peter” means “rock.” First of all, we have from the account from our Gospel lesson this morning the confession Peter makes. Jesus asks the disciples who people say He is. The words on the street are that he’s John the Baptist or Elijah or Jeremiah or some other prophet. Not one of them is correct, but that’s what people believe. So, he turns to the disciples and asks them, “But who do you say that I am?” “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Peter confessed. He is correct, and here’s why: flesh and blood has not revealed this to him, but the Father who is in heaven. (cf. Matthew 16:17)

As if to confirm Peter’s solid-as-a-rock confession, Matthew tells us that Jesus goes on to say, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

11Jan
2015
Sun
17:22
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Baptism of Our Lord

Matthew 3:13-17

Baptism of Our Lord 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”

Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, yet again. To Mary and Joseph, Jesus was revealed to be the Son of God as His conception was announced by an angel. (cf. Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:20-23) To Elizabeth, Jesus was revealed to be the Son of God as her son, John, leaped for joy in her womb. (cf. Luke 1:41-44) To the Shepherds, Jesus was revealed as the Son of God as the angels announced His birth to them. (cf. Luke 2:10-11) To the wise men, Jesus was revealed to be the Son of God by the star and the words of the chief priests and scribes in Jerusalem. (cf. Matthew 2:1-11)

These are just the few revelations of Jesus as the Son of God, the Lord, and the Christ that we have heard in this hallowed place over the last month and a half though Advent, into Christmas, and just this past Tuesday evening. There were other revelations (or at least hints) that happened between the visit of the wise men and the baptism of our Lord. The boy Jesus in the temple, teaching the teachers comes to mind (cf. Luke 2:42-52), or perhaps when He was only 40-days old and presented in the temple before Simeon and Anna. (cf. Luke 2:25-38)

6Jan
2015
Tue
22:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Epiphany of Our Lord

Matthew 2:1-12

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

Yesterday was the twelfth and final day of Christmas; it was the end of the season of Christmas, which means today begins the new season, and it begins with the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord.

4Jan
2015
Sun
14:26
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Second Sunday after Christmas

Matthew 2:13-23

Second Sunday after Christmas 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

It’s a story familiar to one who has spent a childhood in Sunday School.

A young man has older brothers who are not too fond of him. In particular, they are envious of him because he happens to be his father’s favorite son. He had dreams in which he sees representations of his family bowing down to representations of him. That didn’t help ease the tension between his brothers and him. His father had given him a special coat, too—more to be envious of.

One day, his brothers plot to get rid of him. They wanted to kill him and bring his coat back to their father and tell them an animal had killed him. One of them, however, convinced the rest not to kill him. He was sold into slavery, his coat covered with animal blood, and the lie told to their father.

1Jan
2015
Thu
13:30
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Circumcision and Name of Jesus

Luke 2:21

Circumcision and Name of Jesus 2015 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dear Redeemed of God, God has a name! And it is that name by which you are saved. Y’shua, the name which means YHWH is salvation—Iesos in Greek, Joshua in one form in English, Jesus as English speakers commonly call Him. YHWH saves, YHWH is Savior, God is Savior!

Born in a barn in Bethlehem, the Son of God is one with man, and like man, He takes a name. It was the name given to Him by Himself through the messenger Gabriel to both Mary, His mother, and Joseph, His guardian. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” (Luke 1:30-31) “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21) He shall be called Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.