Tag Archives: resurrection

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.

Can These Bones Live?

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Text: Ezekiel 37:1-14 and John 15:26-27, 16:4-15
Full Sermon Draft

Given the recent Pew Report on American Religion I’m surprised the image of dry bones hasn’t been used. I suppose it is because Satan knows scripture and there is a sturdy reply in this text. But we have heard some church members, and I myself at times, sounding like Israel in the Ezekiel text, “Our bones are dried up, and our Hope is lost.” This sermon is God’s answer to that. It is the answer of Pentecost. Therefore prophesy, and say to them, thus says the Lord God: “Look, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.” Therefore prophesy and say to them, “And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live…Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Everything Written Must Be Fulfilled

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Biblical Text: Luke 24:36-49
Full Sermon Draft

The text is concerned with a couple of items. First it is concerned with the literal physical resurrection – “touch and see!” Second it is concerned about how those not part of that first generation of apostles can be sure of that experience. Jesus supplies the answer in the written word and the witness of the apostles. That witness of the apostles becomes word and sacrament, forgiveness of sins and what we know as the new testament. We share those with those first apostles. We also share the Holy Spirit, the “Power from on High”, that testifies to the truth of Word and Sacrament.

The moral question of Easter is that we have heard these things. We know the story. We have experienced the witness that Jesus says is good. Are we changed by that? The reactions of the disciples in the text give us three levels of reaction. Startled and frightened thinking it a ghost. Just a ghost in the machine. Joy and marvel at the announcement but still disbelieving I’m spiritual, but I’m not sure about being a disciple. Minds open to the scriptures and we are the witnesses of these things. Has Easter changed you?

That might be a scary thought, are we ever sure we are changed? Good news it is not us there either. We have been clothed with power from on high. The Spirit who spoke by the prophets still ensures that everything written is fulfilled including the salvation of the saints.

What’s Your Ending? – Hope or Fear

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Biblical Text: Mark 16:1-8
Full Sermon Draft

The Easter Text in Mark’s gospel ends on a strange word – fear. What this sermon does is look both at our discomfort at fear and at what Easter has to say about it. Mixed in with a bit about that interesting ending of the gospel.

Happy Easter! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed. Alleluia!

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Genesis 24:1-31 and Mark 7:24-37

Genesis 24:1-31
Mark 7:24-37
The Silent Years
Spiritual & Creational Power of Christ

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Isaiah 26:20-27:13 and 1 John 4:1-21

Isaiah 26:20-27:13
1 John 4:1-21
Assyria, Babylon and the promise of return to God’s people
Love & How we see God hidden in our lives

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Jeremiah 29:1-19 and Matthew 26:36-56

Jeremiah 29:1-19
Matthew 26:36-56
How can we apply Jeremiah’s promise to ourselves properly, getting the context correct
Divine & Human Jesus, the full realization that we humans sleep

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Deuteronomy 12:12-32 and Matthew 12:12-37

Deuteronomy 12:12-32
Matthew 12:12-37
The specificity of worship
What full blown idolatry looks like (modern context)
The resurrection and the sign and the burden that places on us who have seen

Daily Lectionary Podcast – 2 Chronicles 29:1-24 and Philippians 3:1-21

2 Chronicles 29:1-24
Philippians 3:1-21
A short comment on the order of our Bible/2 Chronicles repeating Samuel&Kings
The Centrality of the Resurrection
Disbelief in the resurrection is like that Temple with the Closed Door

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Text of Funeral Sermon for Charlie Gruschow

I almost didn’t get through this one…

Biblical Texts: Isaiah 49:13-16, Romans 5:1-5 and Matthew 11:28-30
Introduction
Charlie Gruschow was a fixture here at St. Mark’s. And I say that in more ways than one. He was a fixture as a greeter handing out bulletins on Sunday morning. Being the youngest of a large family, he was a great talker with a twinkle in his eye. A bit of rogue-ish charm. The family name is on the stained glass windows right there. He was never a junior, but Charles is also on there. And there is a great story about that organ. Charlie saw the bank account going down and took it upon himself to, and I’m quoting, “get something before the buffoons spent it all”. Charlie’s in the fixtures, and I’ve often reflected that when I stumbled across something fine or of good quality, Charlie was behind it. He didn’t go for junk.

He didn’t do that around church. Charlie didn’t do that in jobs he did. He was always willing to help and do the work.

Now I suppose that same unabashedness and charm combined with those high standards might have led to some confrontations over his years. Charlie was his own man and had his own opinions. That conflict continued in some ways in his later years as instead of battling things external Charlie started battling his own body. When work – like mowers and blades and tractors – that you’ve lined up just can’t be done, it grated. It sucks, when your own gait can’t measure up to your standards.

Gospel in the Life

But let me suggest that Charlie understood something very important.

Peace didn’t come easily to Charlie, he worked. He expected to work. I expect that was why he was here, even hobbling, almost every Sunday. In the midst of a life of work, He knew he needed the grace. In an era full of cheap grace – lowered standards, denial of culpability – Charlie would have none of it. He was plainspoken, even if the plain speech pointed at himself. He might not have shared that with everyone, he was a man of his time, but he didn’t spare himself. And he needed the real grace – the grace that is only available through Jesus Christ.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God.” Charlie needed that. When the work was beyond him, he was strong enough to take God’s peace declared on that cross. And due to his standards he knew the full measure of what that cross offered…of what that cross offers you.

Conclusion
I have to admit something, my prayers for older folks who have major surgery are often two-fold. Typically I ask for healing and restoration, but I also usually ask that God’s peace might be with them. My prayers were selfish with Charlie, I wanted him back. One more story, a couple of months ago at men’s club, Charlie started telling of one of those confrontations that happened roughly 20 years ago. An elder of the congregation had stopped by and somehow had expressed the thought or feeling that he was fine if God took him. That offended Charlie and that day that elder was practically thrown out of Charlie’s house. But at this retelling I got the feeling Charlie was telling it not as a saga of old, but as a current reflection.

Charlie’s passing was a shock – to the doctors and to us. I was too engrossed in my selfish prayers. But Charlie heard Jesus – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He was willing to put down the yoke he had pulled so long.

Charlie put that down, not in weakness, but in hope. Suffering produces endurance, and endurance character, and character hope. And Charlie was full of hope. Charlie knew that we who are buried with Christ in baptism will also be raised with him. We are engraved in the palm of His hand, and our walls our bodies will stand before Him. Resurrected bodies no longer bent by the work, but eternal dwellings full of grace.

So, the work remains our task, and we do not have Charlie to pull it anymore. But his witness remains with us as well. In the grace of Jesus, we stand. In the Hope of the Glory of God, we rejoice. (Rom 5:2) Amen.