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Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

“Amen” (Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer and 2 Corinthians 1:18-22, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 20th, 2014 1 comment

“Amen” (The Lord’s Prayer; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22) Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!) Yes, “Alleluia” of course is the word of the day for Easter Day. We’ve been saving it up all Lent, and now today we finally get to let it loose. And what a day to do so! Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on this day, winning the victory for us over death and the grave. If that doesn’t elicit an “Alleluia,” I don’t know what will. “Alleluia” is a Hebrew word originally, and it means “Praise ye the Lord.” And praise   More…

Redeeming Christian Holy Days: Another Bunny Attacks

A brief note on the misuse of Bodleian Library Manuscript Bodl. 264 Folio 21 This image is now being used to demonstrate pagan origins of the Easter Bunny: An example from California State University-San Marcos The drawing is from Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick‘s 1995/7 A History of Pagan Europe, a Neopagan revisionist history and polemic against Christianity. In Jones’ and Pennick’s book the image is used as an example to prove that pagan rituals survived even though they were repressed by the church. The image is used in the context of equating Christianity with Nazism in the way it persecuted   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 2

This is a reposting of a pair of articles published last year on the origins of Easter and some Easter traditions. The sources are given so that the reader can better be able to debunk the popular “historical” nonsense about the origins of Easter. The whole series is available at Diatheke Christianity and Paganism. — Second Part: Attacks On The Name and Traditions There are three main things people attack about this Holy Day: They claim that it is pagan because the name Easter is from a pagan goddess. They claim that Easter eggs are a symbol of pagan worship,   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 1

This is a reposting of a pair of articles published last year on the origins of Easter and some Easter traditions. The sources are given so that the reader can better be able to debunk the popular “historical” nonsense about the origins of Easter. The whole series is available at Diatheke Christianity and Paganism. — Easter is the English/Germanic name for the Festival of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This particular Feast Day is the heart and center of the whole liturgical practice of the Christian Church Year. Because it is at the center it is under great attack by   More…

“Jesus Prays for Us” (Sermon on John 17:20-26, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Jesus Prays for Us” (John 17:20-26) Did you know you are mentioned in the Gospel reading for today? You are. Jesus is talking about you–in fact, he is praying for you–in the passage known as his “High Priestly Prayer” in John 17. In the first part of that chapter, Jesus has been praying for his disciples, the ones he would be sending out soon as his apostles. You know, Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew–those guys. But then at verse 20 of John 17, Jesus shifts his prayer to include others, as well. He says: “I do not ask for these   More…

“In Jesus, Peace; In the World, Tribulation” (Sermon on John 16:23-33, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“In Jesus, Peace; In the World, Tribulation” (John 16:23-33) Hear again the words of Jesus at the end of John 16, verse 33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” This is our text. “In Jesus, Peace; In the World, Tribulation.” This is what our Lord says his followers can expect. It was that way for his disciples back then. It is that way for his disciples still now. On the one hand, peace; on the other hand,   More…

“A Little While” (Sermon on John 16:12-22, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 28th, 2013 No comments

“A Little While” (John 16:12-22) “We do not know what he is talking about.” Maybe you say that sometimes towards the end of my sermons. “We don’t know what he’s talking about!” Well, if so, then I’m in good company, because that’s what the disciples said about a sermon Jesus was preaching. We heard it in today’s Gospel from John 16. “We do not know what he is talking about,” the disciples said. What was it they were puzzled about? It was this. Jesus had just told them: “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again   More…

“By the Charcoal Fire” (Sermon on John 21:1-19, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 13th, 2013 1 comment

“By the Charcoal Fire” (John 21:1-19) It’s been a couple of weeks now since Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. Last Sunday, Jesus came and appeared to them a second time, on that occasion especially to bring Thomas to repent of his unbelief and confess his faith. Now today Jesus appears to the disciples–seven of them, at least–he appears to them a third time, this time not in Jerusalem, as on the previous two occasions, but now back up in Galilee, the home base for many of the disciples. Jesus appears to them, unexpectedly, while they’re   More…

“Words of Life” (Sermon on John 20:19-31; Acts 5:12-32; Revelation 1:4-18; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Words of Life” (John 20:19-31; Acts 5:12-32; Revelation 1:4-18) To those sitting in prison, facing a death sentence, filled with fear at what awaits them, nothing is more welcome than someone coming with a message of pardon and release. Those words come as words of life in a world of fear and death. “Words of Life.” That’s what we hear in our readings today–in all three of them: the First Reading, from Acts; the Epistle, from Revelation; and the Holy Gospel, from John. Words of life, to people sitting in prison, overcoming their fear and giving them the faith and   More…

“Lessons from the Paschal Candle” (Sermon on John 1:4-5, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

March 30th, 2013 No comments

“Lessons from the Paschal Candle” (John 1:4-5) “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John chapter 1, verses 4 and 5. On this Easter Day, the most glorious day of the year, we join with the whole Christian church around the world in proclaiming and rejoicing in the Resurrection of Our Lord: “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” (“He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”) Not only do we proclaim this great good news with our mouth, but also visually, the sacred artwork and appointments of   More…

Steadfast in Worship — It’s Hard to Follow This Hymn with a Worthy Sermon

I remember some years ago a friend of mine posted as a Facebook status something along the lines of, “I am using so-and-so’s hymn for the hymn of the day.  Why do I have to preach afterward?  It already says everything I want to say.”  Obviously, that thought has stuck with me. But then that thought came back to me on the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Three-Year Lectionary, Series B, John 15:1-8).  I selected TLH 206, “Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense,” as the hymn of the day.  And in both services I struggled mightily with the decision to cast aside   More…

“Acts of Witness, Mercy, Life Together” (Sermon on Acts 4:32-35, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 15th, 2012 No comments

“Acts of Witness, Mercy, Life Together” (Acts 4:32-35) As many of you may know, for the last couple of years our Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has been organizing its work under the banner of “Witness, Mercy, Life Together.” You can see the symbol that is being used for this emphasis on your bulletin insert, encircled by those three terms. But this is more than a slogan in a marketing campaign. No, “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” really describes what the church does, whether on the national and international levels, as our synod operates, or on the local level, as, for instance, here   More…

“I Will Give You the Crown of Life” (Sermon on Rev. 1:4-18 and 2:8-11, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 7th, 2012 2 comments

“I Will Give You the Crown of Life” (Revelation 1:4-18; 2:8-11) Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!) What a joyful day this is, this Easter Day, the greatest day of the year! For today we celebrate, with all the faithful and with all the company of heaven, the great victory Christ won for us when he arose from the dead, victorious over sin and death and hell, opening up for us righteousness and life and the kingdom of heaven. Easter Sunday is the proof of the victory Christ won for us on Good Friday, when he died   More…

“Witness, Mercy, Life Together: Our Life as Church” (A sermon on Acts, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Witness, Mercy, Life Together: Our Life as Church” (Acts) “Witness, Mercy, Life Together”: This is the threefold emphasis now being used for our national church body, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” has also served well as the basis for our sermon series here at St. Matthew’s this Easter season. We have seen these themes emerge in our readings from the Book of Acts, for “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” can be said to characterize the life of the early church. But not only so, these aspects of the early church’s life are true for us as well. And   More…

“Making Known the Unknown God: Paul at the Areopagus” (A sermon by Pr. Charles Henrickson, on Acts 17)

“Making Known the Unknown God: Paul at the Areopagus” (Acts 17:16-31) “Witness” has been a major theme running through the readings from the Book of Acts that we’ve had this Easter season. We’ve heard the church bearing witness to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world: Peter and the apostles speaking boldly before the Sanhedrin. Peter preaching Law and Gospel on the Day of Pentecost. Stephen bearing witness to Christ and becoming the first martyr of the church in the process. The church giving verbal testimony to the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ,   More…