Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Best and the Worst

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Mark 5:21-43
Full Sermon Draft

The events of the week offered two extremes. The last fruits of a culture that would listen the church, and the declaration of the end of that listening. This is a little raw, but call it first pass a law and gospel in exile. The fact of repentance and the hope of return.

To the Other Side

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Biblical Text: Mark 4:35-41
Full Sermon Draft

The text is Jesus stilling the wind and the waves. What this sermon does is first examine the language or the story itself. It then based on that language look at two different points of the text. The first point is Christological, “who is this one?” This is the original meaning of the text, but there is a second more metaphorical meaning long read devotionally by the church. Not only is this one The Lord, but he is the The Lord with us in the midst of storm and tempest. The sermon attempts to present both.

It is bolstered by the included Hymn of the Day – “Jesus Savior Pilot Me” – LSB 715.

Silent Seed Growing

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Biblical Text: Mark 4:26-34
Full Sermon Draft

Mark chapter 4 is a chapter of parables. In the midst of many familiar ones from other gospels is one that is unique to Mark – the seed growing silently. Not that any of the parables are easy, but some, like the parable of the sower and the soils, come with an explanation. Other, like the parable of the mustard seed which is pared with the silent seed in Mark, are more obvious in their intent. And the more obvious, the more likely we’ve heard sermons on them or grasped them ourselves. This sermon focuses on that unique one.

In many ways the parables of seeds are all attempts to describe what the seeds planted on good soil experience. Wheat and weeds together sown (Matthew 13:25ff) describes our experience of living in a fallen world. The mustard seed describes the way churches always surprise. They are not what you’d expect when you look at what is planted. But the seed silently growing talks about the experience of being a seed planted I think.

1) The seed is helpless in its growth. We individuals or the church depend completely upon God for growth. We can’t force it. We might hinder, but have not power to make grow.
2) Never-the-less the kingdom of God grows: often imperceptibly, constantly at the will of God, and inevitably. It takes constant effort to kill organic growth.
3) The reign of God includes a harvest.

This sermon ponders those three elements of the parable.

I included on the record two interesting hymns with organic growth metaphors. The first is a modern hymn, LSB 654, Your Kingdom O God is My Glorious Treasure. The hymn is a compilation of many of the Reign of God parables: treasure, pearl, yeast, mustard plant, field, seeds, weeds and wheat. The last hymn I included is one of the oldest the words taken from the 2nd century Didache, probably the earliest catechism. LSB 652, Father We Thank Thee. Both I thought were worthy examples of response to the Word of the parable.

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Psalm 116:12-19 and Proverbs 8:22-36

Psalm 116:12-19
Proverbs 8:22-36
Wisdom as Natural Law
Threefold response to Natural law
Our current hate for natural wisdom

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Psalm 77:10-15 and John 12:36-50

Psalm 77:10-15
John 12:36-50
Election and Pop Songs

Brotherhood of Man?

060715wordle

Biblical Text: Mark 3:20-35
Full Sermon Draft

The biblical text has two stories turned in to one of Mark’s famous sandwiches. Jesus’ natural family are the outside and the Scribes from Jerusalem are the inside. What this structure invites us to do is compare and contrast. It invites us to learn the lesson at the core or in the meat of the sandwich and apply it to the outside. Part of that core is a three step argument with the somewhat shocking image of Jesus as a thief. The work and words of Jesus are Binding the Strong Man, Satan. His family may think he’s crazy putting them on the outside right now, but the Scribes are saying that Jesus’ work and words are the work and words of Satan. Jesus’ words to them are a judgment. The only unforgivable sin is calling the Spirit a liar. The deliberate rejection of the word of God and antagonism toward those who hold to it, is a dire place to be. All sins and blasphemies can be forgiven, except calling the Spirit a liar. Even thinking Jesus is nuts. The difference is the one who is far off or outside can still be called near and take their appointed place as brother or sister or mother, while the one who says God’s work is Satan’s has chosen the side which is being bound. And what is bound is thrown into the fire.

The sermon looks at these themes in the text and pulls out three applications to our lives. The hymn of the day included in the recording and reflected at places in the sermon is Luther’s A Mighty Fortress with its themes of spiritual warfare against the strong man and what Christ has already done to bring us near. The title here is the biggest challenge application and the one I leave to conscience. The world teaches the brotherhood of man, or attempts to, and it can be a tempting vision. But that is not what Christ teaches. The brotherhood of man would be under the bondage of Satan. The true brotherhood is in Christ alone.

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Psalm 61, John 11:1-16

Psalm 61
John 11:1-16
The strangeness of the acts of God
Suffering and Participation in the life of Christ