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Tag Archives: Sermon
They’re called “The Beatitudes,” a series of blessings given by Jesus to the faithful who heard His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7). If you were listening carefully to the Gospel Lesson, you might have noticed that the first eight beatitudes or blessings are given to believers in general: “Blessed are the poor,” “Blessed are those who mourn,” etc. But the last beatitude is given directly to the disciples: “Blessed are you when they reviled and persecute you,” etc. As someone said, “The cross casts its shadow before Christ, the disciples, and the people—the stage is set for the passion of Jesus and his Church” (Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, p. 118). Today, I’d like to focus on the cross casting its shadow over four groups of saints, each depicted on your bulletin cover (van Eyck, Ghent Altar Piece): Apostles, Prophets, martyrs, and the whole Christian church.
Sermon on St. Matthew 11:12-15 Reformation Day (Observed) 28 October 2012 + In the Name of Jesus + For by grace you have been saved through faith. — Ephesians 2:8 Some of you have heard of the Latin phrase Sola … Continue reading
Sermon on St. John 20:10-21
St. Mary Magdalene
22 July 2012
+ Jesu Juva +
Today we are privileged to celebrate the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. Some might respond that we do not worship the saints, and that is quite correct. But nobody is worshipping Mary Magdalene here this morning. Rather, the Lutheran Confessions say that we keep the festivals and feast days of the saints (1) to give thanks for their faith, (2) to imitate their faith and life, and (3) to follow their works in our daily callings. Today, then, we follow St. Mary Magdalene to the foot of the cross and rejoice with her in the wake of the resurrection. Continue reading
The verbs are where the action is. The verbs help us tell a story, propel the action forward, and lend life to a narrative. Consider, for instance, the verbs in the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed: [Jesus] was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered . . . crucified, died, and was buried. Then He descended, rose again, etc. The verbs tell us what Christ allowed Himself to suffer (the state of humiliation) and how He rose victorious over death and the grave (the state of exaltation). The first part of today’s Gospel lesson follows a similar pattern. Six “passion verbs” show how everything that is written about the Son of Man in the prophets will be accomplished: He will be mocked, shamefully treated, spit upon, flogged, killed, and raised from the dead. Continue reading
Do you see how this vineyard owner operates? It’s not a merit-based system, but a grace-based mentality. He is the owner and he is allowed to do as he pleases with what belongs to him. This is not a lesson no how to run a business. Jesus was not a CEO or an example-setter, so we should not rush back to work tomorrow morning and insist that everyone be paid the same thing regardless of education, experience, or job performance. This parable does not teach us how to run a business. Rather, here we see two dynamics of God’s character at work in our lives: righteous judgment and outrageous grace.