Christ is risen! John 20:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Christ is Risen3 (610x352)

Christos anesti!  Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed.  Alleluia! From St. John’s Gospel and the other gospel writers, Mary Magdalene, with some other women, went to the tomb early in the morning of the first day of the new week.  In the dim, gray light, they wondered how they would move the stone away […]

Good Friday Sermon: Isaiah 53:3-7

Crown of Thorns (610x352)

We live in a market-driven, entertainment-fixated world.  Shallow, entertaining sound-bites have replaced deep reflection.  And in such a world, Good Friday is not merely a misstep but a different dance altogether: God’s dance of death to give us life. Nothing is entertaining about the cross.  Drawing a smiley face on the cross does not change […]

Maundy Thursday Sermon

Jesus Instituting His Supper (610x351)

Today, we rarely use the word “mercy” in our everyday speech.  But in the Church, it’s as common as the air we breathe.  We pray in the liturgy: “Lord, have mercy on us.”  When we do that, we echo the blind men who sought physical sight from Jesus in Matthew 9 and Luke 18.  For […]

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter

Holy Week (610x352)

As Holy week of 2014 draws near to a close, we will have our final services of the week: Maundy Thursday, April 17th, is at 7:00 PM.  This is a service when we commemorate Jesus instituting the New Covenant for us: His Holy Supper. Good Friday, April 18th, is when we observe Christ’s crucifixion and death […]

Matthew 21:1-11: Jesus Still Comes to Us

Palm Sunday4 (610x351)

People confess what is within them by what they do.  People show what they believe by what they do with their hands, feet, and head.  For example, when a Lutheran kneels at the Communion rail, he confesses that before him is God, Jesus’ body and blood in the bread and wine.  Look at what people […]

Augsburg Confession, Articles 1 and 2

Konfessions Windsheim (610x351)

Introduction to the Augsburg Confession  When Luther finally realized that a person is made right before God because of Jesus Christ, he came to see more clearly how the Roman-Catholic Church had veered away from the historic, Christian faith.  Rome’s teachings on repentance and the forgiveness of sins, especially as tied to indulgences, led Luther […]

Psalm 22:6-8: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Jesus on the cross, stained glass (610x351)

All true Christians trust that Jesus is pure and holy.  But not everyone agrees.  And it was the same at Calvary, 2,000 years ago.  Those who passed by that day, hurled their insults at Jesus, shaking their heads and mocking Him: They said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself.  So he’s the king […]

John 11:1-45: The God Who Weeps at Funerals

Jesus Lazarus Icon (610x351)

Although our ears do not hear it much anymore, the Church has often described Jesus using the term, “lover.”  Yet, today, our culture has shifted the meaning for the word “lover” to refer mainly to someone’s sexual partner.  When people in our culture say, “So-and-so is my lover,” they mean that the lover is a […]

Genesis 22: Where is the Lamb?

The Horn of a Ram

As Americans, being depressed usually bothers us more than having sin and guilt.  Let’s contrast the difference.  Depression is so commonplace that anti-depressants are on the list of most-prescribed drugs.  But when it comes to sin and guilt, few are beating down the church door to confess their sins.  This is true even in the […]

John 9:1-41: Who sinned, the blind man or his parents?

The disciples asked Jesus an age-old question.   “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2).  My mother lived her life from such a world view.  When something bad would happen to me, she would invariably say, “God’s punishing you.” It’s easy to assume that.  It’s easy to think […]