Reformation: Remaining in Jesus

Connected to Jesus (610x352)

“We hold that someone is justified by faith, apart from the works of the law” (Romans 3:28). Can it get any clearer than that? All have sinned and continue to fall short of God’s glory, but they are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23-24). “Freely” means […]

Isaiah, chapter 45: God Hides Himself

The Bible

150 years before his birth, the prophet Isaiah foretold of him, told us his name, and the tasks that God had chosen for him to do. His name was Cyrus. Cyrus was the only Gentile whom God spoke of as “His anointed.” Using a Hebraic expression, “the right hand,” God said that He had grasped […]

Matthew 21:23-27: It All Comes Down to Authority

Authority (610x351)

The religious leaders asked Jesus, “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority?” There, they said it! In that question, they asserted that Jesus didn’t have the authority to do what He was doing. After all, THEY were the religious authorities, and they didn’t give Jesus permission to do what […]

Sermon for the Wedding of Richard Bell and Diane Sancken

The Two Become One (610x352)

Our pastor had the joy of joining Rick Bell and Diane Sancken in holy matrimony at Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri. They are members of an LC-MS congregation in northern Illinois and received all their marriage counseling there. Then, wanting to be married amid the beauty of the local area, the actual marriage rite took […]

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist– Matthew 20:1-16

Follow Me (610x351)

While walking one day, a pastor noticed a place where many people of Middle-Eastern descent would meet. Later, this pastor found out that the FBI was secretly watching that meeting place because ISIS was using it to recruit people to become terrorists. One day, while walking past that place, that same pastor met a man […]

Sermon for Holy Cross Day

Holy Cross (610x351)

The great event took place in 326 AD. Helen, the mother of Constantine, the emperor of the eastern half of the Roman Empire, found the “true” cross of Christ. After her son had made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, Helen went searching the religious sites in the Holy Land. During an excavation, […]

Romans 13:1-10: The Gift of Government

Appian Way (610x351)

The Europeans have an expression: “All roads lead to Rome.” That expression came about because, for many centuries, Rome was the world’s main center of power. And back then, many of the major roads did lead to Rome. That’s what connected Rome to its Empire–its massive set of roadways, many of which still exist to […]

Matthew 16:21-28: Jesus Must Go Forth to Die

13th century Crucifix (610x351)

Whenever Jesus says that He must or has to do something, we should stop and take notice. In our Gospel reading for today, Jesus said, “He must go to Jerusalem and suffer a great deal from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and that he must be killed and raised on the third day.” When […]

St. Bartholomew’s Day Sermon

St Bartholomew Statue (610x351)

Two weeks ago, Dori Beecham became a member of our congregation. In that rite of membership, I asked her several questions. One such question was, “Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?” To this, Dori answered, “I do so […]

Matthew 15:21-28: Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table

Dogs (610x351)

In the Old Covenant, God called Israel to be a separate and holy people. They were not to intermarry with others, so the false gods and religions of their neighbors would not incline them toward idolatry. All of this had a purpose: It was to keep Israel as a distinct people through whom the Messiah, […]