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Posts Tagged ‘sermon’

“Jesus and the Church: Inseparable” (Sermon on Matthew 16:13-20, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

August 24th, 2014 4 comments

“Jesus and the Church: Inseparable” (Matthew 16:13-20) “I love your Christ, but I dislike your Christianity.” That is a quote that has been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, the leading figure from India of the 20th century. Sometimes it’s quoted as “I like your Jesus. I don’t like your Christians.” Or something like that. Whether Gandhi actually said this or not, the point is the same: Some people want to have Jesus–or at least the Jesus of their imagination–they want to have Jesus, but without the church. They try to pit the two against each other, Jesus and the church. Now   More…

“Jesus and People on the Fringe” (Sermon on Matthew 15:21-28, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

August 17th, 2014 1 comment

“Jesus and People on the Fringe” (Matthew 15:21-28) People on the fringe. That’s what you might call them. People on the fringe of respectable society. Sometimes beyond the fringe. These are not the good, upstanding people who have their act all together and are living their best life now. No, these are people with problems in their life. People who have gotten off track and maybe now are regretting the bad choices they have made. Perhaps they’re looking for a better way, but they don’t know where to find it. People on the fringe. And guess what? Jesus specialized in   More…

“The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat” (Sermon on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) Last week we heard the Parable of the Sower, from Matthew 13. Today it’s the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat, also from Matthew 13. In fact, Matthew 13 is a chapter full of parables, seven of them altogether. Some of these parables are shorter, some are longer. Some are explained by Jesus, some of them are left unexplained. Today’s parable is one of the longer ones, and Jesus does explain it. So now let’s consider this parable and what Jesus is saying to us in it, in   More…

“When Sowing the Seed Seems Useless” (Sermon on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“When Sowing the Seed Seems Useless” (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23) It can be very discouraging to be a Christian these days. It seems like our whole culture has turned against the Christian faith. It can be very discouraging to be a member of a congregation these days. It seems like every church all across the country is having to deal with lower attendance and financial difficulties. It can be very discouraging to be a pastor these days. It seems like all your work is falling on deaf ears, and you wonder where the zeal for the gospel is, even among your   More…

“Rest for the Heavy Laden” (Sermon on Matthew 11:25-30 and Romans 7:14-25a, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Rest for the Heavy Laden” (Matthew 11:25-30; Romans 7:14-25a) In New York Harbor there stands a famous statue, the Statue of Liberty. In her one hand, Lady Liberty is holding a tablet bearing the date July 4, 1776, the day of America’s founding. In her other hand, she is holding aloft a torch, symbolizing liberty enlightening the world. In the harbor, the Statue of Liberty stands right next to Ellis Island, our nation’s largest immigration station for many years. Millions of immigrants made the long sea voyage from Europe in those days and came through Ellis Island, passing the Statue   More…

“St. Peter and St. Paul: Losing Their Lives for Jesus’ Sake” (Sermon on Matthew 10:38-39, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

June 29th, 2014 2 comments

“St. Peter and St. Paul: Losing Their Lives for Jesus’ Sake” (Matthew 10:38-39) Today is the Third Sunday after Pentecost, but it is also June 29. And June 29 is the day in the church year for observing the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles. So that is what we are doing today. We just sang the hymn “By All Your Saints in Warfare” with the stanza for St. Peter and St. Paul. We heard lessons from Acts, 2 Timothy, and the Gospel of John that prominently feature Peter and Paul. We used those readings in place of   More…

“Have No Fear of Them” (Sermon on Matthew 10:5a, 21-33, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

June 21st, 2014 2 comments

“Have No Fear of Them” (Matthew 10:5a, 21-33) Today is the start of the long green season in the church year. The festival seasons have passed–Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter–those months when we tracked Jesus’ birth, his baptism, his transfiguration, his suffering, death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, and his pouring out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Now today we begin the non-festival half of the church year, with several months ahead of us of more general teaching, much of it dealing with the life of discipleship that we Christians are called to live. This is not an easy life, this   More…

“The Living Room of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon” (Sermon on Acts 2:14a, 22-36, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Living Room of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon” (Acts 2:14a, 22-36) Today is the Feast of the Holy Trinity. On this day we sing hymns emphasizing the Trinitarian nature of the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. On this day we say that really long creed with the funny name, the Athanasian Creed, which goes into the most detail on the relationship of the three persons in the Trinity. Today we are celebrating, not some dry doctrine with no connection to life, no, rather we are celebrating a living reality–the reality of who God is, as he is, as   More…

“The Front Porch of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon” (Sermon on Acts 2:1-21, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Front Porch of Peter’s Pentecost Sermon” (Acts 2:1-21) The purpose of a front porch is to get people into the house. The front porch may be small, the front porch may be large, but it does its job if it gets people into the building. The front porch is not the place where you want people to stay, but it should provide a good entryway into the house. And ideally, it should match, and be suitable for, the rest of the building. That’s the way it is with the front porch of a house. That’s the way it is   More…

“Glorious Suffering” (Sermon on 1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Glorious Suffering” (1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11) Have you ever heard of the term “oxymoron”? An oxymoron is when you have two words placed next to each other in a phrase, but they really don’t belong together. For example, “jumbo shrimp.” “Jumbo” and “shrimp” would seem to be self-contradictory terms. Another oxymoron: “Rap music.” The two ideas don’t go together. Or this one, speaking as someone coming from Chicago: “St. Louis pizza.” Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Well, a couple of our readings today seem to have an oxymoron going on, two self-contradictory ideas being placed right next to   More…

“All Things under His Feet” (Sermon on Ephesians 1:15-23, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“All Things under His Feet” (Ephesians 1:15-23) Today is the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, always forty days after Easter, thus always on a Thursday. On Ascension Day we celebrate what Christ’s ascending into heaven means for us as the church. It means many things, certainly, and we could focus on many aspects of this great event: For instance, on how, after his resurrection and before his ascension, Jesus opened the minds of his disciples to understand the Scriptures, that they are fulfilled in his death and resurrection, and how he told them to preach repentance and forgiveness   More…

“Baptized, Saved, and Ready to Speak” (Sermon on 1 Peter 3:13-22, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Baptized, Saved, and Ready to Speak” (1 Peter 3:13-22) Are you ready? Let me ask you again: Are you ready? And you say, “Ready for what? Ready to do what?” So I say, “Ready to speak.” “Ready to speak about what?” Are you ready to speak about the hope that you have as a Christian? If someone were to ask you about your Christian faith, about your hope, would you be ready to answer? That’s the situation that St. Peter addresses in our text for today, the Epistle reading from 1 Peter 3. There Peter encourages the Christians hearing his   More…

“Living Stones and a Holy Priesthood” (Sermon on 1 Peter 2:2-10, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Living Stones and a Holy Priesthood” (1 Peter 2:2-10) In the Epistle for today, St. Peter compares us Christians to, among other things, “living stones” and a “holy priesthood.” Both of these images are based on things that were realities in the Old Testament for the people of Israel. “Living stones” has to do with the temple, that great building in Jerusalem where the people worshiped, and a “holy priesthood” has to do with the priests who carried out their duties at the temple. “Living stones” and a “holy priesthood.” But these are not just some quaint figures of speech   More…

“Redeemed: From What? With What? Now What?” (Sermon on 1 Peter 1:17-25, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Redeemed: From What? With What? Now What?” (1 Peter 1:17-25) To introduce the sermon today I’d like us all now to open our hymnals to page 322, to the Small Catechism, the part on the Creed. And under the Second Article, on pages 322 and 323, you will see Luther’s Explanation of the Second Article, starting with “What does this mean?” Let’s read that now together: “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person,   More…

“Born Again to a Living Hope” (Sermon on 1 Peter 1:3-9, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 27th, 2014 1 comment

“Born Again to a Living Hope” (1 Peter 1:3-9) Our reading today from 1 Peter 1 says a lot about your past, your present, and your future, and we can sum it up in this phrase from our text: “Born Again to a Living Hope.” “Born again to a living hope.” The apostle Peter uses this phrase right at the beginning of his epistle. By the way, passages from 1 Peter will be the Epistle readings for the rest of this Easter season, starting today and going for the next five Sundays. And to go along with that, we’ll be   More…