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Author Archive -- Charles Henrickson

“Watershed Moments: Jesus’ Birth and Our Own” (Sermon on John 1:1-18 and Titus 3:4-7, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 25th, 2014 No comments

“Watershed Moments: Jesus’ Birth and Our Own” (John 1:1-18; Titus 3:4-7) Today is Christmas Day. This is the day for celebrating the greatest birth in the history of the world, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The birth of Christ marks the watershed moment in all of human history. By a “watershed moment,” I mean a moment so significant that it marks a division between what went before and what comes after. And so it is with the birth of Christ. We even divide up time according to it: “B.C.,” “Before Christ,” and “A.D.,” “Anno Domini,” “In   More…

“What Christmas Is All About: God Saving Us, in a Humble Way, to Be His People” (Sermon by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 24th, 2014 No comments

“What Christmas Is All About: God Saving Us, in a Humble Way, to Be His People” (Luke 2:1-20; Titus 2:11-14; Isaiah 9:2-7) What is Christmas all about? How do people view Christmas and celebrate it? Why do they look forward to it? Or do they? Some people get burned out on Christmas and want to avoid it. But most folks still like to maintain the custom of celebrating Christmas. Why? What is it about this holiday that makes it so special? I think there is something about this holiday that is special, but it may not be the same as   More…

“Mary, What DID You Know?” (Sermon on Luke 1:26-38, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 20th, 2014 1 comment

“Mary, What DID You Know?” (Luke 1:26-38) Every year several of the radio stations in St. Louis start playing nothing but Christmas music. I think they start sometime around mid-August, but that’s beside the point. They play Christmas music, and a few of the songs even have something to do with the birth of Christ. Yes, it’s true! And one of the most popular of these songs is a song called, “Mary, Did You Know?” You’ve probably heard it, I’m guessing. The idea of the song is that someone is asking Mary, the mother of our Lord, if she knew   More…

“The Great Christmas Gift Exchange” (Sermon on Isaiah 61:1-4, 10-11, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 18th, 2014 No comments

“The Great Christmas Gift Exchange” (Isaiah 61:1-4, 10-11) There is a game that is played at this time of year at Christmas parties all across the land. The game goes by several names, but I think most often it is called “Rob Your Neighbor,” and I’m sure many of you have played it. The rules may vary from place to place, but generally I think it goes something like this. Each person brings a gift that could go to anyone in the group, depending on how the game turns out. The gift is wrapped in a package, so you can’t   More…

“Who Are You, John?” (Sermon on John 1:6-8, 19-28, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 14th, 2014 No comments

“Who Are You, John?” (John 1:6-8, 19-28) How would you like to be defined in terms of someone else? I mean, who you are, your life and identity–when people think of you, they always compare you to somebody else? Are you like this person? Are you like that person? I suppose it could get old after a while. Why can’t people just take you for who you are, on your own terms? Well, today we’ll meet someone whose life was always being defined in terms of someone else. And you know what? He was okay with it. And so this   More…

“Comfort, Comfort My People” (Sermon on Isaiah 40:1-11, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 7th, 2014 No comments

“Comfort, Comfort My People” (Isaiah 40:1-11) “Comfort, comfort my people.” Yes, comfort. A word so nice, they said it twice. Who did? Why, Isaiah did. Well, actually God said it, through his prophet Isaiah. You heard it at the start of today’s Old Testament Reading from Isaiah 40: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,” etc. God wants his preachers to bring comfort to his people, to speak tenderly to his church. And so this is what God has sent me to do here today for you. He says, “Comfort, Comfort My People.” Comfort: Today I   More…

“Restore Us, O God” (Sermon on Psalms 80, 85, 126, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 3rd, 2014 No comments

“Restore Us, O God” (Psalms 80, 85, 126) We’ve just heard three psalms that are appointed for this Advent season, Psalms 80, 85, and 126. Did you happen to catch what they have in common? There was a connecting theme running through all three of these psalms. And here it is. It is the prayer, in one form or another, that goes something like this: “Restore Us, O God.” In Psalm 126, we heard of a previous restoration: “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.” And then the psalmist prays that the Lord   More…

“A Prayer to the God Who Acts” (Sermon on Isaiah 64:1-9, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

November 30th, 2014 2 comments

“A Prayer to the God Who Acts” (Isaiah 64:1-9) Today is the First Sunday in Advent, the first day of a brand new church year. And this season of Advent is a time of waiting, a time of penitential preparation, as we wait for the coming of our King. Christ is coming, our Savior and Redeemer. We prepare for the celebration of our Savior’s birth at Christmas. And we wait for his coming again at the end of this age. Advent is a time for remembering God’s promises to send a Savior. It is a time to repent of our   More…

“A Very Ferguson Thanksgiving” (Sermon on Habakkuk 1:2-4, 9-11; 3:17-19; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

November 26th, 2014 3 comments

“A Very Ferguson Thanksgiving” (Habakkuk 1:2-4, 9-11; 3:17-19) I’m sure many of us were watching on our televisions the other night when we saw what was supposed to be a peaceful protest in Ferguson suddenly and not unexpectedly turn quite unpeaceful. Looters started breaking store windows and stealing what they could get their hands on. Arsonists began to torch buildings and cars and burn them to the ground. Rioters were running wild and not much was being done to stop them. Now suppose you were one of those business owners whose store was looted or burned. Or maybe you worked   More…

“Separating the Sheep from the Goats” (Sermon on Matthew 25:31-46, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

November 22nd, 2014 3 comments

“Separating the Sheep from the Goats” (Matthew 25:31-46) Judgment Day is coming! Are you ready? This is an important question, because the Day of Judgment is indeed coming, and you will be judged. Now that judgment could be positive or it could be negative, but you will be judged. In fact, everybody will be judged, all the people who have ever lived. Many people don’t want to hear this, but it is the truth. The Holy Scriptures throughout teach that there will be a final judgment, that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again from heaven to do the judging,   More…

“Christ Has Brought Us out of Darkness” (Sermon and hymn on 1 Thess. 5:1-11, Matt. 25:14-30, Zeph. 1:7-16; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

November 17th, 2014 4 comments

“Christ Has Brought Us out of Darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30; Zephaniah 1:7-16) Well, here we are in the middle of November. It’s cold. It’s dark outside. The trees are growing bare. The days are growing shorter. The earth seems to be dying. Darkness seems to be winning. So it seems appropriate that at this time of year–every year, in November–in the church we focus our attention on the end times. We’re coming toward the end of the church year, before Advent comes and we start all over again. The end times, the last things, Judgment Day, the Second   More…

“The True Rapture” (Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

November 9th, 2014 2 comments

“The True Rapture” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) Maybe you remember a bumper sticker that was popular a few years back, which read: “In case of Rapture, this car will be unmanned.” What that bumper sticker meant is the idea that when Jesus comes again, all the Christians alive on earth at that time will be “beamed up” suddenly, leaving the rest of the people on earth behind. That’s why the cars and airplanes and so forth will be vacated when the Christians vanish. This is the so-called “Rapture theory,” and it has been the basis of a veritable industry of popular   More…

“Justification: The Heart of the Reformation” (Sermon on Romans 3:19-28, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

October 26th, 2014 No comments

“Justification: The Heart of the Reformation” (Romans 3:19-28) Today is the last Sunday in October, and so we are observing Reformation Day. It will be 497 years ago this Friday, on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, thus setting in motion the great Reformation of the Christian church. We are the heirs of that Reformation, blessed to be so, and so we join with faithful Lutherans all around the globe in celebrating that historic event and all the blessings of pure doctrine and sound practice that came   More…

“Render–But Don’t Surrender–unto Caesar” (Sermon on Matthew 22:15-22, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

October 18th, 2014 1 comment

“Render–But Don’t Surrender–unto Caesar” (Matthew 22:15-22) “Render unto Caesar”: I think most of us have heard that expression. In fact, I would say that most Americans, whether they’re in the church or not, have heard it. “Render unto Caesar.” The average person might say: “Let’s see, I think that has something to do with what we’re supposed to owe the government.” And they would be right. It does have to do with what we owe the government. But don’t stop the saying there. It goes on, you know. “Render unto Caesar . . . the things that are Caesar’s.” And   More…

“Decliners and Recliners” (Sermon on Matthew 22:1-14, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

October 12th, 2014 No comments

“Decliners and Recliners” (Matthew 22:1-14) Do you ever get an invitation to an event–a party, say–and they ask you to RSVP? So you check your calendar, and you see you’ve got a schedule conflict, and so you’ve got to decline the invitation. There’s something more important going on that day–you’ve got to work, or a family obligation–just something that’s a higher priority to you than going to that party. But now say you’ve gotten an invitation to a party, and it’s from someone who you know throws the best parties around–fabulous dinner parties, with the best food, the finest wine,   More…