Matthew 25:31-46: The Hidden Jesus

Someone in prison (610x351)

What’s surprising about the resurrection of the body on the Last Day is that every physical body ever born will rise. Jesus will show to all that He DID take away the sins of the entire world when He physically died on the cross and physically rose from the grave. That’s why every person ever […]

Sermon for Bobbie Hansen’s Funeral: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: Remember the Resurrection

Jacopo Tintoretto The Resurrection of Christ (Zoom In) (610x351)

When memory fades and recognition falters, when eyes we love grow dim and minds confused, speak to our souls of love that never alters; speak to our hearts, by pain and fear abused. O God of life and healing peace, empower us with patient courage, by your grace infused. As frailness grows, and youthful strengths […]

Matthew 25:14-30: A Talent is What?

Gold Bars in Fort Knox (610x352)

In today’s church, especially when dealing with the topic of stewardship, this phrase rolls off our tongue like water: “Time, talents, and treasure.” When we say that, we think that a talent is an ability we have, or an ability we’ve cultivated. But that’s not a talent in the Bible. A talent was the amount […]

Amos 5:18-24, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: The Day of the Lord

Amos--Day of Darkness (610x352)

When we imagine the prophets of old, we often see a fire-and-brimstone preacher breathing out God’s judgment and wrath. And that’s what Amos did in our Old-Testament reading for today. He warned the people of Israel about the “Day of the Lord,” realized in all its fullness when God would judge the entire world. Other […]

Revelation 7:9-17: Now and Not Yet, but also with the Saints and Archangels

Lamb of God, Stained Glass (610x352)

If you look at the Church with the eyes of your body, the Church can often be a despicable mess. Think of how one hymn describes her: “Though with a scornful wonder the world sees her oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed” (LSB 644, stanza 3). And that hymn doesn’t even mention the […]

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 […]