Tag Archives: deliverance

A Great and Mighty Wonder

Biblical Text: John 1:1-14
Key Hymn: A Great and Mighty Wonder, LSB 383
Full Sermon Text

Maybe it is just getting older, but two things I experience daily that a younger man wouldn’t think could happen together. It could just be becoming set in my ways, but that isn’t how I experience it. Daily I am more convinced both of basic Christian doctrine and also with specific Lutheran doctrine. I’m a contrarian by nature. It is the last thing I would have expected. At the same time as becoming more sure of that doctrine, I’m becoming less militant. What I mean by that is while I can’t imagine something that forces a rethink on Augsburg Confession doctrine, I’m also much more willing to say with Paul “and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (Phil 3:15-16)” We are all straining toward a goal we have not attained. I save my militancy for those situations where I see people deliberatively leaving the narrow way, and those tempting them off it.

A Great and Mighty Wonder is my favorite Christmas hymn. It helps that it is set to Es IST Ein Ros (Lo, How a Rose is Blooming), but that isn’t everything. When you understand a little of the life of the writer it becomes all the more powerful. This sermon hopefully proclaims the savior’s birth, reflected through St. Germanus, while living in the eschatological hope. Germanus’ life is a life that is incomprehensible outside of doctrine. It is also one that understands how that doctrine itself can deny the hope that is only Christ. His hymn is a moving meditation moving to the great hope when all idols – seen and unseen – shall perish and satan’s lying cease. And Christ shall raise his scepter, decreeing endless peace.

Assurance of the Word

061916wordle

Biblical Text: Luke 8:26-39
Full Sermon Draft

The text is one that still has resonance in the popular culture due of Horror Flicks. It is the possession of a man by “legion”. Leaving aside those trifles, the text stands as an important part of Luke’s narrative argument. Jesus has turned to parables, the chief of them the parable of the sower and the soils. The Word is being spread, and its reception is varied. Amid the varied reception, there is also a pattern. Those who should know, do not. Those who would seem to know nothing, are given full healing.

What this sermon attempts to do is examine the assurances of Word in the midst of such variance. That assurance is not some small trifle, but merely the promise of sane peace, and that nothing happens outside the command of heaven. And that command is given for our good.

Tick-Tock Time

020716Wordle

Biblical Text: Luke 9:28-36
Full Sermon Draft

Today was Transfiguration Sunday which is the last Sunday in the Season of Epiphany. Lent Begins mid-week with Ash Wednesday.

Transfiguration to me is a tough preaching assignment because it is fundamentally a visual experience. Parables are about words. Miracles are just as often about reactions to the happening. Both of those are easily pondered and preached in words. But with the transfiguration, it is an icon. What I mean by icon is that it is a picture that invites you to ponder fundamental reality, to contemplate and enter eternity. What this sermon chooses to ponder of that reality to time. We live, especially we moderns live, in a culture that at a minimum emphasizes tick-tock time. It sometimes goes as far as to deny there is anything but. But all icons are invitation to see beyond or underneath that press of the everyday. The transfiguration as the ultimate icon invites us to see all of eternity in one moment. The alpha and omega present on a mountaintop.

The sermon moves from the lessor to the greater. It posits hopefully a couple of more common icons in our lives that telescope time into an icon. Then it moves to the transfiguration. Finally it moves on to the demands and promises of knowing any icon. The what I put it here is that knowing eternity, we are freed to live in the moment. Not for the moment or obsessed with tick-tock time, but fully present in it. We are so freed to be truly present in good and ill because we are part of Jesus exodus. In Christ our time has been redeemed, reconnected to eternity. We have eternity, so we are free to enjoy time.

Worship note. Can I share a pet peeve? I understand the point of copyright. I believe that musicians and composers need to get paid. But copyright just kills the culture of hymns and sacred music. Here is what I mean. Today as a close we sang Lutheran Service Book number 416 – Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory. It is a very modern song. The text is copyrighted 1994; the tune (Love’s Light) in 2000. To me this hymn is one that I’d put in the list of all time greats that every Christian should know. Think Amazing Grace or A Mighty Fortress. The tune is gorgeous, contagious and singable. The words are deep, emotional and challenging. And part of the magic is that they fit together. That is a hymn that should be shared. I can’t. It’s copyrighted. Church music, like preaching, isn’t really a commercial endeavor. You do it for the good of the church.

To the Other Side

062115wordle

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.

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Psalm 22:19-26 and Luke 22:47-71

Psalm 22:19-26
Luke 22:47-71
God’s abiding with the afflicted
The deliverance from our long affliction

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Exodus 5:1-6:1 and Mark 15:33-47

Exodus 5:1-6:1
Mark 15:33-47
Bricks without Straw, the deliverance of God
True Man and True God

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Isaiah 34:1-2,8-35:1-10 and Revelation 6:1-17

Isaiah 34:1-2,8-35:1-10
Revelation 6:1-17
Two visions of the Day of the Lord
The division of the nations
The Spiritual question of being a “rich American”

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Daniel 2:1-23 and Revelation 18:1-24

Daniel 2:1-23
Revelation 18:1-24
God chooses who wisdom will be revealed to and through
Babylon as seat of power, all power turns beastly, God delivers his people
The transcendent things are removed

Program Note: Sorry for missing yesterday, my daughter was rush to the emergency room, but all is well.

Daily Lectionary Podcast – 1 Kings 18:20-19:21

1 Kings 18:20-19:21
Elijah and the Prophets of Baal
Self-Pity, How God solves problems, God in the small things

Daily Lectionary Podcast – 1 Samuel 19:1-24 and Acts 28:1-15

1 Samuel 19:1-24
Acts 28:1-15
How do you treat the anointed in your midst?, The protection of the Spirit, Christian response of mercy to suffering vs. our natural desire to flee